It is a well known fact that four fifths of the entire world’s population visits Winter Wonderland in London’s Hyde Park every yuletide. It is over-crowded, over-priced, and over-rated. Here is a list of seven things to do this Christmas that aren’t as well known.
1. Dennis Severs’ House. http://www.dennissevershouse.co.uk/ A Huguenot time-capsule encapsulating life in a London home between 1724 and 1914. Dressed as it would’ve been for Christmas, you can take the ‘Silent Night’ tour through the ten-room town house. The sights, sounds and smells help bring the home to life as you amble through like the Ghost of Christmas Past. 2. ‘The Snowman’ http://www.sadlerswells.com/whats-on/ If you’re looking for some family fun then why not watch the classic tale of The Snowman live on stage. Based on the book by Raymond Briggs, this heartwarming tale of friendship between a boy and a snowman has become a tradition for many families in London.
3. Après-Ski Themed Bars. If you’re after some more boozy fun then there are many pubs that get dolled up in their finest après-ski gear for the Christmas period. My personal favourite would have to be The Gun in the Docklands. A charming Grade-2 listed building, The Gun boasts a warm, inviting atmosphere, festive food and drink, and some of the comfiest armchairs in London. There’s no better way to while away a merry December evening. 4. Chocolate Shops. Nothing says ‘Christmas’ like stuffing your face full of delicious chocolate. Chocolate with nuts, chocolate with fruit. Chocolate with liquor. Chocolate with Chocolate. One of the best of these shops is ‘Choccywoccydoodah’ near Oxford Circus. Whether you like your choccy in a paste, block, shaped like an animal, or anything inbetween, they’ve got it covered.
5. Christmas at Kew http://www.kew.org/visit-kew-gardens One of my favourite places in London any time of the year, Kew Gardens transforms itself during the festive period. Visitors follow snowflakes on a magical tour of the world famous botanical gardens by night. 6. Christmas Shopping at Chelsea Physic Garden. http://chelseaphysicgarden.co.uk Get your shopping done in a more relaxed setting. This award winning garden was founded in 1673 and acts the perfect alternative to the usual bustling Christmas crowds.
7. Christmas Party on The Thames. http://www.citycruises.com/ Round off your Christmas with a good old fashioned knees up. Sight-seeing boats host parties all throughout December. Enjoy a three-course festive meal followed by an evening of drinks and dancing, all while watching some of London’s most iconic scenery float serenely by. As you can see, there are plenty of alternatives to Winter Wonderland this year, so avoid the crowds, have a cracking time and a very Merry Christmas.