It’s that time of year again – Christmas is almost here and the London shops are ready to welcome visitors from around the world. Why not join them and add some sparkle to your Christmas? London is a fantastic place to be at Christmastime, with lights, carols, shopping, and plenty of eating and drinking.
If you’re planning to visit London at Christmas, this blog has handy tips on the best places to get you in the Christmas mood. All are within easy reach of at least one of the Guoman Hotels, so you won’t have to go far for some seasonal fun.
Let the festivities begin!
Christmas shop until you drop
If you’re in search of the perfect Christmas gift, head to Harrods in Knightsbridge for a touch of luxury at this iconic department store. A beautiful place to visit all year round, at Christmastime Harrods is truly special, with festive window displays, quality merchandise, and the extraordinary food hall full to bursting with mouth-watering delicacies.
Being one of the world’s biggest stores you will need plenty of time to take in the 300 departments and seven floors. Pick up a Harrods stocking filler or two – after all, anything with the famous Harrods logo is sure to impress gift recipients of all ages. Over Christmas there are extended opening times, so take your time and get the most out of this thoroughly stylish shopping experience.
Celebrate with a creative Christmas cocktail
While you are in Knightsbridge continue your Christmas shopping at the famous Harvey Nichols Department Store. Sitting impressively on the corner of Knightsbridge and Sloane Street, it’s often considered by many to be the younger and more stylish relation of Harrods. Explore eight floors of beauty, lifestyle and fashion collections – Christmas shopping at Harvey Nics won’t disappoint.
For fantastic views over London visit the Harvey Nichols Oxo Tower Bar, a great way to relax and enjoy a cheeky cocktail. You can make your Christmas very merry from the 9th to the 20th of December by celebrating the 12 Days of Cocktails, with a different festive cocktail on offer each day during the countdown to Christmas. If you fancy finding out what’s in a ‘Three French Hens’ or a ‘Nine Ladies Dancing’ then this is the place to be: the delicious cocktail menu was exclusively created by the Oxo Tower Bar team. Cheers!
Strut your stuff at the Tower of London outdoor ice rink
Skating on the moat at the fortress battlements of the Tower of London is a unique Christmas activity to get your heart racing. Stunning at night with the sparkling Christmas lights, every year thousands of visitors flock to ice skate at this iconic London landmark. Make sure you check the weather forecast on the day you are visiting to ensure your wear suitable clothing. “Ice at the Tower” is open from 10 am to 10 pm daily right through to the 5th of January, so get your skates on this Christmas.
See something sweet and fluffy at the Royal Opera House
A trip to see the sparkling annual production of The Nutcracker at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden is sure to put you in the Christmas spirit. Just a 10-minute walk from our stylish Charing Cross Hotel, the Nutcracker is on from the 10th of December until the 16th of January 2014; so seize the opportunity to enjoy some Christmas glitz from the Royal Ballet.
For pure indulgence, don’t miss a magical Nutcracker Christmas Lunch or Sugar Plum Fairy Afternoon Tea that’s been designed exclusively by world-famous pastry chef Claire Clarke MBE. You’ll be in for a culinary delight like no other with treats like chocolate tree fudge cake. Due to its popularity make sure you book ahead.
A winter wonderland at Trafalgar Square
Christmas in Trafalgar Square is the perfect way to be part of an iconic London Christmas. Every year the world famous 20 metre high Nordic Christmas Tree is lit up until the twelfth night (January 6th) for all to enjoy. A tradition since 1947, the tree is donated each year to Britain from Norway and is a proud symbol of thanks dating to back to WW2. Seeing the tree in all its sparkling beauty is a highlight of Christmas in London.
The fun continues throughout the month with carol singing under the tree from the 9th until the 22nd of December. Sing along to all your favourites with wonderful performances from more than 50 choir groups from 4 pm to 8 pm weekdays and 2 pm to 6 pm on the weekend. Trafalgar Square is convenient to our luxury Guoman Hotels, so you’ll never be far from Christmas celebrations at Trafalgar Square.
For even more insider tips on what to see and do in the capital, search for the hashtag #UnlockLondon on Facebook and Twitter to discover more hidden gems.
You can also enter our competition to win a ‘Secret London’ weekend packed with exciting experiences. These include:
- a 2-night stay for 2 people at a Guoman Hotel of your choice (plus dinner and drinks)
- a secret-agent themed speed boat tour on the Thames
- a half-day personal shopping experience with a personal stylist
- a 90-minute treatment each at a city-centre spa
- a helicopter ride over the city
- £250 spending money
However naughty or nice you’ve been it’s easy to have yourself a merry little Christmas in London. Enjoy the festive fun!