Christmas is always a special time of year, everything becomes festive – whether it be the constant Christmas music and decorations that seem to be getting earlier every year or the impending Christmas shopping extravaganza – it is difficult not to be in the festive mood! London is no exception – there is huge range of Christmas events to have a go at in the capital. Every year I try and go to a few here is a selection!
Every year Hyde Park is home to Winter Wonderland, a vast expanse of fairground games and rides, food and of course an ice rink! This year, like always, it was packed with people eating food, falling over whilst skating or going on some less than appealing fairground rides (in my opinion!). One piece of advice; bring your pocket money – there are plenty of things to try; fresh churros with chocolate sauce, carnival games promising winnings of the latest iPad and plenty of fairground rides – anything that spins or goes upside down is a no from me! Sadly all are London prices so, as if by magic, your money disappears very rapidly! If you haven’t managed to do any Christmas shopping, Winter Wonderland is a nice place to find some unique Christmas presents – a favourite of mine was alpaca wool winter clothing.
Be sure to wrap up warm though, I went in the evening and it was freezing!
Christmas at Kew
Kew is London’s largest botanical gardens – home to a huge range of plants from all corners of the planet. During the day, the botanical gardens is a wonderful place to stroll, forget the hustle and bustle of the big city and reconnect with nature. At Christmas time, Kew is open at night for their Christmas at Kew event – a truly enchanting light show. A Christmas trail takes you through parts of Kew at night, each section lit up using different lighting set to music. Along the way there are of course the traditional winter treats of mulled wine, mince pies and roasted chestnuts! Each section is crafted with an exquisite eye for detail, making for a truly immersive experience with a breathtaking finale. Some wise words however; going later in the evening is best to avoid the crowds of families with small children – although adorable, they do make the trail very congested!
Christmas comes at the end of term, itself a time of stress; especially in final year. Impending coursework deadlines, job application deadlines and revision can make a potent mix. So in many ways, it is really important to take some time out and enjoy the festive period – it allows you to recharge and also get some joy and balance back in your life. There are of course many more other festive treats that London has to offer like mulled cider at Borough Market and ice-skating at the Natural History Museum and Somerset House.
All in all, the festive season this year has been one to remember for me, so much so I decided to document it in a blog.