Christmas in the UK can be a cold and lonely time for expats. Fortunately most of us have access to London during this period- and with that in mind we have compiled a list of the top 10 things to do in London over the Christmas holidays.
Perhaps the best way to usher in the holiday period is to walk around one of London’s winter themed festival markets. The most notable of these would be Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park- featuring markets, fairground rides, skating, ice bars and much more. A trip here will give you the opportunity to indulge in festive fun, while also picking up some last minute gifts for the family back home!
Other notable festive markets include: Southbank Centre Winter festival which features wooden chalets filled with handmade gifts, and plenty of festive food and drink to stave off the cold. Winterville at Victoria Park where you can enjoy the staples of a festive market such as warm food and drink, Santa’s grotto, as well as screening of festive films- and a mini golf course!
Once the spirit of the season is firmly entrenched, you may wish to fall flat on your bottom amongst some of London’s most iconic backdrops. Ice skating rings in the capital open mid November, the most opulent of which is the Somerset House Ice Rink where you can enjoy club nights, and high end festive food and drink at the Fortnum & Mason lodge. If this combination of drinking and skating doesn’t leave you battered and bruised then we also recommend checking out the Natural History Museum Ice Rink where a 40ft Christmas tree stands resplendent with over 80,000 lights! Then, if you can handle more the newer Canary Wharf Ice Rink offers a futuristic skating experience among inner city skyscrapers, as well as a Christmas Market full of handmade gifts!
For expats who’ve dreamed of dressing as Santa, but have always been too hot at home to do it, our next event could be the one for you: Santacon. One Saturday each December sees Londoners don Santa suits for a day of non-profit, not- religious and non-sensical Christmas fun. You’ll get to dress up, run around, give gifts, sing songs and have strangers sit on your lap. There are also some festive beverages to be enjoyed- but the real reason behind the event is to spread cheer on London’s grey December streets.
For more festive fun with fewer hangovers look no further than Trafalgar Squares iconic Christmas tree. Standing at 20 metres, this annual gift from Norway has attracted tourists since 1947- and makes a perfect Christmas postcard picture for the parents!
With Christmas dinner digested turn your attention to the New Year, and where to take in London’s best fireworks. Our recommendation is London’s New Years Eve Firework Display on the Thames. Set among London’s dramatic skyline there will be music, stalls, food and of course fireworks! Tickets are released in mid November, and cost £10 per person.
Finally, to cap off the holiday period why not take in London’s New Years Day Parade. Running from Green Park tube station to Parliament Square it is great fun, and free to attend! This year’s theme is: “Lights, Camera, Action” and will feature film and television themed displays and performances, coupled with balloons, music and confetti. The event attracts up to 500,000 spectators- as well as live television broadcasts in the UK and abroad, so don’t forget to wave to family back home!
If you are considering a role in education for 2017 register with Teaching Personnel on our website and your local consultant will be in touch.