Head over to some of the wonderful Christmas markets dotted around London including along the South Bank and one very close by the Coventry University London campus at Spitafields. Whether you are looking for a last minute gift for someone or just looking to treat yourself to there promises to be a huge range of opportunities. Or just head over for a walk and a cup of mulled wine to warm yourself. London also has several different markets with fun fairs. By far the most popular of these is Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park. Attractions include ice skating, a secret Winter cinema, rollercoaster, German beer hall and many many more. Make sure you book for any attractions in advance as this is always very busy!
Christmas pantomimes are always popular with children and adults alike telling children’s tales such as Puss in Boots with a comedic, Christmas twist. Tickets for these sell out quick but some shows will have availability before and after Christmas so make sure you have a look out for them!
On Christmas Day!
Most shops, services and restaurants will be closed for the day to allow staff to spend time with their family but it also means that London will be very quiet. Certain taxi services will still be working on Christmas Day but expect to pay more for your journey and to wait longer than normal! Whilst public transport will be closed, it’s a great time to take a walk down to the River Thames and explore the city (safely!) at it’s most eeriest.
Or why not help out by volunteering at a local charity? Christmas is the time of giving and many charities operate on Christmas Day to support those in need. You could volunteer with Crisis at various locations around London – you can find out more information about doing this by clicking here. Open from March to November Hackney Winter Night Shelter provides a bed for the night with a hot meal for those who would otherwise be sleeping on the streets. This a is a great opportunity to volunteer over Christmas and beyond. More information here. Or if you want to work with the elderly population you could get involved with Community Christmas by searching in your area for different events happening which need volunteers.
After Christmas Day
In London on the 26th December? Why not join our CUSU Satellite Campus Manager Jordan for a traditional Boxing Day walk around Greenwich Park and the Cutty Sark. Starting at 1pm at the Cutty Sark DLR Station this is a great opportunity to walk off the excesses of your Christmas lunch! With history and a chance to spend time in the outdoors this will be a great way to explore a new part of the city.
Between Christmas and New Year London gets particularly busy around its shopping centres with the traditional Boxing Day sales starting in shops and online. But it’s a great chance to pick up a bargain as well! Why not take advantage of some time off from University work to have a well earnt rest by heading out of London on a train to journey to a nearby city?
Canterbury is just an hour away from London on the train, with a historic cathedral and the starting point for Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales as well as a Christmas market to explore. Or you could brave the weather and head down the river on a punt! Or head to Bath to explore the Christmas market and quaint spa town with local shops and great food.
Wherever you go make sure you are back in London on New Years Eve to watch the fantastic fireworks show. With special viewing areas along the River Thames it will be particularly busy around the river but you could head out to some of the cities other great viewpoints around the city. There is free travel on the TFL network at certain times on New Years Eve and transport runs through the night. Want to spend your evening out partying with friends – you can take advantage of a discounted ticket by going through the CUSU website and buying tickets for the biggest New Year’s Eve House Party at the O2 Academy Islington!