Where to Enjoy Twelve Days of Christmas in London
London, one of the most vibrant cities in the world, has now officially entered into the Christmas mode. From huge festive markets to open-air ice rinks and plenty of seasonal events lined-up, there is something for everyone to cheer about in London.
And, of course, with so many options available, you might require some help deciding what to do. So, in the spirit of ‘Twelve Days of Christmas’, Londonhotels4u.com has picked out these top 12 ways to keep you amused this holiday season.
First Day – Christmas Day
Christmas in London offers a great opportunity to enjoy the city without traffic and crowds. So, why not take an early morning stroll in the Hyde Park. Do not miss the exciting ‘Peter Pan Cup’ swimming race in the Serpentine (www.serpentineswimmingclub.com), starting at 9 am. Although, you need to be a member and take part in the winter series to enter the venue, yet you can have fun watching others plunging into the icy water.
To experience the true spirit of Christmas, you can attend special Christmas Day services at London’s iconic – St. Paul’s Cathedral (11 am and 3.15 pm) or Westminster Abbey (10.30 am and 3 pm). These services include traditional carols, seasonal music, and readings, inviting anyone from across the globe.
If you fancy spending time at some tranquil places in the city, then get on Thames cruises from Westminster Pier. Golden Tours and Evan Evans offer spectacular Thames cruises, taking you through some great landmarks in London. You can even try panoramic bus tours with pub stops to enjoy your traditional meal.
Second Day – Boxing Day
If you consumed thousands of calories on Christmas Day, then Boxing Day (26th December) is the best time to do some gentle exercise. Take on the guided walk through the wonderful Richmond Park at 10 am to see Christmas nature theme. For details visit www.frp.org.uk.
If you feel too tried and exhausted on Boxing Day, then take a nap at London hotel room and go on a guided walk at 10.30 am the next day in Greenwich Park. This ‘Surprise in the Winter Wonderland’ is sure to make your day more entertaining than you ever thought.
Third Day – Christmas Sales
Treat yourself this season with huge Xmas sales in one of the biggest shopping destinations in the world. Start your day at Oxford Street, Europe’s biggest high street market, offering a fantastic range of shops. Catch all the Christmas fun at Top Shop, Selfridges, and John Lewis store. There are some top departmental stores, boutiques, and small shops, where you can buy anything for your holidays. Vibrant Bond Street and Regent Street are just round the corner, giving you more options to check out Christmas Sales.
Other favourite shopping destinations you cannot miss are High Street Kensington, Kings Road, Covent Garden, Camden Market, Knightsbridge, and Portobello Road. If you want to shop in peace, then Canary Wharf market will provide you a relaxing shopping experience.
Enjoying Christmas in London and how can you forget – ‘Pantomimes’? It is that time of the year in London, when you can actually enjoy watching brightest pantos in the capital. Take your pick from some childish fun and adult silliness, featuring best celebrities, comedians, and hairy-legged dames in London.
Some of the famous Pantomime that you cannot miss this winter are:
- Cinderella Boom or Bust at Theatre Royal Drury Lane
- Cinderella at the Shaw Theatre
- Potted Panto at Vaudeville Theatre
- Aladdin at New Wimbledon Theatre
- A Ladd in the City at Bridewell Theatre
- Dick! Comes Again: Bigger, Longer, Harder! at Leicester Square Theatre
For more details about the show timings and tickets, please visit http://www.pantoworld.co.uk/.
Fifth Day – Be a Volunteer
Are you planning to do something different over the festive break? Why not volunteer for Crisis Open Christmas in London. They run many centres across the city, extending help to homeless and people living in hostels. These centres remain open from 23rd December to 30th December and provide food, companionship, and warmth to everyone. More than 5000 volunteers staff this event and it is still not late to help them this year. To become a volunteer, you can download an application form here.
