This December-in-review blog post is brought to us all by Sue Hillman of It’s Your London touring company. Providing custom tours tailored to your personal interests, It’s Your London will help you make the most of your time in this phenonemonal city whether you’re visiting, hosting visitors, or looking for something to do! For more information, see our previous blog post, as well visit www.itsyourlondon.co.uk)
It’s 2011 already but there’s still time for a quick look back at the last month of 2010. At this time of year our capital city looks beautiful with Christmas lights and highly decorated shop fronts all over the place. I’ve attached a few photos to give you the feel: one of Selfridges and a couple from my favourite street for Christmas decorations, Carnaby Street, which this year chose a space theme and I’ve no idea why but it looked brilliant with huge planets and floating spacemen! [click on the photos to enlarge]
If you are looking for great family entertainment you can’t beat Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park where there is a huge annual fair. You can scare yourself on some horrible looking rides or go on the kids ones (best if you have a child to go with!) including the lovely train in the photo. There’s a huge inflatable snowman, an ice rink and a massive wheel – all in the photos. For the shoppers there is a big section of German style chalets selling all manner of possible presents – for others or for yourself. And finally, you can eat and drink your way around the venue tasting German sausages, mulled wine, candy floss, donuts, burgers and more. We went at night but it’s just as good by day.
Another fun thing to do in December is to risk life and limb at one of the many temporary ice rinks. They are set up at some of the most iconic and lovely venues such as the Tower of London, the Natural History Museum, the London Eye, and Kew Gardens. I love the rink in Somerset House’s courtyard and I visited it on a snowy day but the brave skaters carried on.
Talking of snow, 2010 brought an unusual amount of snow and having had some in November we had much more December and London went into a bit of spin – sadly upsetting lots of Christmas travel plans when Heathrow had to close for a few days. For those not affected there were some beautiful sights before the ice set in especially my garden and my street but then I’m biased!
Trafalgar Square hosts one of our great Christmas traditions as the Norwegian people send us a Christmas tree every year to thank us for our support during the Second World War and it is a lovely sight in this magnificent public space.
One more Christmassy event to mention is the market on the south bank of the Thames where lots of stalls set up and provide a great shopping experience and a fun place to hang out with friends. In this photo you’ll see how busy it was and this was taken on a cold and quite miserable day. But being Brits, we make sure we still enjoy ourselves whatever the weather!