London residents know to prepare for the invasion of tourists in the summer. From June to August, the city’s streets and subways bustle with first-time or repeat visitors, trying to find their way around with maps and apps, to a sight of significance or a local gem. And no doubt, they find what they are looking for in London. There is, however, a strong and lesser-known case for visiting London in the winter. Although the weather gets cold and the days short, the city exudes a different charm, of warm cider and cozy pubs with an unparalleled festive spirit. Here are our top reasons for visiting London in the winter:
Can you imagine meandering through the corridors of the V&A Museum by yourself? Or enjoying a quiet glass of wine at the Serpentine in Hyde Park? That’s what winter in London will offer you. It’s as rewarding as it is addictive.
This is no ordinary carnival. Winter Wonderland takes over a large portion of Hyde Park and offers rides, games, shows, markets and food for the whole family. There’s a good chance you could go there every day of your trip if you visit between November 18th and January 2nd.
Harrods is a majestic building at any time of year but it is positively breathtaking when lit up during the holiday season. Enjoy a glass of wine in one of its many cafes, visit Christmas World inside or simply enjoy the stroll down Knightsbridge basking in its regal aura.
There is only one thing that tops London’s summer sales; its winter sales. Find deep discounts on all your favorite brands in January.
If you are an ice-skater, you will be spoiled in London. Many of the city’s major sites set up temporary rinks such as the Natural History Museum, Somerset House and the Tower of London. Hit them up to show off your skill or just to enjoy the magical vibe!
The London arts and theatre productions are in full swing during the winter with special seasonal shows on the West End. There’s also a full line-up of concerts at majestic venues such as the Royal Albert Hall.
London’s favourite open-air market turns into a Christmas wonderland with lights and shows running through the festive season. Enjoy one of the highly entertaining street performances or grab a show at the Royal Opera House.
Enjoy seasonal and local foods and other treats in wooden chalets as you walk along the twinkling waterside of the Thames. This runs from November 15th to December 24th.
The lighting of this famous Christmas tree, a gift from Norway to Britain as a token of friendship and gratitude for the latter’s support in World War II, is a city-wide affair attended by the Mayor of Westminster. There is no surer way to get festive than to marvel at the lights of a 25-meter high Christmas tree.
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