If you are reading this article, you are most likely on the way to visit family in the UK this coming December. However, we all need reminders and aside from spending time with familiar faces, you should keep in mind that the capital is a winter wonderland with endless things to do at this time of year. From festive markets with Christmas lights, seasonal foods and mulled wine to world class shopping, iconic landmarks and unique things to do.
At the same time, London is renowned for such variety at any time of year, with a seemingly endless line up of entertainment on offer, so the real challenge here is to put time aside to experience a microadventure. Whether this is an encounter with an English Premier League match or a visit to the magical world of Madame Tussaud’s, even just a few hours from a busy festive schedule is enough to enjoy a taste of this exciting destination.
London is a magical destination during December
Amongst the many highlights of Winter in London are the outdoor-ice-skating rinks, often in wonderful locations such as Somerset House or the Natural History Museum. Temporary hubs and villages are created at this time of the year which also means there is even an ice skating rink and vibrant Christmas scene at popular attractions including Hyde Park. Furthermore, think fairground rides, plenty of stalls and a giant Ferris wheel.
Here are more of the most interesting attractions and things to do during December:
Take a trip on The London Eye
Speaking of Ferris wheels, the London Eye is should not be missed. Initially opened to celebrate a new millennium, this is the most visited, paid-attraction across the UK. Although open seven days a week, you will also need to book tickets in advance and then expect an unrivaled panorama of London. After all, it is possible to see for twenty five miles from the top of the London Eye.
For anyone with an interest for exploring on foot, don’t forget Christmas at Kew’s famous botanical gardens which takes place after dark. It is here, you can follow glittering trails of music, light and colour but for the fact that there is an incredible list of things to do for all ages, here is a short list of other exciting things to do so you can read up about them and plan your adventure.
– Christmas pudding race at Covet Gardens.
– The Peter pan cup race; where swimmers swim the freezing waters of the lake at Hyde Park.
– Cultural activities: visit royal palaces to see the changing of the guards or see Roman ruins, cathedrals and museums.
– Westminster Abbey.
– War rooms of Churchill.
– Hampton Court Palace.
– Victoria & Albert Museum.
– Piccadilly Circus and Trafalgar Square.
– St Paul’s Cathedral.
– National Gallery.
Visiting the Tower of London
That being said, some attractions deserve a special mention and nobody shouldl visit this colorful city and not want to say they saw the Tower of London. If daring enough, you can even visit this famous landmark at night! Either way, you should absolutely take time to unlock the secrets of intrigue at the Tower of London, and take in the famed Beefeaters or the Yeoman Warders. Simply put, it is a must see.
Experience the English Premier League and sports in London
While Christmas time has an innate ability to take over the city, the role of sports is always a central focus in London. Take for example the English Premier League, home to Arsenal, Tottenham Hotpurs and other footballing giants. Depending on their rival, the prospect of getting tickets to these games is relatively easy and the experience of attending will help you unconver the most passionate side to the rather conservative English society. Of course when it comes to the English Premier League, the best place to check up on fixtures is the London Football Guide which is updated on a weekly basis.
When planning VFR breaks, another name that crops up for visitors on vacation/holiday to the UK is Madame Tussauds. Visitors walk through Madame Tussauds in London giving them the opportunity to get up real close and personal with their favourite famous person. Get a ride on the Spirit of London Ride and chat with any of the over 300 wax figures. It’s also suitable for all ages to view the stars from the A-List part or sporting and inspiring athletes from the Sports Area.
Take a micro-adventure in London
For a family visiting England, all you need to is choose your dream-thing-to-do, from dizzy rides at the vintage fairgrounds in Devon, a day tour to Stonehenge or maybe glamping at Belvoir Castle in Leicestershire. And don’t think for a moment that the weather slows anything down – whatever the weather, whatever the activity, London is open all year round and just as vibrant in December, as it is during the height of the summer months.
As for the accommodation, well, London certainly knows how to host visitors and you will find a never ending selection of hotels, lodges or even hostels for your stay (check out www.unitedeurope.co.za for some good options at great prices). From quaint or modern restaurants, to cosy and vibey pubs, Christmas markets and much more, there is also more than enough to enjoy in between. Rest assured, wherever you stay, you will never be far from entertainment – now all you need to do is take time during your London holiday to experience a meaningful and truly worthwhile micro-adventure.