Halloween is over, the clocks have gone back and your favourite festive menu ranges are out at every coffee shop, bakery and fast food outlet. It is the best time of the year to be visiting central London, and not only because of our upcoming Open Day and Taster Day events. Here are our top reasons to be visiting the capital this winter.
Winter Wonderland (21 November - 5 January)
Let’s start big. Winter Wonderland is arguably the most spectacular event of the year, spreading across the North-Eastern corner of London’s Hyde Park. Entry is free, and you really can spend hours and hours at this magical festive affair. Expect to find fairground rides, seasonal food stalls, markets offering nifty gift ideas, and even the big man himself at Santa’s grotto.
Winter Market at Southbank (8 November - 5 January) - Expect festive food and drink vendors, gift stalls, and shows and performances at the Southbank Centre. Less than a 5 minute walk from Waterloo station.
Christmas at Leicester Square (10 mins from campus! 8 Nov - 5 Jan) - One of the more central Christmas markets during the winter season, find the usual stalls along with some real wacky shows and performances in the surrounding theatres!
Christmas by the River at London Bridge City - (26 Nov - 5 Jan) - The twinkling wooden stalls and mulled wine will be competing for your attention with the very same stunning backdrop of Tower Bridge and Tower of London that they're set against.
See the jaw-dropping decorations and displays (November - January)
By mid-November London starts donning its winter gear and becomes an unrecognisable twinkly dreamland. Head to Oxford and Regent Streets for the most spectacular light decorations and window displays in their flagship stores. Covent Garden is also a big player for festive decor, with previous years’ decorations including various forms of giant reindeer, festive scenes built of lego, and visits by the famous Coca-Cola Christmas Truck. Or check out the famous Christmas tree that started a global tradition at Trafalgar Square and join in with regular carol services.
See a festive show on London’s West End
For a limited time you can catch a merry musical or classic Christmas panto in the heart of London’s world-famous theatreland. Here are our highlights of this year’s performances:
- The Nutcracker, London Coliseum (11 December - 5 January)
- The Snowman, Peacock Theatre (21 November - 5 January)
- Goldilocks, London Palladium (7 December - 12 January)
- A Christmas Carol, The Old Vic (22 November - 18 January)
Go ice skating in unlikely surroundings
While you could hit two birds with one stone and get your skating fix at Winter Wonderland, London offers a number of special pop-up ice rinks for the winter season. If you fancy something a little more special, check out these top locations: