Many visitors from around the world are captivated by the magical history of London which comes to life more during the winter months. The British capital is a city whose reputation precedes it and a bustling modern metropolis surrounded by emblems to its varied and intriguing history. Pristine shopping streets with some of the world’s most renowned winter fashion, large parks glistening with frost and dotted with joggers wrapped up in winter clothing and that’s before we step into the bustling pubs and cafes, where you can enjoy a pint of warming traditional ale, a Scotch or a hot chocolate on the ever-moving pub-lined West Bank or in the heart of multicultural Soho with its cosy coffee shops and boho culture. Bar Italia stands out, a family business frequented by local communities for its excellent Italian espresso since 1949. If you prefer something more refined, you can head to South Kensington and Notting Hill or enjoy the wonderful options found in the warm refuge of the EL&N Brew Bar inside Selfridges.
London: a winter paradise indoors and outdoors
For those of you who are drawn to the cold climate London enjoys between November and March, you’ll find a host of outdoor activities to live the magic of London’s skyline and most characteristic neighbourhoods. Covent Garden’s world-famous square and market comes to life during the winter with seasonal offerings of goods, gifts, clothing and produce, as well as a selection of year-round permanent shops inside the space. Wrap up warm and enjoy local street performers and artists or grab a table outside. If you want to feel closer to nature, hop on a bus or walk to St. James’ Park, Hyde Park or Regents Park. A stone’s throw from Regent’s Park, you’ll find Camden Town, an area famous for its independent music scene, including its Lock with various options for outdoor and indoor dining and its large shopping street, known as a High Street in the UK.
Christmas in London: a magical option
London’s Christmas Shopping is among the best in the world and Oxford Street bursts into life during December and this buzzing atmosphere continues into January for the sales season, where Londoners and visitors alike come in search of bargains on top quality merchandise. Hit Oxford Street, Regents Street, Bond Street and Knightsbridge for the all the classics and to really stock up on the best gifts. London is also home to the Westfield Shopping Centre, an indoor mecca of the best high-street fashion.
Nowadays, Hyde Park’s stunning Winter Wonderland draws visitors looking for a fun-filled theme park and Christmas market style in the middle of the iconic park, where you can buy hot food, mulled wine and enjoy the festive rides. It runs from 19th November to 3rd January. If culture is more your thing, take advantage of the West End and its famous musicals to really warm up your winter evenings, with a selection of theatres and traditional Christmas pantomimes, or get a culture fix by enjoying emptier museums. Remember: Most London museums are free. That’s right, TOTALLY free of charge! Take in the V&A, The National Gallery, The Natural History Museum and the Tate Modern. Whatever your plans for a winter break, London never disappoints.