Britain loves Christmas, and traditionally festive events start appearing across the country around November, as winter sets in and an array of seasonal delights tempts people to venture out into the cold.
London leads the way in this regard, with plenty of fantastic things to do throughout the city to get you in the mood for the most wonderful time of the year.
London Christmas Highlights
It would be impossible to list all the great Christmas events in London here, but we have compiled a few favourites that have become an essential experience for anyone lucky enough to experience the holidays in the capital.
Whether you’re looking for Christmas gifts to take home for your family or just want a fun day out with your flatmates to celebrate a successful semester, there is plenty to choose from.
Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park
Now in its seventh year, Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland (Nov 22 – Jan 4) has become the centrepiece of London’s Christmas delights, most notably for its large ice rink that attracts thousands of visitors every day.
Located at Hyde Park Corner, just off Piccadilly and a short walk from Buckingham Palace, there is plenty going on here, including the Magical Ice Kingdom, Zippo’s Circus and giant observation wheel. There is also a collection of stalls selling traditional Christmas fare.
As you’d expect from a premier London attraction, none of this comes cheap, but it has become something of a must-see over the years and is certainly worth a visit.
If getting out on the ice really is your thing, the National History Museum also has an excellent skating rink.
The Southbank Centre
Located within walking distance of our Pure Bankside, the Southbank Centre is renowned for hosting high quality events and Christmas is no different.
The Southbank Christmas Market (Nov 15 –Dec 24) is an idyllic collection of chalets overflowing with festive food, drink and gift ideas. Taking on a German theme, you can enjoy bratwurst, mulled wine and gingerbread men as you browse the arts and crafts in search of the perfect present.
Also, for one weekend in December (13-15) the venue hosts the Christmas Chocolate Festival. This could potentially be good for a spot of present shopping, but there is much more to this than the standard sampling and buying of chocolate.
Here, you can watch master chocolatiers at work, seeing how the delicious creations are made. Once you’ve had a look at some of the techniques on display, you can even design your own chocolate bar to take home.
Already one of the most popular areas of London, Covent Garden really comes into its own at Christmas time.
Dominated by a 32-foot tall model reindeer, the market hosts all manner of seasonal delights, including the mulled wine stall, which itself is shaped like a huge Christmas present. Here, you can enjoy a hot drink and festive snacks such as mince pies and roast chestnuts, while the Real Food Market sees the cuisine take a turn for the gourmet. There’s even a special bar serving hot chocolate.
There are surprises every day here too, with the Lego advent calendar opening a new door every day and a reindeer petting zoo offering the chance to meet Santa’s helpers.
Become a Pure resident with flexible contracts
The academic year may be well underway, but it’s not too late to secure a room at our Pure Hammersmith property, found at the heart of West London.
We offer 23 and 34-week contracts (subject to availability) for those who need short term student accommodation in the capital, so give us a call and find out what we have available.
Image courtesy of irum.