Christmas in London

(Bridget)

I’m not going to lie, to get me in the mood to write this Christmas-themed blog, I did crack out the trusty Spotify Christmas playlist… it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

Coming from the Southern Hemisphere, we are used to spending the festive season at the beach, eating barbecued food, and wearing shorts and t-shirts, topped off with a santa hat for good measure. Christmas is my favourite (putting it lightly) holiday of the year, so after moving to London, I was eager to see whether I would love ‘true’ Christmas as much as I did our semi-backwards version of it in New Zealand.

As the weather becomes pretty dire from the first of October onwards, it is encouraging to note that the Christmas festivities begin to follow soon after. The festive season basically lasts for three months here, and the cynics amongst us would put that solely down to the “commercialisation” of this holiday. I think that is wrong. You need that festive air when you are staring down the long tunnel of winter. In fact, the Christmas spirit makes you pleased that it getting colder.

It turns out in London, Christmas really is all around. So if you are keen to get into the festive spirit around that time of the year like I always am, here are a few ideas of how to get the most out of the festive season in London.

1. Marvel at the over-the-top Christmas lights in the shopping district

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Oxford Street – by far the most tame of the street lights, but still enough to get you well into the Christmas spirit, maybe spend a few extra pounds because you are so cheerful…
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Carnaby Street – the colourful Christmas decorations suit the quirky streets off the back of Regent and Oxford Streets

2. Switch to drinking mulled wine, readily available at the Christmas Markets that pop up around every corner

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With a cheeky mulled wine in a courtyard at Oxford University. This is available at every Christmas market.
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Covent Garden Market – romantically decorated with giant mistletoe.

3. Brave the crowds at Winter Wonderland (approach with caution…)

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If you can face the crowds, there is a lot of carnival style, vaguely Christmas related fun to be had – top off the day with a visit to the German Beer Hall.

4. Embrace that Christmas jumpers are completely acceptable, if not a requirement, and are to be worn all the time (there even is a Christmas Jumper Day at work)

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Alex with his Christmas Jumper – hand knitted by his mother all the way in New Zealand

5. Attend different village Christmas street festivals to explore a new part of London

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Hampstead Village has their annual Christmas street party – the crowds could get pretty overwhelming (hence the view from the hill above)
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Hampstead Village on a regular evening, sans-Christmas festival, a magical little place

6. Get your skate on at everyday locations that have transformed into festive ice skating rinks overnight

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Ice rink at Somerset House – Ice skating is the only sport that Alex is not amazing at so he refuses to go

7. Enjoy the fact that the only snow is fake snow (I love the idea of snow but it is just so cold!!)

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For us, after spending a couple of Christmases in London, everything Christmas related finally makes sense – the pine trees, hearty food, chilly weather, spicy scents, woollen jumpers and Santa hats. None of this really worked when the sun was shining outside.

Until next time,

B&A

3 thoughts on “Christmas in London

    1. Wonderland is insanely busy, though to be fair that picture was of the jam to get in – it does get slightly better on the inside once everyone can spread out again. But mulled wines were certainly needed

      Like

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