It’s the most wonderful time of the year according to Andy Williams, and time to start thinking about venturing out to London for some festive antics. Many of us celebrate the festive season in our home country, but there is a growing number of people choosing to spend Christmas somewhere a little further afield. The sights, sounds and atmosphere of Christmas are all represented in different ways and it’s not until you go to different countries or cities that you truly begin to understand what this means and how magical Christmas can be. London is a fantastic place to experience the run-up to Christmas, with lights, decorations and buzz everywhere. It gives you the opportunity to sample what a British Christmas really means. If you are planning to visit London to do some shopping or visiting during the festive period, follow this guide to ensure London doesn’t eat you up this winter!
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…
The Most Important Meal of the Day
Christmas shopping can be a stressful and draining experience if you head out to London unprepared. The best way to prepare for this is to start your day with a good hearty breakfast. Avoid sugary cereals or similar alternatives which are likely to spike your sugar levels then make you crash making you feel lethargic quickly. A good English breakfast should do the job, or perhaps you can try some warming porridge with honey – nothing like this on a cold and dark winter morning.
Dress For The Occasion
Finding a balance between looking stylish and being practical is often a very difficult balance to achieve. If you are out enjoying the festive period there are definitely several things to bear in mind when in London:
- London is likely to be cold and possibly wet, so you need to keep warm and dry as not all stores are indoors
- Comfortable shoes are a must when it comes to shopping in London as it is a large city so plenty of walking may be required
Finding Your Way Around London
If you are new to or visiting a city it helps to have an idea of where you are going and how you will get there. Transport is plentiful in London including buses, taxis, the tube, and of course our own legs! Public transport is often at its busiest around Christmastime. The problem is knowing which is better for a particular situation. Arriving 3 tube stops away from where you’re heading isn’t practical and may cost you more with additional cab fare. With a little planning, some of the worry and stress can be taken out of this. Tube, rail and bus maps can be found here.
Speaking of planning, it helps to have an idea of what you would like to do whilst you are in London so valuable time is not wasted. If you are looking for shops and bargains then Oxford Street is perhaps the best approach but don’t forget the other hidden gems like markets or family run shops too. It is very easy to get carried away so having some kind of budget in mind is a good idea.
If you are more interested in the festivities than shopping, find out about events that may be going on whilst you are visiting London such as ice skating. Visiting the theatre to watch a Christmas production or simply wandering the stunning streets admiring the decorations are perfect ways to make the most of your day in London.
Take Some Time To Relax
Even if you have had a good breakfast you will need something to eat and drink before long – especially if it is cold or worse rainy. Visit one of the many establishments for afternoon tea, sandwiches and cakes to help you refuel. If you are after something more substantial then London is such a diverse city that all tastes are catered for so you won’t have to go far to find what you’re craving. If you fancy an afternoon tipple you will find plenty of bars and occasions to indulge in a glass of mulled wine to toast the season!
Seeing The Best Of London
If you are visiting London in the festive period there is even more to do than normal, trying to pack this into a very short space of time can work, but can also leave you rather tired and feeling like you can’t enjoy the moment as you’re onto the next thing. Why not make a few extra days of it and save yourself some energy? Many hotels have packages or deals during November / December so you could try and take advantage of these. It will be busy however, so book early!
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