Christmas time in London
Published 15/11/2016 by Pinar
Is there anything that heralds the arrival of the festive season more than a trip to London? So get your train tickets booked and come into the capital to see the Christmas lights, soak up the seasonal goodness and squeeze in an attraction or two.
See the Christmas lights
Regent Street’s Christmas heritage has inspired its theme for this year. In 1954, it was the first-ever street to have a Christmas light display in central London and this year’s show of 300,000 sparkling bulbs draws on traditional yuletide themes such as giving, celebration and community.
Above Oxford Street, 1,778 gold and silver baubles are sparkling, punctuated by hundreds of thousands of ‘Little Stars’ lights that are part of a fundraising drive for the NSPCC.
Meanwhile in Carnaby Street, Christmas has also been inspired by the past. The shopping street - which was at the heart of swinging Sixties London - is festooned in multi-coloured lights inspired by the Say You Want a Revolution? exhibition currently at the V&A.
This major exhibition explores the era-defining movements of the late 1960s from the fashion and pop of ‘Swinging London’ to the birth of festival culture and political activism.
Enjoy some window shopping
For many families, coming into London to see the department stores’ festive window displays is as much a part of Christmas as going to see Santa in his grotto. The stores really go to town and each year try to be more innovative than the last. John Lewis and Selfridges in Oxford Street, Hamleys and Liberty in Regent Street and Harvey Nichols and Harrods in Knightsbridge all promise a glittering and fabulous festive feast for the eyes.
Why not complete your visit to the West End with a trip to see a show? Thriller Live at the Lyric Theatre features 35 Michael Jackson hits in this joyful celebration of the King of Pop.
Browse a Christmas market
Every year more and more Christmas markets spring up across the city. We obviously can’t get enough of mulled wine and twinkling trinkets. Until 2 January, a market with more than 200 Bavarian chalets is just one of the attractions at Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park.
The Southbank Centre’s Winter Market runs until 8 January and its little wooden huts will offer mulled wine, quality specialty food, drinks and handmade crafts. While you’re there you could get a great view of our sparkling city with a 2FOR1 ticket for the London Eye.
A Victorian carousel and festive music will bring the Christmas cheer to Tate Modern this year plus there will be decorated wooden chalets selling crafted gifts, unusual presents, Glühwein, Bratwurst and other Teutonic treats. There’s also a Christmas Grotto and children’s train rides.
Once you’re done why not step inside the gallery? We’ve got 2FOR1 deals on several exhibitions at Tate Modern.