Winter is a great time to explore London. With frosted streets and cosy log-fired pubs, offering hearty food and drink, the old city takes on a new identity in the colder months.
Oxford Street around Christmas becomes a hive of activity. With that extra sprinkling of magic dust in the air and a wide range of shopping facilities Oxford Street really gets you in the mood for Christmas merriment. Hamley’s toy store will be a fantasy world for the children, and Harrods, over in Knightsbridge, proffers the utmost in luxury goods.
The Brits love a Christmas pantomime; in no time at all you will be shouting along to the chorus of “oh yes, it is” with the huge crowds that gather each year. Lots of well known faces don their costumes for a yearly panto stint, so get the family together and join in the fun.
Ice skating is a traditional part of London’s winter celebrations, with numerous rinks springing up all over the city. Spend a day at the Natural History museum and then head out for a skate and a glass of mulled wine in the museum grounds. Alternatively, head round the corner to South Kensington station and take the district line down to the embankment for a skate by the famous London Tower.
Premium ales and comfy pubs
The pub is a British institution and many have a wide range of unique English ales. After a heavy day of shopping nothing beats a warming pint of ale and a roaring fire; the Star Tavern in Belgravia along with The Chandos pub in Trafalgar square are old fashioned boozers with that classic London feel. If you fancy a bit of luxury, why not head to The Savoy on The Strand and sample one of their classic cocktails at the American Bar, a favoured drinking establishment of Sinatra and Churchill.
Carol season hits in December and there are numerous performances all over London throughout the month in the run up to Christmas. Handel’s spellbinding arias fly through the air of Westminster Cathedral and the Christopher Wren designed St. Pauls. There are live music venues all over London offering music from around the world, from Ronny Scott’s jazz bar to East London experimental.
The Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park is an annual tradition and has fantastic rides, music, and an ice rink as well as a snow palace. The inviting smell of roasting chestnuts pervades the atmosphere down the South Bank, which has the renowned London Eye and market stalls galore. Afterwards, take a romantic stroll down the river to Westminster Bridge and look out on to the city whilst standing under the clanging bells of Big Ben.
New Years Eve
Everyone gathers on the Southbank at midnight to call in the New Year under Big Ben. There are parties everywhere as well as world class restaurants to suit every budget. The next day the New Year parade gallops through London to kick start the calendar in style. And if you’re feeling blue when the New Year party is over, Chinese New Year arrives in January or February so you haven’t got long to wait until China Town is awash with vibrant parties, dragons, and hundreds of revellers.
Compare and see how much you can save on your energy bills