As someone who has been chasing summer for the past 7 years I am not all that interested in a white Christmas...not usually that is. This year I have been thinking about that traditional feel of the holiday season. I mourn it really as up until 7 years ago I spent every winter in CT, visiting NYC and playing in the snow. Sadly my youngest son has never even seen snow and the older 2 hardly remember it. We are usually happy to avoid winter but when Christmastime comes around that all changes.
When headed to the UK, London is the obvious choice. A large bustling city that enjoys 4 seasons surely would be a great choice for enjoying the holidays. From what I have seen it resembles Christmas in New York City, exactly what we are looking for.
Once you realize London is a good choice you quickly realize it is quite a large city. One of the things travel has taught us is that location is everything! Narrowing down the exact area you want to explore will save you time and aggravation in the long run. You may be able to get a better deal away from all the action but, for us at least, being closer to what you want to do significantly enhances the experience.
With that being said there seem to be 3 main areas that are best during the holiday season in London.
Considered the center of London by many, it is also the center of London's Christmas celebrations. The area is lit up with beautiful lights and is also the spot where the annual gifted tree from Norway is placed. Not quite as large as the tree at Rockefeller Center in NYC but still lovely and large. If you are there early enough you can witness the magical tree lighting and enjoy harmonizing Christmas carols as well.
Trafalgar Square is a great spot to walk around and enjoy the lights and holiday atmosphere but it is also a good spot for celebrating the New Year! So if you are staying long term this may be the perfect spot, albeit a bit on the pricier side, especially for lodging.
The Regent's Park area of London is a home run any time of the year. It offers close proximity to a stunning park that can be enjoyed all 4 seasons, London zoo, Madame Tussuad's museum, and all of the exceptional shopping along Regents and Oxford streets.
If the first 2 spots don't peak your interest then consider the neighborhood of Chelsea for your holiday escape. Harrods is located here and offers perhaps the best light display in all of London not to mention exceptional shopping opportunities.
If shopping is on your radar then Chelsea will not disappoint in the market category either. The Chelsea Christmas market gives you a glimpse into the beautiful physic garden in winter. Here you can sample foods, have the kids enjoy planned activities, and shop the local crafts. It is a unique experince that should not be missed.
So there you have it, 3 great locations to enjoy Christmas in London. Have you been to Europe for the holidays? What did you think? Where do you suggest staying to enjoy the festivities best?