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?
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!
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…
Images 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
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