London is a vibrant city at any time of the year, but a visit at Christmas is to experience a wonderful festival of lights and entertainment unparalleled anywhere in the world.
The most significant aspect of Christmas in London, is the lights, that add that magical quality to Christmas in London. The most well known are those that illuminate Oxford Street every year. Oxford Street is the commercial centre of London with every major department store competing for the best window displays and decorations. Selfridges’ theme this year is ‘Not Your Usual Christmas’ inspired by film maker Bruce Weber. Anya Hindmarch’s “All I’ve Ever Wanted windows showcase a Santa’s Grotto with glittering accessories and there is a Children in Need Pudsey Bear Collection showing a teddy bear’s picnic with a twist. The lights go on in Oxford Street at the beginning November and stay on until the 5th January.
There are also light displays in Carnaby Street,celebrating 50 years of the Rolling Stones, Regent Street, Marylebone High Street and Trafalgar Square which boasts the giant Christmas Tree donated by Norway every year.
Skating by the Thames has become very popular in recent years, with ice rinks set up at Somerset House and Hampton Court. Somerset House is centrally located and hosts Skate Club Nights and also Skate School for those who need a little help on the ice. There is also the Christmas Arcade to purchase Christmas gifts or to just soak up the atmosphere.
Christmas Markets are a big hit with everybody, with a variety of locations throughout the capital. Hyde Park Winter Wonderland has a sparkly addition of rides and attractions, including a Giant Observation Wheel and two circuses. The Southbank Centre Christmas Market has moved the traditional German style wooden huts to Queen’s Walk, along the river just between the Southbank Centre and the London Eye. Selling toys, gifts, food and drink, it is a great place to wander round and explore the South Bank.
Christmas shows and Pantomimes are a must see for any visitor to London. Traditional pantomimes are showing all over London, from Dick Whittington to Cinderella and Hansel and Gretel, there is something for everyone and all ages. Alternative Christmas shows at the Royal Albert Hall include traditional Christmas Carols and Christmas music in a wonderful setting.
No Christmas would be complete without a visit to Santa’s Grotto. There are a great number of locations throughout London. The Harrod’s Christmas Grotto is high on the list for unique although expensive gifts. There are other grottos at Canary Wharf, Greenwich, and the Museum of London. There is also an opportunity to meet Santa in his Reindeer Lodge at London Zoo. The Rain Forest Café also has a special event for the season and has a very different type of grotto in the middle of a rainforest.
Wherever you want go in London to celebrate the Christmas season, renting one of the many London apartments is the perfect choice of accommodation. Close to all the main attractions and reasonably priced, the apartments have everything you need to enjoy the comforts of a home from home. Make the most of your time in London and enjoy an unforgettable experience in the world’s Christmas Capital.