I love London at any time of the year, but Christmas has to be up there as one of my favourites. I plan far ahead and often get the cheapest seats (which is the bit where planning ahead is most advantageous). I don’t find planning stressful, I enjoy it and I also enjoy maximizing my cash where I can too, especially in this more expensive time of year. I do a lot of these every year and I’m aware that in some cases the tickets will be released back in April, and I’ll even book then!! A lot of these shows and things may still go on throughout the early days of January too, so you can always consider continuing the Christmassy love for a bit longer if you find you look today and the December dates seem a bit compromised. I always find checking the earliest dates of the month or the latest at this point would be your best bet as honestly, as it’s London seats really do fly. Hence mentioning the “C-word” today, when here in the UK we are still awaiting bonfire night and other autumnal activities! But if you don’t want to miss out you need to get booking asap.
This is going to be a word only blog post on some of my favourite London activities I have enjoyed over the last few years. I hope you like it and can make use of it!
- Matthew Bournes all male cast of “Swan Lake” at Sadlers Wells is on this year. I’ve seen Matthew Bournes “Red Shoes” (my favourite- it actually made me cry) and “Cinderella” and this all male performance is reputed to be his best. Seats from £12 and also running throughout January 2019. Get in quick as these have been on sale for several months https://www.sadlerswells.com/whats-on/2018/matthew-bournes-swan-lake/
- Tues 6th November is when the lights on Oxford Street are turned on. Eek! It might seem early, but I love the angel lights that adorn Regent Street in particular and it’s beautiful to walk here to Soho and onto Covent Garden.
- Enjoy the window displays at John Lewis and Selfridges as you walk up towards Marble Arch. Enjoy the window displays EVERYWHERE but these are extra special, especially for children.
- Have a mulled wine and meet a friend at the hustly bustly and very Christmassy feels at St Martins Crypt, right in Trafalger Square. Their Christmas shop is also gorgeous and the church above of course offers lots of carols and advent services.
- See a play. I’ve booked to see “A Christmas Carol” at the Old Vic- seats were from £12. i heard this was brilliant last year from a friend, so ear-marked it for this year: https://www.oldvictheatre.com
- Release the inner child in you and go to see a pantomime. The older I get, the more play I need to bring in! Last year was Cinderella, this year it’s Aladdin at the Hackney Empire Theatre, running from the 24th November until early January and I’m totally looking forward to it! https://hackneyempire.co.uk/whats-on/aladdin/
- Visit Somerset House- there is ice skating if you enjoy it and if nothing else, take a drink with friends and enjoy the Christmas tree and iconic surroundings https://www.somersethouse.org.uk/whats-on/skate-somerset-house
- Go and see the Nutracker at the London Coliseum. The London Coliseum is such a beautiful building and I’ve seen this enchanting ballet a few times here and loved it. Seats from £14. https://londoncoliseum.org
- Visit the Christmas displays of Selfridges, Harrods, Fortnum and Masons and Liberties. Just to peruse, just to enjoy all the prettiness of it.
- One I have not done, but would very much like to: check out the “After Dark” display at Chiswick House, listed as one of the must-do Christmas events of the year: http://chiswickhouseandgardens.org.uk/event/5541/2018-11-15/
This has been written for the Christmas of 2018 of course, but aside from No 10 I do the rest every year, some play changes of course but these are my London Christmas traditions and staples!
What are your Christmas traditions whereever you are and if you’re London based is there anything you’re doing here that might also be worth a mention?