Southbank, Covent Garden, Leicester Square & Oxford Street
The most wonderful time of the year is coming to our capital city bringing with it all the festivities, the sparkle and the magic you could wish for. London’s famous landmarks and most popular hotspots all have something unique and special in store this Christmas season. Find out what’s in store and why there really is no place quite like London this Christmas.
Leicester Square’s Christmas Festival
London’s most popular and populous entertainment area will transform itself this season bringing a whole new experience to the bustling heart of the city. Traditional Christmas markets will take over the famous square with rows of traditional wooden huts selling all manner of fabulous festive goods such as handcrafted gifts, unique Christmas decorations and an abundance of edible and drinkable indulgences to fill you with festive cheer.
This particular Christmas festival also brings a spectacular velvet-draped 1920s-style spiegeltent, within which you can enjoy such theatrical delights as A Christmas Carol, improvised Jane Austen, Black Cat Cabaret or Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Medicine. And of course the younger members of the family won’t want to miss their visit to Santa’s Grotto. However, do book your tickets in advance to avoid disappointment.
The bright lights and window displays of Oxford Street
Christmas only truly begins once the iconic Oxford Street lights have been switched on. This year the momentous occasion is on November 7th with 1,778 snowball-shaped decorations illuminated to transform this busy central high street into a magical Christmas haven.
To recognise the spirit of giving and charity at Christmas, Oxford Street has teamed up with the NSPCC this year and for a donation of just £5 you can dedicate a star-shaped light to someone special in your life. All donations go straight to the NSPCC Little Stars Campaign and your light will sparkle all season.
Beneath the lights, you’ll also find the UK’s best known high street brands and departments stores and you can be sure their windows will be dressed to impress in time for Christmas. As you stroll down the street be sure to look for the most famous flagship store windows including Selfridges who are running a ‘With Love From…’ theme this year and Harrods who will be wowing with a spectacular Sicilian puppet theatre. Excitement grows as more big reveals are on the way…
The festive charm of Covent Garden
Covent Garden’s lights will start dazzling us from 14th November this year when the area teams up with BBC Children in Need for the first time with special guest, Pudsey (the charity mascot), turning on the lights.
Once the lights are on a true spectacle takes over. The famous Market Building at the heart of Covent Garden will be bedecked in 45 individual mistletoe chandeliers in different sizes and with 700 glimmering berries and over 320 meters of garlands adjoining them. The Piazza at the heart of Covent Garden is home to a handpicked towering tree, and this year will see the arrival of a majestic silver reindeer.
Festive offerings are to be had from many of the shops and boutique stores including special discounts and complimentary treats so be sure not to miss out. Covent Garden is bustling with life almost every day of the year but at Christmas there’s that extra festive charm that makes it simply irresistible.
The ‘Spirit of Christmas’ in Regent Street
Regent Street is up there with the world’s most famous and popular shopping streets and so at Christmas it is a destination for thousands of gift hunters from around the world. On 17th November, all the festivities properly begin on Regent Street with ‘The Spirit of Christmas’ light display returning once again. The bold display was created by James Glancy Design Ltd in collaboration with The Crown Estate and sixteen individual Christmas spirits are studded with bright LEDs and twinkle majestically up high.
Also taking precedence in the Christmas calendar will be Hamley’s Christmas Toy Parade on Sunday 19th November. The street will be closed to traffic and transformed into a family extravaganza with well-known characters, huge floats and giant balloons.
Being in the heart of one of London’s busiest areas means you don’t have to go far to find a festive night out or entertaining show. The Palladium is putting on the classic Pantomine, Dick Wittington, with a star-studded cast, and Shaftesbury Avenue is less than 10 minutes’ walk away for a whole host of other Christmassy shows and festive matinees.
The atmosphere and entertainment on the South Bank
A truly special festive atmosphere can be found beneath the London Eye and along the banks of the river Thames this year. The South Bank will come alive with festive charm as the Wintertime Markets arrive from Friday 10th November with 50 traditional wooden chalets featuring an abundance of seasonal treats and of course a cup of mulled wine or two.
Among the many attractions and entertainments this year is a Finnish rooftop sauna to warm up and unwind in and ‘Night Light’, a magical theatrical journey for the kids, as well as Norwegian Ice Music and a Vintage New Year’s Eve party.
Everything you need for a Christmas to remember you’ll find amongst the festive bright lights of London this season. Why not make it extra special with a luxury stay in one of our four centrally located and iconic Guoman hotels. Exclusively on Guoman.com, our members get a range of benefits like complimentary breakfast or an additionla 10% off your stay – all you have to do is sign up or log in and then make your booking.