Christmas in London is fantastic. Everywhere you go, there are beautiful decorations, festive ice rinks, seasonal entertainment and a wonderful atmosphere.
Head for Trafalgar Square to see the massive 82 foot high Christmas tree. Every year since 1947, Norway has donated a tree in recognition of the way Britain provided support during the Second World War. It has become an iconic part of Christmas here in London and always looks absolutely stunning decorated Norwegian style in long vertical strings of light bulbs. You can go for serviced apartments Islington to enjoy happy Christmas night. On New Years Eve, the tree becomes the focal point of the New Year celebrations. Thousands of people gather to welcome in the New Year and sing Auld Langs Eyne on the stroke of midnight.
Popular shopping streets such as Regent Street, Piccadilly, Bond Street, Carnaby Street, Oxford Street, the Strand and Kensington are always lit by thousands of glittering decorations making it a really magical setting in which to do your Christmas shopping. Don’t forget to take a look at Harrods, which is totally decked out with masses of tiny twinkling white bulbs and lots of greenery. It makes an absolutely stunning sight.
Equally worth visiting are the numerous special Christmas markets to be found across London. No two markets are the same. There are lots of pop up shops selling fascinating gifts and food and there is also lots of street entertainment. For example at Portobello Road, there are steel pans, calypso music and Moroccan performances while at the Chelsea Physic Garden Christmas Fair the emphasis is on horticultural treats. The Southbank centre around the London Eye is transformed into a Nordic inspired wonderland with clowns, vintage parties and a Finnish rooftop sauna and over at Hyde Park and Leicester Square there are more traditional Christmas markets and seasonal food. Just check out short let serviced apartments central London to book your stay nearest to major tourist attractions.
Festive ice rinks appear every year in many locations including Somerset House, The Tower of London and outside the Natural History Museum in South Kensington. Skates can be hired for each session. It is a very fun, lively atmosphere with lots of warm food and drink available afterwards to help warm you up.
Pantomines too are very much in evidence. These incredibly silly comic versions of traditional fairy tales are a traditional part of a British Christmas. It is clean, childish fun with a lot of slapstick and jokes that can often be taken two ways thus amusing adults as well as children. Most pantomimes feature celebrities and top actors who just enjoy relaxing and having fun. Expect to see a pantomine dame (usually male) wearing the most extravagantly flamboyant dresses and calls from the audience of ‘he’s behind you’ whenever the bad guy comes on stage.
In 2017, the London Palladium is staging the Dick Whittington pantomine which is based on a very local story. According to legend, Dick Whittington and his cat came to London to make their fortunes. Initially discouraged, they set out to return home only to be stopped by the sound of bells telling them to ‘Turn again’. They did so, and after various events including a sea voyage, Dick Whittington became Lord Mayor of London. Alternatively if you wish to stay near to London Palladium you must visit holiday apartments near Oxford Street London.
Other popular shows at Christmas include a trip to the ballet to see The Nutcracker, an ever popular story involving a Christmas party, a fight between the Nutcracker and the evil Mouse King leading to a magical journey to the Kingdom of Sweets.