London’s warm welcome in the colder months

London is truly a city for all seasons, and for Autumn and Winter breaks it’s unbeatable.

Unlike rival destinations across Continental Europe, London is not reliant on the weather. The uncertain nature of the British climate means London has always fully appreciated the importance of providing year-round, undercover entertainment, culture and attractions.

That’s not to say that you need to hibernate if you’re planning an Autumn or Winter trip to England’s globally admired capital city. There are too many events, exhibitions and festivals on offer, to keep you indoors for long at your London holiday or business accommodation.

Of course, for many visitors, London is the only place to do Christmas shopping.  You can beat the crowds on Oxford Street and other London hot spots, by shopping there in October. However, for many, the magic of London’s high street Christmas lights and window displays (mid- November to December) make it perfectly acceptable to rub shoulders with other excited shoppers.

The pre-Christmas opulence of world-famous stores such as Harrods make a winter trip to London something everyone should experience. And of course, leading toy retailer Hamleys and London’s more recently opened Harry Potter Shop are a big attraction. For all ages!

London is also a vibrant and exciting place for nightlife and none of that stops in the colder months. In fact, London has a myriad of new and established bars, restaurants and clubs, to tempt you to go out, if you visit late in the year.

 

No one does Christmas like London!

London’s world-class theatres continue year-round too. But one of the highlights in the winter season is the Royal Albert Hall’s December programme.  You will have plenty of choices to enjoy seasonal music, carols and dancing in this magnificent venue’s countdown to Christmas Day (https://www.royalalberthall.com/tickets/)

Some of the “stars” you can see at night in London in winter are famous celebrities treading the boards in traditional British pantomimes. This is just one of the many ways London excels in providing an unforgettable family Christmas break.

The major department stores craft beautiful Santa’s Grottos that can be a “once in a lifetime experience” for children from across the world.   Or, you could opt for London Zoo’s truly amazing Father Christmas evenings, that take place in a blaze of fairy lights while the animals snooze in their nearby enclosures (https://www.zsl.org/zsl-london-zoo/whats-on/christmas-at-zsl-london-zoo).

The whole family could spend many happy hours browsing London’s glorious Christmas Markets too.  As mentioned above, The British know that a winter retail experience is no fun in bad weather, so the Barbican and Leadenhall Christmas Markets are undercover!

The Hyde Park Winter Wonderland is a very popular London attraction in Winter (http://hydeparkwinterwonderland.com/). The Southbank Centre Wintertime Festival (https://www.southbankcentre.co.uk/whats-on/festivals-series/winter)  is free, and features a leisurely stroll passed beautifully decorated buildings, seasonal entertainment and jaunty chalets selling crafts and gifts. Your visit should include relaxing in a riverside bar to enjoy a hot winter drink.

If you’re lucky enough to visit London in December, don’t forget to go to see Trafalgar Square’s awe-inspiring Christmas tree.  Another unmissable seasonal splendour is the iconic ice rink at Somerset House.  The latter is provided in partnership with the world-famous Fortnum and Mason and includes “club nights” when you can ice skate and dance to top name DJs. (https://www.somersethouse.org.uk/whats-on/skate-somerset-house)

 

Plenty more for all tastes and preferences

London offers something for all interests.  If the sparkle and magic of Christmas is not what you’re looking for on your Autumn or Winter UK break, there are plenty of alternatives.  For example, you could go on a tour of London’s haunted pubs. It’s one a many London walking tours that are not weather-dependent. (https://www.london-walking-tours.co.uk/the-haunted-london-pub-walk.htm)

You could also go and see Hogwarts in the Snow, an indoor attraction at the increasingly popular Warner Bros. Studio Tour London “The Making of Harry Potter”. (https://www.wbstudiotour.co.uk/hogwarts-in-the-snow-2018)

Choose centrally located London accommodation, and you are a short taxi journey or brisk walk away from Covent Garden which is especially enchanting at this time of year. It becomes a blaze of artistic creativity after the Lights Switch on in mid-November.

 

Quieter London winter pastimes

For the hardy souls and those who love to witness the changing seasons, London’s great outdoors are still “great” in Autumn and Winter. You’ll have plenty of choice to find the perfect place for quiet reflection and fresh air. London’s growing array of stunning public art provides great photography opportunities against autumn and winter landscapes too.

You could get warmly dressed and explore London’s abundant parks and greenspaces on foot.  Or, in Richmond Park you can enjoy the view from under a blanket during a winter horse draw carriage ride.

In the evenings, London’s roof top bars make the most of their amazing views by providing blankets, heaters and hot toddies, for those who want a romantic cuddle. Before you once more return to your beautifully appointed Merino London serviced residence for more discrete, relaxing alone time.

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