Sixth Day – It’s Hogmanay
Don’t be a lazy goose during Christmas. It’s Hogmanay in Scotland. New Year celebrations in Scotland go on and on. You will find a number of traditions and events lined-up in Scottish capital – Edinburgh. From live concerts to torchlight parades, you can catch a glimpse of several festive events in Edinburgh. A Hogmanay celebration in Edinburgh is one of the biggest New Year’s parties in the world. If you want to try one of the many bizarre events in Scotland, then take part in ‘Torchlight Procession Edinburgh’ on 30th December 2013.
A total sell-out every year, this is a famous family event in Edinburgh. You can join thousands of torch carriers in the city to watch fabulous Son et Lumiere and fireworks finale. Only few torches priced £10.00 will be available on the day. So, don’t waste your time and book your torch by clicking here.
Seventh Day – New Year’s Celebration
Expect more than 6,000 restaurants, cafes, pubs, and bars in the capital during the New Year, offering best from their kitchen. Most of these venues will host vivacious New Year’s Eve parties, including special offers for pint and food.
You can visit South Bank and the London Eye for watching a wonderful New Year’s Eve fireworks display on Thames. Over a million of people of are expected to flock along the Embankment to welcome 2014.
Eighth Day – New Year’s Day Parade
It’s 1st January 2014 and London’s annual New Year’s Day Parade is back. Make sure you’re there to watch it live. In its 28th year, this annual parade is the most spectacular way to kick-start your New Year. See over 10,000 performers set off from Parliament Square at noon, including cheerleaders, acrobats, musicians, and dancers. You can even watch the dazzling American style procession with participants from all around the world.
Ninth Day – It’s Time to Boogie
Shake your body at vibrant nightclubs in London. It’s time to dance and what’s better than hitting night or live music clubs in the capital. Most of these clubs have their cheesy Christmas and New Year packages on. So, just boogie and dance the night away at some of these great nightlife joints.
Tenth Day – Outdoor Ice Skating
Nothing can get more Christmassy than gliding around an ice rink in London. So, just get your skates on and visit some of these spectacular venues for outdoor ice-skating:
1. Winter Wonderland Hyde Park
Location – Hyde Park, London W2 2UH
Starting From – 22nd November 2013 to 5th January 2014
Timing – 10 am to 10 pm
Tickets – Peak (£14.50) and off-peak (£10.50)
Website – http://www.hydeparkwinterwonderland.com
2. Somerset House Ice Rink
Location - Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 1LA
Starting From – 14th November 2013 to 5th January 2014
Timing – 8.45 am to 11.30 pm
Tickets – From £7.50
Website – http://www.somersethouse.org.uk/ice-rink
3. Tower of London Ice Rink
Location – HM Tower of London, London, EC3N 4AB
Starting From – 16th November 2013 to 5th January 2014
Timing – 10 am to 10 pm
Tickets – Peak (£13.50) and off-peak (£11.50)
Website – http://www.toweroflondonicerink.com
Eleventh Day – A Night of Ballet
On the eleventh day of Christmas, treat yourself to a night of ballet. London is full of action during Christmas and New Year. If you visit Sadler’s Wells Theatre and the Royal Opera House, you are sure to catch a glimpse of festive favourites – ‘Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake’ and ‘The Royal Ballet: The Nutcracker’.
The timeless tale of Toad, Mole, and Ratty gets a festive update from Will Tuckett, as ‘The Wind in the Willows’ comes back in London at Duchess Theatre.
Twelfth Day – Do Your Bit for the Environment
Did you have a blast in London? Now it’s all over for another year, but wait before you hide your Christmas gifts and cards, remember to do your bit to the environment. There are several charity shops in the city, which will be grateful to you for offering unwanted Christmas presents. Charity shops in London see a significant increase in donations at this time of the year. Woodland Trust recycles over 90 million Christmas cards annually between 2nd January and 31st January. Oxfam gets a flood of books and CDs after Christmas and New Year. Some of charity shops in London offer facilities to recycle your Christmas trees too.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all. Have a blast this year in London with some great adventure and fun lined up just for you.
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