As the days get shorter and, let’s face it, colder, we can take solace in the fact that London remains one of the world’s most exciting cities, ensuring the run-up to Christmas and New Year is a special time for everyone.
From transcendent light displays, traditional winter markets and unbelievable shows, the capital has a long and proud history of delivering the goods at this time of year, with something jubilant to suit every taste. So, without further ado, let’s embrace the merrymaking and take a look at our selection of some of the best events on offer over the coming months:
1) Christmas By The River
If you’ve never been to Somerset House, this large Neoclassical complex really has to be seen to be believed. Situated on the south side of the Strand, it’s now a centre for all things creative, and during the winter months its giant front courtyard is transformed into a skating rink. Complete with a 40f Christmas tree, it really is a wonder to behold. With champagne and cocktails, pop-up gourmet dining and gift selections courtesy of Hotel Chocolate, this has become one of London’s defining winter treats. If you haven’t yet had the pleasure, best get your skates on!
Of course, Kew Gardens is pretty spectacular at any time of year, but as Christmas approaches they create something truly magical. After-dark festivities include an immersive light trail, the heritage trees all lit up in the most amazing way, plus the famous Temperate and Palm Houses are set to glow like never before. Vendors providing great street-food line the route, whilst an alpine-style menu awaits guests of the Pavillion Bar & Grill. A treat for all the family and, if you’re lucky, you might even get to meet Father Christmas!
4) Sing Christmas Carols
Carols are such an intrinsic part of Christmas and for many the real joy is taking part. There’s a range of different destinations that mean being able to sing your heart out this year, including singalongs at the Royal Festival Hall, The Royal Albert Hall and Southwark Cathedral to name but a few. It goes without saying that these are some of the city’s most prodigious musical venues, so the chance to join in and show off your vocal range is an extraordinary opportunity. It’s important to remember, though, that everyone is welcome…
5) Winter Wonderland
This is real family fun, with one of London’s most famous parks able to cram just about every type of wintertime fun you can think of into its line-up. Running for fifteen years in total, this annual favourite is back with fairground rides, Santa Land for the kids and proper markets and themed bars for the adults. There’s also skating, a rollercoaster and an ice-slide, making this a definitive attraction for thousands of visitors seeking the best in festive thrills. There’s even a German-style Bavarian village, where you’ll be greeted with world-class beer and excellent live music. Once again, London proves that it’s got what it takes to ensure your festive season is one to remember. Great food, good company and a host of enchantments await, dedicated to helping you see out 2022 in style.