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What to Do in London During the Holidays

Updated on December 11, 2009

If you're thinking of traveling to London during the holiday season, you're in for a fun, exciting trip. London has its share of history, incredible sights to see, great restaurants and tons of entertainment. All the beautiful architecture around the city provides a beautiful background during the holidays. It does get rather chilly in England during the winter time, so you'll want to have some indoor activities in your arsenal during your London holiday 2009. Grab a coat and your guidebook and get ready to have a fantastic time!

See a Play

The theatre district in London is not only a pretty area, but it's the place to see a play. You've got many, many theatres to choose from and tons of plays going on at any given time. The main two theatres you've probably heard of are the Shakespeare Globe Theatre and the National Theatre. The Globe Theatre's season ends in September; however, for the first time, the Globe is having a Christmas show! The bar and brasserie are also open during the holiday season. The National Theatre has plays year round.

A few plays that are going on for the London holidays 2009 in December are: Avenue Q at the Gielgud Theatre in Piccadilly Circus, Billy Elliot: The Musical at the Victoria Palace Theatre on Victoria Street, and Breakfast at Tiffany's at the Haymarket, Theatre Royal. So many plays go on in December and January that you can see a musical, comedy and a drama during your stay!

Navigation Tip:

Harrods is close to Hyde Park, so it's easy to visit both in one day.

Go to Harrods for unique gifts and delectable treats

Harrods is the world's most famous luxury department store. 4.5 acres and 7 floors in exquisite Knightsbridge, you will have a blast walking through this store during the holidays. Until December 14, Harrods has their Christmas Tree Trail up, where you can see all types of amazing Christmas trees that designers have created.

And then there's the food. Most of the ground floor is dedicated to all types of food: fruit, veggies, candy, tea and coffee, pastries, baked goods, all types of prepared foods, cheeses and restaurants. There's even a room dedicated to meats! Harrods is truly something to see. Be sure to try some (or lots) of the incredible foods while you're here shopping for lovely gifts to take home to your loved ones.

Harrods is so huge, it takes up at least one city block!
Harrods is so huge, it takes up at least one city block!

St Paul's Cathedral

Whether you're going for the sightseeing or attending a service to worship, St. Paul's Cathedral is a must stop for the holidays in London. The cathedral offers a paid audio guide that will show you around and teach you about this gorgeous building. During Christmas time, St Paul's has services of Christmas carols performed by the choir. This cathedral has been an icon in London since 604AD, so attending a service here is sure to put you in the holiday spirit.

You don't see green like this everywhere...
You don't see green like this everywhere...

Hyde Park

Not too far from Harrods you'll find the expansive and ever-green Hyde Park. One of the largest parks in London, it has two bodies of water running through it: Round Pond and The Serpentine. And there are plenty of walking paths and benches for you to enjoy its beauty.

Because holiday time is quite cold in England, you might not want to walk leisurely through Hyde Park and take it all in. But, your London holiday in 2009 wouldn't be complete without seeing Hyde Park Wonderland- the city's largest skating rink, located on Hyde Park Corner. Free entry for the little ones, you can see Santa, ice skate and ride the Observation Wheel, which gives you a great view of the city from a heated pod.

Buckingham Palace - Changing the Guard

The famous palace isn't open to visitors during the holidays, but you can still see the changing of the guard in December and January. In winter time, guard changes are only done every other day, so be sure to check the schedule. The ceremony starts at 11:30am and finishes around noon. It's a neat piece of tradition to watch, so it might be worth standing outside for. Or perhaps you'll get lucky and go on a day where the weather is pleasant!

London Eye

A fairly overrated tourist attraction (in my opinion), the London Eye is a great way to see London from a bird's eye walking required. If it's clear, you can even see up to 25 miles away! The London Eye ride offers an inside experience--you stand inside capsules that revolve once around the huge circle--and it takes you up super high. If you're cold and still want to see the sights, take a break and ride the London Eye for the London holidays 2009.

This is one huge ferris wheel!
This is one huge ferris wheel!
View of the pods from inside one of the pods.
View of the pods from inside one of the pods.

No matter what you decide to do during the holidays in London, bundle up, bring an umbrella with you everywhere, and have a wonderful time! London is a great city to explore any time of the year.


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    • travelsee profile image

      travelsee 7 years ago

      Try to book tickets for the London Eye in advance - ten years on and its still very popular often selling out

    • M. Rose profile image

      M. Rose 8 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Thanks for sharing your opinion William. I'd love to do another hub about all the different parks in London and the appeal of each. If I do, I will keep what you've said in mind!

    • William K Wallace profile image

      William K Wallace 8 years ago from London

      Hyde Park may be one of the most famous Royal parks in London, but it most certainly isn't the best in my opinion. I much prefer Greenwich Park, or The Regents Park, much cooler parks to visit...