London at Christmas

(22 Posts)
tinywife Fri 08-Nov-13 23:22:43

DH and I always make a trip to London before xmas but usually only manage a long weekend. This year we have a whole week so trying to pre-plan some different things to do. Has anyone got suggestions of good places to visit / things to see and do?

We usually:

Spend a fair amount of time clothes shopping around Oxford Street.
Have a wander around Covent Garden and Cannaby Street.
Visit Fortnum and Masons for some lovely treats.
Walk the South Bank with a hot chocolate up to the Tower of London (where DH proposed a few years ago!)
A visit to Westfields usually reserved for a rainy day.

Ideas I've had for extra years are:

A carol service somewhere (maybe St Pauls?)
A pretty Christmas market (any suggestions?)
Some sort of classical music performance to surprise DH (he would love this!)

We'd have loved to have seen the Nutcraker but it looks as if tickets were sold out long ago. Are there any other gems people can think of? We just love Christmas and all things related, and I want to make the most of this trip as it might be the last on our own for a while (planning to start a family next year!!)

Any suggestions very gratefully received smile

WallyBantersJunkBox Fri 08-Nov-13 23:28:35

Winter wonderland will be on at Hyde Park?

Ice skating at Sommerset House

The Vintage Harrods Open top bus to take in the lights

High tea at The Sanderson or Browns.

Carol service in St Martins, or Royal Albert Hall?

WallyBantersJunkBox Fri 08-Nov-13 23:29:31

Have a look at the Southbank Itinery for Christmas too.

scaevola Fri 08-Nov-13 23:35:42

The English National Ballet Nutcracker still has tickets for some performances.

LittleSiouxieSue Fri 08-Nov-13 23:36:08

There is a Christmas Walk in Kew Gardens. Take in one of the Christmas Shows at The Royal Albert Hall. See the Isabella Blow clothes at Somerset House and Pearls at the V and A. Skating rink at Somerset House or Natural History Museum.

MsPickle Fri 08-Nov-13 23:36:26

Is the ice rink back at Somerset House? If it is you could go there after south bank and find classical concert for afters?

raisah Fri 08-Nov-13 23:37:49

The museum are lovely st this time esp ones around South Kensington V&A, NHM & Science museum. You can then wander down to Harrods or Kings Rd for shopping.

Have a look at the natipnal theatre or southbank for any performances at that time.

Check time out London online for Christmas events.

Southbank hosted a xmas market a few years ago so worth investigating.

Check out St. Martin in the Fields website for carol concerts.

I would wander around St. Martins Lane & Seven dials area of covent garden for great shops & cafes instead of mad oxford st. If you are going to oxford st, then 9am is the only time to do it.

Take a boat trip to Greenwich & wander around the shops & museum there.

Go to Kew gardens as they have their xmas garden & illuminated night walk on this year.

happyfrogger Fri 08-Nov-13 23:38:04

Check out Raymond Gubbay concerts. Look for something like the carols by candlelight at the royal Albert hall - always fabulous (go for seats in the choir, they are fantastic seats and much much cheaper.

Loads of ice rinks all over as PP mentions. Also one at natural history museum.

Not sure how old DC are but there are some lovely grottos about. One by the saatchi gallery on kings road, and in selfridges, Harrods and Barnes wetland centre. Many need tickets so check out ASAP.

Kew gardens are doing Christmas afternoon / evening things I think.

Plus all the usual touristy things are always fun anyway.

Have fun!

happyfrogger Fri 08-Nov-13 23:39:14

Duh just seen no DC just yet! Maybe try out the grottos in advance anyway smile

AngryFeet Fri 08-Nov-13 23:44:19

Drink at one of the bars in the shard? Or dinner there.

LittleSiouxieSue Fri 08-Nov-13 23:47:49

Yes, Somerset House ice rink is open from 14 November to 5 January. Agree with The Shard suggestion. Borough Market would be fun too.

LittleSiouxieSue Fri 08-Nov-13 23:48:30

Just seen the Somerset House advert on Mumsnet!!!

applepearorangebear Sat 09-Nov-13 02:55:24

Wigmore Hall can be really magical for chamber music concerts (it's a beautiful venue and very close to Oxford Street). Completely agree with the ice skating suggestions (Somerset House and the Natural History Museum ones are both lovely, but you'll need to book in advance). I'd have a day going round the all the museums in South Ken I think - the gift shops (esp the V&A) are great. I also really love the British Museum, and Lambs Conduit Street (which is an easy walk away) has some really interesting, original shops and nice places to eat. Can also completely recommend Kew Gardens - it's always stunning, and even better at Christmas. Enjoy!

roslet Sat 09-Nov-13 06:54:49

When you are in Oxford Street and need a pot of tea, behind Selfridges there is a museum called The Wallace Collection, which has a very nice cafe / restaurant. It is just by Marylebone High Street, which is also worth a little detour so that you can visit Daunt Books and Divertimenti kitchen shop.

Zeeky Sat 09-Nov-13 08:25:13

I'm feeling extremely envy reading this. I would love, love, love to do all of the above, but with a 6yr old, 3yr old and currently 8wks pregnant it is totally put of the question. I can dream of doing it one day when the boys are teenagers and would rather cut off their left arms than traipse around Lndon with ther parents!

Have a fabulous time!

tinywife Sat 09-Nov-13 14:37:38

Thank you so much for all of these ideas - I'm going to have a lot of fun next week researching them all! Although I might have to give the ice skating a miss.. hubby broke his ankle a few years back and is now petrified of ice!

WallyBantersJunkBox Sat 09-Nov-13 14:39:09

He can go round with one of those penguins to hold! grin

tinywife Sat 09-Nov-13 14:44:25

Haha brilliant! Yes I shall suggest it to him...!

tinywife Mon 23-Dec-13 12:24:27

In the hope that you'll see this I just wanted to say thank you so much to happyfrogger (and the others who suggested it) - we went to see carols by candlelight last night at the Royal Albert Hall and it was amazing! We sat in the choir seats too and your recommendation was spot on. Add in some mulled wine and stollen bites and I couldn't have felt more festive if I tried!

Happy Christmas everyone smile))

Creamycoolerwithcream Mon 23-Dec-13 12:30:42

Perhaps a trip to Greenwich for a change as you have extra days this trip.

ElfontheShelfIsWATCHINGYOUTOO Mon 23-Dec-13 12:47:45

I wanted to do that this year fenvy but couldnt with little ones....sounds amazing

happyfrogger Mon 24-Mar-14 09:13:25

Just seen - so pleased the carols were a hit!

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