One of the famous capitals in the world, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its founding by the Romans, who named it Londinium.
With diverse range of peoples and cultures, London is one of the best places to soak up not only in history and arts but also on different events and attractions that only happens during winter seasons.
Christmas in London
To experience London on its wintery glory, here are some of the best places to visit:
Ice Skating in London
Winter is the only time you can ice-skate outdoors in the capital. Many of these rinks, which are typically open between the middle of November and the middle of January, can be accessed late into the evening, and include special events throughout the winter season.
Hyde Park Winter Wonderland is London’s largest open-air ice rink. Winter Wonderland typically operates from 10 am until 10 pm, but consult online schedules for any special hours. The event is closed on Christmas Day.
Hyde Park Winter Wonderland
Christmas in Trafalgar Square
If you have time to visit Trafalgar Square earlier in December, you might check out the annual Christmas Tree lighting. Each year, a massive tree is specially shipped to London from Norway as a way of saying thanks for British aide during World War II. The tree, which usually reigns 50 to 60 feet above the square, remains in the square until the twelfth night of Christmas.
To get you more into the Christmas spirit, you might check out the Christmas caroling that occurs during the two middle weeks of every December. Performances take place nightly, generally from five until nine p.m. and often raise funds for local charities.
Trafalgar Square Management
Post Point 23
The Queen’s Walk
London SE1 2AA
Christmas Shopping Fairs
Londoners take their shopping very seriously, and Christmas time in the city sees a number of shopping fairs that are only present during the winter months.
There are numerous shopping fairs in the Capital with The Country Living Magazine Christmas Fair being most popular. With thousands of attendants each year, this fair is host to handmade crafts, clothing and jewelry, as well as unique foods, beverages and home accessories.
Country Living Magazine Christmas Fair 2012
Business Design Centre, 52 Upper Street, Islington, London, N1 0QH
7th – 11th November 2012
Wednesday: 10am – 9pm
Thursday: 10am – 6pm
Friday – Saturday: 9.30am – 6pm
Sunday: 10am – 3pm
Christmas Teas at The Dorchester
One of London’s most prestigious hotels, The Dorchester annually holds their renowned Christmas Carol Afternoon Tea in The Promenade during weekends from November through the end of the year. A multiple recipient of the Tea Guild’s Award of Excellence and Top London Afternoon Tea honors, enjoy champagne, Christmas pastries and traditional mince pies with your tea, as well as a variety of finger sandwiches and scones while listening to the angelic voices of the children’s choir.
The Great Christmas Pudding Race
Held each year on a mid-December Saturday morning, the Great Christmas Pudding Race which originated in 1980, consists of contestants wearing outrageous costumes and attempting to balance a plate full of Christmas pudding, all while racing about Covent Garden.
The event is organized by CRAC on behalf of Cancer Research UK and supported by Matthew Walker and Covent Garden Market.
Covent Garden Market
41 The Market
London WC2E 8RF