Fancy a festive break? To help you make the most of your outdoor leisure time, weathertrending highlights the Monthly SweetSpot. For December, we soak up the festive atmosphere in London. We pick out some of the events and attractions to look forward to in the city.
Whether you live in London or are just visiting for a few days, its a great place to get into the festive mood. There are so many different events taking place over the capital, from Christmas markets to ice-rinks, festive food and drink and Christmas lights.
Every night the city is illuminated by millions of lights
London is home to some of the most famous shopping streets and department stores in the world, which makes it a fantastic place to pick up all of your festive treats. The department stores put on amazing displays in their shop windows. I have lovely memories of going to see them with my grandmother as a child. Fortnums, Liberty and Selfridges are well worth a look.
Every night the city is illuminated by millions of lights. Regent Street has a beautiful display and Carnaby Street’s are always fun.
Christmas markets pop up in stunning locations all over the city. Check out the little wooden huts at the Southbank Winter Festival with the backdrop of the London Eye. Further along the river, and with breathtaking views of The Tower of London and Tower Bridge, you will find Christmas by the River, with delicious pop-up food and drink stalls and boutique vendors. Hyde Park once again plays host to Winter Wonderland. It is free to enter and soak up the atmosphere, but you will need to pre-book tickets for many of the attractions. Borough Market is open every day until Christmas and is a great place for a wander with a glass of mulled wine.
December snowfall last year had us stranded in our village
Ice skating in the capital has become a very popular festive pastime, with many of London’s iconic landmarks turning their outside spaces into rinks. A favourite in our family is Skate at Somerset House. It is a truly stunning location. You can warm up with hot chocolate afterwards in the Fortnums Lodge, and also do some shopping in the Fortnums pop-up arcade. The December snowfall last year had us stranded in our village so we missed our skating slot. Fingers crossed it doesn’t snow next weekend! The Natural History Museum is home to another of London’s rinks, with the museum’s iconic building as your backdrop. Over on Clapham Common, you can find a large rink at Winterville, London’s alternative festive experience. The largest rink in London is in Hyde Park at Winter Wonderland.
It will be a case of “he’s behind you” and “oh no it isn’t”
London is a fabulous place to catch a festive show The English National Ballet has a beautiful production of the Nutcracker at The London Colosseum. And twinkling with festive spirit over at The Peacock Theatre is The Snowman. It will be a case of “he’s behind you” and “oh no it isn’t” at local theatres during pantomime season. You can see a brilliant production of Aladdin over at the Hackney Empire.
You can soak up the atmosphere and enjoy carols around the magnificent Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square during the festive season from 10 to 21 December (except 15 December). Performances take place from 4 pm to 8 pm on weekdays, and from 2 pm to 6 pm on weekends. The 25 metre (82-foot) Norweigan spruce has been an annual gift to London from the people of Norway since 1947, in recognition of Britains’ support during the Second World War. Each year, the tree is illuminated with hundreds of lightbulbs set in vertical strings of light. The famous Christmas tree is lit on 6 December at 6 pm.