Christmas in London

By Fiorenza De Filippo

I don’t know about the other students, but it happened that I woke up a couple weeks ago and inexplicably it was November.

I couldn’t figure out where my time went, but I started feeling something weird in the air.

November is a hard month for students. Finals are waving at you from the horizon, deadlines are popping up from everywhere and you probably are a little exhausted of taking care of yourself and your new apartment.

However, if you are organised enough and know how to manage your schedule to get some free time (which is an easy thing to do and only requires a little effort), you will find out that something magical is going on in London, and it’s all about Christmas.

Many people like to spend Christmas at home, with relatives and loved ones, in a cozy and familiar atmosphere. Some of them get homesick when thinking about it, but London doesn’t let you down when it comes to Christmas vibes.

If you have some free time, or are stressed or tired and need some distractions, there are some places and activities that will make you feel as  happy as a little kid under the Christmas tree.

First of all, the Winter Wonderland. Open from mid-November, this giant Christmas village takes place in Hyde Park and it’s a feast of lights, colors, attractions and festive foods.

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A particular mention needed: the Magic Ice Kingdom. It is probably the coldest building on the Earth, but the ice sculptures are stunning and they even have an ice slide no one should feel too old to slide on. Everything is little, but it’s worth a trip and to spend some money on hot chocolate and waffles.

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Another good idea is to take a walk on Oxford Street or Regent Street, where the lights, the buses and the crowd create the atmosphere. Don’t miss the angelic lights on Regent Street, recently turned on.

If  looking for something more off the beaten path and feel adventurous (brace yourself,  this attraction requires you to step out of zone 2), the winter light trail at Kew Gardens is opening tomorrow (Nov 23rd)!

And finally, you will need a good old ugly sweater hanging in the closet to remind you that Christmas is close. It’s easy to find them almost everywhere, but if you are feeling a little fancy and have time to deal with the overground service, get to Shoreditch or Dalston and look around in the vintage shops for the best piece of retro embarrassing clothing.

So whatever you are looking for, there are plenty of nice and accessible attractions  which make London one of the best cities in the world to spend Christmas in, even with finals around the corner!

 

 

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