Discover that festive feeling
Moya Maxwell, chair of Unique Venues of London, offers her pick of the best festive things to do across the capital this December.
The Winter Festival, Southbank Centre, 15 November – 10 January
Although it’s already been up and running, December is the time when the Southbank Centre’s winter festival comes into its own. Choc-full of exciting projects, lectures, and of course the famous Christmas market with wine, cheese and chocolate tasting events, highlights include: performances from the London Philharmonic Orchestra, a Boxing Day Swing Out and a celebrity reading of Dickens’s classic ‘A Christmas Carol’. For more information click here
A winter walking experience, Kew Gardens (26 November – 3 January) & Syon Park (21 November -7 Jaunary)
A unique night-time experience, ‘Kew Gardens at Christmas’ and Syon Park’s ‘Enchanted Woodland’ guide guests down a glistening trail, winding through two of London’s most famous gardens for a magical, after-dark experience. At Kew, giant light sculptures and romantic mistletoe moments will be complemented by fabulous, festive treats and magical music to capture the yuletide spirit. Syon Parkuses an array of coloured lights to create striking, atmospheric experiences which evokes the majesty and beauty of ‘Capability’ Brown’s magnificent parkland.
London carol services, various locations, throughout December
There’s certainly no shortage of carol concerts across the capital and those looking for their fix of festive choral classics are spoilt for choice. My personal favourites are: Southwark Cathedral’s traditional service (21st December),St Martin in the Fields’ ‘A Ceremony of Carols by Candlelight’ (30th December) andGeorgian-inspired Christmas carols in the stunning state apartments at Kensington Palace.
Festive Shopping Days, Chelsea Physic Garden, 2 – 12 December
The beautiful surroundings of Chelsea Physic Garden play host to a relaxed shopping experience with a range of rare books and gifts for those looking to purchase something a little different. After a dose of retail therapy visitors can then enjoy some deliciously Christmassy treats at the Tangerine Dream Café, including decadent mince pies and warming mulled wine. For more informationclick here
Take to the ice this Christmas, various locations, throughout December
Last month I mentioned that Somerset House were launching their annual ice skating experience in the breath-taking surroundings of their courtyard, but there are plenty of other opportunities to take to the ice across the capital. Cut a dash underneath the impressive Victorian architecture of the Natural History Museum or pirouette away in the moat of one of the UK’s most famous castles, The Tower of London.
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Christmas in London
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