The big, beautiful and busy streets of London take on a special kind of magic when Christmas draws near. Home to a huge variety of festive entertainments and events for people of all ages, Englandís capital is a good place for booking a winter break Ė especially if youíre planning on doing a little Christmas shopping while youíre there. From designer grottos to merry Christmas markets, thereís something to suit everyone when the festive period rolls around.
One of Londonís most iconic Christmas sights is the giant pine tree thatís set up in Trafalgar Square every year. The tree is a present from the people of Norway and is always beautifully lit and decorated. Londonís streets also get a sprinkle of festive cheer during the winter months, with lovely twinkling lights and outdoor decorations festooning the buildings, adding something a little special to an evening walk through the capital.
Another Christmas treat not to be missed is the enchanting Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park. There youíll find jaw-dropping big top shows, an excellent outdoor ice rink, gentle rides for younger children and an observation wheel perfect for seeing the sights. The wonderland also has its own Christmas market, offering unique gifts and plenty of tasty treats to warm you up on a cold winter evening.
Another market well worth visiting for some festive fun is found at Chapel Market. Itís got a less old-fashioned feel than some of the more traditional markets, but is still an exhilarating and interesting Christmas experience. Be prepared to be swept up by the crowd as you peruse a huge variety of toys, foods and Christmas gifts.
For some more family-friendly festive fun, head along to Kew Gardens where the Princess of Wales Conservatory is transformed into a Santaís grotto. Other attractions include a vintage carousel on Kew Palace Lawn and a Christmas tree decorated in lovely twinkling lights, making it the perfect place to celebrate a traditional Christmas atmosphere. There are also some lovely seasonal guided walks to help you discover some of the prettiest secrets of Kew Gardens.
London also boasts some absolutely gorgeous churches offering midnight mass at Christmas, including Westminster Cathedral, Westminster Abbey and St Margaretís Church. All of which are ideal for enjoying and sharing the special feeling of goodwill that is inspired by the season of giving.
Christmas wouldnít be the same without a trip to the theatre and what better place to enjoy a pantomime or festive classic than in Londonís fabulous West End? Packed with theatres showing everything from family-friendly musicals to serious art for the adults, finding a show to see is easy. Over the festive period, youíll find many theatres choose themed shows with lots of old classics and Christmas related performances. The Nutcracker ballet and newer favourites such as the musical version of Scrooge are typical favourites.
The festive period is a very popular time for visitors to the capital, so if youíre thinking of a winter wonderland break be sure to book a hotel in London as early as possible. This will help you avoid disappointment and save money, all the better to spend on Christmas treats.