Christmas in London

We love Christmas at Principal. Any excuse to don our favourite Christmas jumpers/party frocks, coat ourselves in glitter and get involved in what London has got going on, and we are there! And in characteristic style, London is filled with a wealth of activities to get everyone into the Christmas spirit.

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland

There is only one obvious place to start, and that is of course the bombastic Christmas fiesta that is Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland. If you have somehow mislaid your Christmas spirit, this is where you can’t fail to find it again. Bigger than ever for 2013, this al fresco amusement park is filled with the opportunity for more festive frolics than you can shake a stocking at. Load up on beer and bratwurst and brave some of the scarier rides to get the adrenalin pumping, before visiting the Magical Ice Kingdom and a Cirque Beserk show, where you can marvel at both stunning ice sculptures and the thrills of a modern circus. A must for hardcore Christmas fans.

Southbank Centre Christmas Market

If you fancy a less frenetic environment to get into the festive spirit, and the chance to get the hassle of Christmas shopping out of the way, then pay a visit to the Southbank Centre Christmas Market, located on the pretty south bank of the Thames. Wander along with a cup of mulled wine in hand and enjoy perusing the traditional German-style wooden huts for a whole variety of gifs, including toys, homewares, jewellery, ceramics, prints and textiles, amongst a whole variety of items you won’t expect to find! To top off the evening, you could combine this with a dusk rotation on the iconic London Eye to see the glittering lights of London from a birds’ eye view.

Christmas Pantomime

Christmas isn’t complete without getting involved with some seasonal silliness at a pantomime, whether you have children or just want an excuse to act like one. Found all over London, a pantomime is a great opportunity to see those long forgotten ‘stars’ of yonder year performing their hearts out in guises such as Window Twankey (You Bet’s Matthew Kelly in Aladdin at the New Wimbledon Theatre) and Captain Hook (Henry Winkler – aka The Fonz in Peter Pan at the Richmond Theatre). For real super fans willing to venture further afield,

Ryan Moloney (Toadfish from Neighbours) and Leslie Grantham (Eastenders’ Dirty Den Watts) can be found starring in Dick Whittington in Dunstable.

Ice Skating

Whether you could hold your own on Dancing on Ice or you are more like Bambi finding his feet, enjoying some time on the ice is fast becoming a Christmas rite of passage as more rinks spring up across London. Enjoy breath-taking views of the historical architecture around you at The Natural History Museum, at ‘EyeSkate’ in the shadow of the London Eye or at the rink at Tower of London. Take a break from all your Christmas shopping at to have a glide on the ice at Westfield Shepherd’s Bush, or for a brilliant night out, grab some friends and head to one of Somerset House’s Club Nights, where by night the rink is transformed into an ice dance floor, with party tunes blasting out from some of the UK and Europe’s best DJs for you to get your icy groove on to.

– Sophie

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