Christmas in London

We just had a night away in London, and while we were there we started to feel a bit festive (which is unknown for me, I am a usually a Christmas grouch until the 1st of December hits at which point cover me in glitter and call me Mrs Claus!). This unusual level of November Christmas excitement was caused by seeing a tiny smidge of the festive treats London has to offer.

A Sunday morning stroll along the Southbank saw us taking in the Christmas Market, there is a little train ride for kids and a Christmas Tree maze – it all made us start thinking we should really head back before Christmas with our children in tow. Both the Holiday Inn Kensington Forum and the Holiday Inn Regent’s Park offer connecting rooms for family stays as well as the usual comfortable doubles and twins, with the latter also having family rooms available – so we could stay in central London and take in all the seasonal sights it has to offer.

Of course London is an amazing place to do your Christmas shopping, but what else should we see?

Oxford_Street

 

The lights would be a big draw for me. Oxford Street is renowned for it’s fabulous displays as you can see from the picture above from a few years ago, and it isn’t just the lights that appeal – the shop windows are a thing of wonder themselves!

 

outdoor-ice-rink-at-maritime-greenwich

 

We could go Ice Skating – I saw a rink at the London Eye as part of their ‘Frostival’ on Sunday, but I always fancied heading for the outside ice rink at Greenwich. Such a beautiful setting and this year you can enjoy an uniterrupted view over the Thames to Canary Wharf while you enjoy your hot chocolate and a mince pie.

A big highlight for us this year would be hunting for Paddington Bear, you can currently follow the Paddington Trail to spot 50 statues of the marmalade fan – there are maps and apps available to help you find them. Top of my list is the Sherlock Holmes and Dr Who bears – and I know my toddler wants to see the Space Paddington at Greenwich.

For the whole festive experience in one place then your best bet is to head for Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland – here you can skate, shop the Christmas market, enjoy fairground rides, visit Santa, watch circus shows and enjoy warming festive food and drink. It is free to enter though there are charges for some of the activities.

Top of my list would be a visit to Hogwarts at Christmas, even though it is just outside London. I love Harry Potter and this just looks totally awesome. Some friends attended the launch night and sang it’s praises, and just look at these wonderful photos from Mummy Barrow…

CHRISTMAS at hogwarts mummy barrowImages courtesy of Mummy Barrow

 Doesn’t that  look utterly magical?

And Christmas is all about the kids, so no trip would be complete without a stop off at Hamleys – you can watch toys being demonstrated, buy some gifts, admire the amazing decorations and you can even book for breakfast, lunch, tea, high tea or dinner with the big man himself – kids aged 4-11 can dine with Santa, hear magical stories and take part in Christmas activities, and of course they all come away with a gift bag at the end. Ho ho ho.

Have you done a Christmas trip to London? Have I missed anywhere special and wonderful? Where would you recommend?

Love Miss Cisco XXX

Disclosure; This is a sponsored post.

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19 Comments

  1. November 18, 2014 / 9:43 am

    I’d love to take F to do the paddington bear trail and go ice skating in Somerset house. Christmas in London is amazing! X
    Lori recently posted…LAURA ASHLEY PRESS DAY SS15My Profile

  2. November 18, 2014 / 2:29 pm

    I love christmas visits to London. We didn’t go last year, can’t remember why, but was planning on taking the boys this year. I’d like to stay at the County Hall Marriott but not sure husband’s credit card would agree with my plans! The kids are pretty happy just looking at all the lights everywhere really.
    Queen Boudica recently posted…Barber Shy Irishman saves the world again?My Profile

  3. November 18, 2014 / 2:45 pm

    I am desperate to take my lot to the Hogwarts Christmas thingy. The ice skating look amazing although I am not sure how embarrassed the Teens might be if I took to the ice. xx

  4. November 18, 2014 / 3:51 pm

    If walking down the South bank doesn’t get you in the Christmas spirit, nothing will. I’ve done that a few times. I love London at Christmas. You’ve mentioned some things I would not have thought about
    Zena’s Suitcase recently posted…Princess Goes To Gymnastics!My Profile

    • November 19, 2014 / 7:56 am

      It was fairly quiet Sunday, perhaps the best bet is to catch these things a bit early at the middle/end of November before the crowds arrive!
      Sonya Cisco recently posted…Christmas in LondonMy Profile

  5. November 18, 2014 / 9:03 pm

    So many great ideas there! I love all the festive feel, one of the only good things about heading back to work following maternity leave…
    Lauren recently posted…Weaning – the ‘whatever’ wayMy Profile

    • November 19, 2014 / 7:55 am

      Oh no, hate that, it’s like back to school after the Summer isn’t it – hope you are soon back in the swing of things!
      Sonya Cisco recently posted…Christmas in LondonMy Profile

  6. November 18, 2014 / 10:50 pm

    we did December 1st last year and omg Hamley’s was mental! There was security keeping us moving! I hate crowds so it’s not for me. Did see the lights on Oxford Street as I went by on my coach though – very pretty. I prefer slightly further out and am looking at going to Legoland Windsor for Christmas.

    Very useful post – I didn’t know about the family connecting rooms.
    Pinkoddy recently posted…YouTube: Bloggers Beginners GuideMy Profile

    • November 19, 2014 / 7:54 am

      Yes, connecting rooms are fab for us as there are 5 of us and family rooms only usually cater for 4!
      Sonya Cisco recently posted…Christmas in LondonMy Profile

  7. November 19, 2014 / 6:14 pm

    This sounds like a great experience. I think I’d love a good Christmas tree maze and dinner with Santa seems great too!
    Astrid recently posted…CarsMy Profile

  8. November 20, 2014 / 10:10 am

    I would absolutely love to visit Hogwarts at Christmas. My stepdaughter is taking my three there in February and I’m so jealous that I’m not going!
    Shell Louise recently posted…Weekly weigh in – 1.5lb gainMy Profile

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