A Festive and Free Day Out in London

London is my favourite city in the world, and at Christmas you can’t escape the twinkly lights and the festive cheer. As a Christmas lover it makes for the perfect day out, and can be enjoyed on a budget, even if the budget is nothing!

It’s when night falls that London really looks its best at this time of year, and luckily night falls at around 4pm these days giving plenty of time to enjoy it. But while you wait, consider these activities to get you in the mood.

Watch the ice skating at Somerset House, the Natural History Museum, Canary Wharf, Hyde Park, the Tower of London, Westfield or the London Eye. Plenty of opportunities for sightseeing at these places as well as a few laughs watching people fall over.

ice skating

Walk along South Bank for the Christmas Market, fairground rides and some of the usual entertainers you can find all year round.

london street entertainer

If the weather’s a bit chilly warm up by dropping into one of London’s many free museums; the Wellcome Collection opposite Euston station is one of my favourites, up there with the Tate Modern, Tate Britain and the Natural History Museum. Not particularly Christmassy but let it act as a breather between all the festive madness.

As darkness falls, head to Trafalgar Square for the Christmas tree, and Covent Garden and Oxford Street for the Christmas lights. At busy shopping times Oxford Street becomes pedestrianised so you can gawp like a child at giant toy store Hamley’s.

And then, the highlight of the day; Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park. A small section of the park gives way to ice skating, fairground rides, stalls of all kinds and a few giant fibreglass animals.

winter wonderland

helter skelter

christmas market

If you don’t have any money to spend it’s fun just watching other people have fun, but it would be a pity not to have a German sausage or get on a ride that will make you lose that sausage.

London is fantastic because it can be done for almost no money, but like any city it’s enjoyed more when you have a little to spend. Cheaper hotel deals can often be found on sites like Venere and you can usually find a special experience or discounted meal using voucher websites or Groupon. However much money you have to spend, London is a great city to visit at Christmas and I hope one day I can move back there again to live.


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