Must-Do Activities in London This Coming Winter

Guest Post by Jean Thomson

Although it’s nice to stay at home and shut ourselves away during the coldest months of the year, you shouldn’t be discouraged from taking a winter break. After all, it’s a common holiday season for wanderlusters.

woman kisses snowman

Smooching a snowman in London’s Hyde Park. © Amy Laughinghouse.

London is one of the world’s iconic cities, with special offerings all year round. Here, we highlight the most popular activities in the UK capital this coming winter.

Visit a Winter Wonderland Park

Crowds gather around festively-illuminated food and drink stands at London's Hyde Park Winter Wonderland.

Crowds gather around festively-illuminated food and drink stands at London’s Hyde Park Winter Wonderland. © Amy Laughinghouse

London has an abundance of parks, but Hyde Park — one of the capital’s largest open spaces — is transformed into Hyde Park Winter Wonderland for six weeks each winter. This seasonal oasis features live shows, bands and performances, including circuses, amusement rides, festive galleries, and Britain’s biggest outdoor skating rink.

haunted house at Hyde Park Winter Wonderland Christmas market

A haunted house and roller coasters are just a few of Hyde Park Winter Wonderland’s colorful attractions. © Amy Laughinghouse

This year, which marks the 10th anniversary of Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, visitors can also expect a special new attraction. Londontheatre1.com announced that The Nutcracker on Ice show, performed by The Imperial Ice Stars, will be coming to Hyde Park. The group is comprised of award-winning ice skaters from different competitions, including the Olympics as well as National, European and World Championships. A 2000-square-foot frozen stage will be prepared for the show.

Go on a Food Trip

Whether you’re a food critic or a just love food in general, embarking on a gastronomic extravaganza is also another great activity in London this winter. The Evening Standard compiled a list of interesting dishes and places to eat around London. Try a traditional Sunday roast or exotic fare from other cultures, including Laksa, curried broth and black truffles.

Yorkshire pudding, the bun on the right, is a popular savory bread loaf in England. It's typically served with meat and vegetables as part of a traditional Sunday roast.

Yorkshire pudding, the bun on the right, is a popular savory bread loaf in England. It’s typically served with meat and vegetables as part of a traditional Sunday roast. © Amy Laughinghouse

Watch a Drama or a Musical

The city is home to amphitheaters, auditoriums, and performance venues that showcase England’s rich theatrical culture. London Palladium, for instance, will be playing Cinderella, which will run for 5 weeks. According to London Theatre, this is the first time in 30 years that a pantomime will be performed at the venue.

Elsewhere, The Stage notes that the live theatre adaptation of the children’s book The First Hippo on the Moon will be performed at the Royal Hippodrome Theatre from December 13 to January 7. At the Savoy Theatre, the stage production of Dreamgirls will go ahead featuring Amber Riley from the hit TV show “Glee.”

Extra Tips

One thing to consider when traveling to the UK, especially during the winter, is to monitor the news beforehand and check weather forecasts. The UK is renowned for having unpredictable weather conditions.

Snow coats the sherbet colored houses of Notting Hill.

Snow coats the sherbet colored houses of Notting Hill. © Amy Laughinghouse

If you have a car, prepare your vehicle thoroughly. When driving, watch out for icy, slippery patches of roads, which are infamous for causing accidents. When parking, consider roofed or basement car parks to reduce snow buildup on your car, if it’s snowing. In case open car parks are the only options available, pick carefully where to park or better yet, book a slot beforehand to avoid unforeseen hassles.

To get the best spot that’s aligned with your stay in the capital, book at least 48 hours prior to the date of your trip. Remember that it’s the holiday season, so anticipate a lot of travelers, especially around tourist attractions and major facilities such as airports.

Explore and take advantage of your choices early on as well. For example, Parking4Less features a list that shows Gatwick Airport’s various services including short stay and long stay options to address vehicle congestion, due to the volume of passengers visiting London especially during busy seasons. Checking out similar offerings wherever available will help eliminate the unnecessary stress of finding a parking space in crowded areas and reduce the amount you are spending on the provisions.

Snow-coverd cars flank Kensington Palace Gardens.

Snow-coverd cars flank Kensington Palace Gardens. © Amy Laughinghouse

Read more about where to banish the winter blues with this round-up of Europe’s Best Christmas Markets.

 

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