Christmas shopping is one of the things most feared about Christmas by stressed parents, but doing it in London is a treat and a tourist attraction in itself. Begin the day with a visit to bustling Covent Garden, where the market is home to a range of shops and boutiques where you can pick up perfect stocking fillers like coffee and chocolates. It’s also a great place to have breakfast or take a break with a coffee, in one of the many cafés which line the piazza. Covent Garden will get you in the Christmas spirit, too, with an ever-changing array of decorations lighting up the area – last year, a 22-foot silver reindeer took centre stage. After browsing the boutiques of Covent Garden, it’s time to hit the high street. The window displays of iconic department stores like Harrods and Selfridges area tourist attraction in themselves, so they’re well worth visiting even if you don’t go inside – although, of course, they’re also great places to get some Christmas shopping done, particularly to buy luxury items like hampers.After an afternoon hitting the shops, you’ll probably want to drop off your stuff at your hotel; If you’re still looking for somewhere to stay during your trip to London, London City Suites by Montcalm London is a luxurious property with an unrivalled central location. You can also book a variety of London City tour packages in conjunction with your stay.
Another unmissable London Christmas attraction is Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland, an annual festive extravaganza which encompasses an ice rink, circus acts, and Christmas markets. The markets are the perfect place to cosy up with a mulled wine or hot chocolate, made up of over 200 Bavarian style wooden huts lit with fairy lights. There’s also a delicious array of food on offer, from wurst to schnitzel and sauerkraut. Entry to Winter Wonderland and the markets is free, but you have to pay to use the rides and attractions. The ice rink is a perennial favourite, set around the Victorian bandstand and open from 10am to 10pm. It’s very busy, though, so you have to book in advance – and be sure to arrive early to sign in and get your skates on. Those more at home on the slopes than the ice should check out Zillertal, the world’s largest skiing valley with a total of 506 kilometres of perfectly groomed pistes. Kids and adults alike will be enchanted by the magical Ice Kingdom, a fantastical world of real ice and snow where you can explore a magnificent ice castle, and even meet the Snow Queen and sit on an ice throne.
Once you’ve explored Winter Wonderland, make your way to Trafalgar Square to see the magnificent Christmas tree which is gifted to the United Kingdom from Norway every year. Trafalgar Square is one of the most Christmassy spots in central London, and on selected dates throughout December you can see carol singing there. If your time at Winter Wonderland was taken up by the delicious food and drink on offer at the Bavarian markets – and who could blame you – and you didn’t have time to check out the ice rink, then there are plenty of other opportunities for ice skating in central London. The London Eye and the Tower of London are two iconic spots where you can get your skates on.