If you LOVE Christmas, you will never forget the sparkle and wonder of London in December. There are twinkling lights, the fragrance of baked goods, and the ice skaters in Hyde Park. You can imagine that you have hopped into the pages of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens; watch for Ebenezer Scrooge coming around the corner with a scowl, or hunched over his coins. But wait, you won't find that guy! Scrooge was transformed and discovered the beauty and magic of the holiday season and all the people around him. This same enchanting London waits for you!
1. The Royal Ballet presents The Nutcracker from 03 December to 15 January. This traditional production cannot be anything less than delightful. Afternoon and evening performances are available.
2. There are several ROYAL celebrations at the historic castles and towers.
3. Are you ready to strap on your skates and feel the ice beneath your blades? Even if you haven't tried skating before, no reason to resist— many others are having their first experience, too.
4. The Christmas lights switch on along Regent Street on 15 November. Enjoy some of the most elegant shopping you will find on the planet with fashions for men and women, toys, technology, and home decor. Oxford Street has all levels of shopping and beautiful lights that will start twinkling on 6 November. Knightsbridge has modest to high-end shopping. There is no better place than London to finish crossing off your Christmas gift list while enjoying the ambiance.
5. London Zoo is ready for Christmas beginning with the Living Nativity 3 - 19 December this year. Meet Father Christmas, his elves, and other characters throughout December. Tickets sell out well in advance, so plan months ahead for this event.
6. There are so many ways to learn about Charles Dickens, and what better place than in London!
On Christmas Day, the city gets quiet. Most museums and stores are closed. Public transportation doesn’t run. There you are, all cozy in your London Connection vacation apartment. You have opened your gifts and had a nice breakfast from your lovely kitchen. And now you are ready to get out and see something, but what is there to do? Depending on which area of London you are staying, there will always be somewhere within walking distance that will be filled with holiday charm. Here are a few ideas to help you venture out of your comfortable flat.
7. Go on a Christmas Day Tour around the city, or on a day trip nearby.
8. Most churches in and around London hold services on Christmas Day. What a wonderful way to feel the spirit of Christmas.
9. If you are close to Hyde Park, go watch the Peter Pan Cup. It is a swimming race held on 25 December each year since 1864 in Serpentine Park. Although participation is limited to swimming club members, spectators are welcome. The race begins at 9am. Wow, that looks cold!
10. There are many streets and parks to see amazing displays of Christmas Lights. Regent Street, Oxford, Covent Garden, St. James’s Market, Sloane Square, and the new Bohemian Rhapsody lights display on Carnaby Street. You may find others as you stroll to and from your flat. DELIGHTFUL
11. Don’t forget to look at all those beautiful Christmas Windows. Harrods, Fortnum & Mason, Selfridges, and many others are talked about well before and after the holidays. Window shopping is great fun, and it is FREE!
12. Of course, you want a nice Christmas Dinner. London is a tourist-friendly town and is accommodating to travelers. Many restaurants and pubs are open throughout the city on 25 December. The best bet is to watch throughout the week and notice the posted days and hours as you walk around the area near your flat. That way, you won’t need to worry about finding a taxi that might be very difficult. If you want to ensure a reservation in advance, try Opentable.co.uk.
If you like to shop, you may want to relax on 25 December and save your energy for the following day - BOXING DAY. One legend tells it began as the day that royalty boxed their unneeded gifts and distributed them to their subjects. It continues now as a day when there are after Christmas specials, and most inventory is marked down.
Christmas is a vibrant and enchanting time to visit London. Check out our Anglophile blog for other upcoming events in December. No matter what you choose as an activity, the holiday season in the royal city is an unparalleled experience. It will be easy to remember the lessons learned from Scrooge and enjoy those you love as you give and serve with an open heart. Have a Merry Christmas in London!