The holiday season is here, and no other city in the United Kingdom is as magical at
Christmas time as London. From the charm of the old architecture to the warmth of a
good ale in a pub, London is an ideal destination during the holidays. A London
Christmas is a beautiful thing, and there is always something happening in the famous
old capital.


A London Christmas: Shopping

London has always been a mecca of tourists during the Christmas period. One reason
so many people head to the Old Smoke is the shopping. London ranks as one of the
top shopping cities in all of Europe. No matter what it is you are looking for, the
shops, department stores and malls in London have it. That is, if they haven’t sold out
of it already. London has all the best clothing stores such as Zara, Next and many
more. So, visitors to London won’t miss out on the latest styles.

Shoppers looking for a magical experience, especially after dark, should visit Oxford
Street and Regent Street. Visitors will be surrounded by iconic old buildings and
Christmas lights decorating the entire area. Oxford and Regent streets are two of the
busiest shopping hubs year-round, and when there is a chill in the air at Christmas,
they come alive even more. Selfridges is always a great department store to visit, and
shoppers can see the company’s famed holiday inspired window displays. Debenham’s
and John Lewis are two more must-shop department stores while visiting Oxford and
Regent streets.

London’s most famous department store is Harrod’s. Since 1851, Harrod’s has occupied
its current location in Brompton. During the holiday season, visitors will see the
glorious old department store lit up with 11,500 Christmas lights. It is a gorgeous site,
and one that will make any Scrooge a lover of London at Christmas time. Harrod’s is
well-known for its posh items. The store is the perfect destination to find that lucky
someone a gift they won’t forget.


A London Christmas: Events

After finishing off the last of the shopping, visitors will find plenty of holiday events
to enjoy. Around London guests can find a number of ice rinks that have been
constructed for the holiday period. One of the most fascinating aspects about the ice
rinks is they are built next to famous landmarks. The 18th century-built Somerset
House has its courtyard turned into an icy play area for guests. Hampton Court Palace,
the former home of Henry VIII, is also transformed into a winter wonderland for
skaters.

London tourists can take their children to visit Father Christmas during a trip to the
city. Various grottos are built around town, and a number of different activities can be
found. Children can build crafts with elves or even go back in time to the Victorian
era at the London Museum.
London has a number of free Christmas events for people to enjoy. However, the city
also has a large number of shows on the West End and other items for people to see.
Anyone visiting London should be on the lookout for children’s shows such as Peter Pan
and other tales. Of course, it wouldn’t be Christmas in England without a pantomime.
This year, Hackney Empire is presenting Cinderella for families to see. For anyone who
has never experiences a pantomime, there may be nothing more English to witness
during the holidays.


A London Christmas: Sites

London’s Christmas markets are not to be missed during the holiday season.
Throughout the city, small wooden cabins are constructed with a variety of items
being sold from each. Visitors can sip warm mulled wine and munch on mince pies as
they stroll the classic market stalls. With the weather being so cold this season
already, there is the chance visitors could experience snow during a visit. The added
bonus of wandering through the markets while snow falls is just another way a London
Christmas is truly magical.

When all the shopping is finished, the kids are tuckered out from ice skating and the
Christmas market has been explored, then it is time for a long winter’s nap. Saint Nick
will soon be arriving in London.


By Drew Farmer
Twitter @DrewMFarmer


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Fly.com regularly posts guest contributions from travel experts around the world. These articles are written by journalists, bloggers, travel enthusiasts, and specialists from within various segments of the travel industry. Each has an undeniable passion for travel that enables them to share a unique and valuable point of view. We hope you enjoy their stories and advice!

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