Craig Gambell, our new Scape blogger, gets us in the Christmas mood!
Some people start planning their Christmas months in advance, but if you’re anything like me and leave things to the last minute, keep reading for a guide of some of the best thingsto do during the Christmas build up (other than just eating from your advent calendar!)
Okay so by the time you read this, you may have missed the big “turning on of the lights”. But rest assured! You can still view them (and update your Instagram, of course) until early January. Oxford Street will light up for a 55th year this year, filling the sky with over 1000 glowing orbs. And if that isn’t picturesque enough for you, then don’t worry! There are many more locations with a beautiful display of lights, including Regent Street and Covent Garden.
Fairs and markets
Whether you’re buying last minute presents for your family, or looking to stock up on seasonal food, you should definitely pay a visit to some of the Christmas markets located in London. The Barbican Christmas Market is open between 12-22 December, and will host a variety of stalls, including clothes, artisans, and mince pie stalls. Hyde Park will be transformed into a winter wonderland, featuring two circuses, an observation wheel, and an ice rink. So even if you can’t skate, and make a fool of yourself; you may end up with a career in the circus! This will be open until January 4th.
Although there is a rink at the Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, it’s not the only one. So instead of going skating after drinking a load of mulled wine at that event, you could play it safe and go to a bigger Christmas ice rink. From experience, the rink with the nicest view is the open air one situated in Jubilee Gardens, overlooking the London Eye. Booking here is recommended due to the high demand, and sessions last for 45 minutes. It will be open until January 4th.
Okay so I know what you’re thinking; Christmas carolling is only for families and amazing singers. But even if you’re not the next Michael Bublé, it can still be great fun to go with your room mates and get into the spirit of Christmas using the power of song. Don’t worry, you don’t have to get on stage in front of a huge audience; there will be carollers performing already, but you can sing along from the crowd and at least try to believe that you’re in tune. The carol service at the Tower of London on the 4th December will be raising money for the Ebola Crisis Appeal.
Keep an eye out when travelling around as you may hear about other events. A bit of spontaneity never hurt anyone, right?