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A White Christmas in London

New Year's Eve fireworks at Big Ben
Image courtesy: Arash Afraie/500px

‘Tis the season to be merry in London. Make a dash to this winter wonderland for Xmas treats including sights, food and shopping.   

Winter timings: London is 5:30 hours behind IST

Getting There: Book tickets and accommodation in advance to avail of the best prices. For clever travellers, this is a good time to take advantage of the fall in the GBP exchange rate, making it lighter on your wallet to plan a holiday.

Travel plan tips: Pack warm clothing to handle the chill. Temperatures will drop and you will be greeted by a flurry of snow.  On Christmas Day, shops will be closed but the streets will be open for special celebratory sightseeing trips to take in all the sights across the city dressed up in twinkling lights.

Top Tip: Check out the British Airways seasonal offer for the best deals. Hold onto your boarding pass. It will get you fab discounts on hotel bookings, eating out and shopping too.


A small Christmas market in Leicester Square

Skating rinks: London’s famous outdoor ice rinks circled by large Christmas trees are a sight to behold. The famous landmarks twinkling in lights overlooking the ice blue rinks give them the look of a magical wonderland. Check out the 16th century Hampton Court Palace rink, the Somerset House ice rink, the traditional Broadgate Ice Rink, the Natural History Museum’s Skating rink, the ice blue contemporary vibe of the Lumino City themed Canary Wharf Ice Rink and trot over with the kids to the Hyde Par Winter World Ice Rink among others.

Leicester Square: Leicester’s markets are dressed in the traditional Christmasy way for this new festival. Hand made goods, sweet treats and sumptuous food and drinks are on offer. Do take the kids to Santa’s Grotto for a photo-op with the jolly man.

Time for carols at Westminster Abbey

Go carolling: There’s nothing that kindles the Christmas spirit better than the pure sound of carols. In London, avail of the popular free carol services at Westminster Abbey. Book early though.

As the sun sets over London and tower bridge, the city lights come on.
As the sun sets over London and tower bridge, the city lights come on.
Image courtesy: ©Andrew Thomas/Getty Images

Fireworks by the Thames: Don’t miss London’s fireworks by the Thames. The riverside landmarks are lit up in all their glory and a cruise is in order to enjoy a lovely view of the fireworks following the Xmas season.

Pub Crawling: Move aside, Secret Santa and Elf on the Shelf. Pub crawling is the new London activity that is gaining fans. The 12 Pubs of Christmas is a London festive craze where people wear their Christmas colours in loud costumes and join large groups of revellerstovisit 12 pubs across London in one night. Cheers!

Shopping: Gifting is part of the season and shopping never looked more tempting than this time of the year in London. Boutiques, niche shops, local markets and branded shops are all a sensory delight to take in during this season. A walk down the shopping district of London is great for taking in the beautiful window displays. Check out gift hampers at the major department stores and explore the festive Christmas markets. The best part is the great London shopping sales mania that begins right after Christmas.

British Airways' first Boeing 787 Dreamliner arrives at London Heathrow on 27 June 2013
(Picture by Jeff Garrish/British Airways)
Image courtesy: British Airways

Top Tip: If you fly to London on British Airways, and want to know what’s going on in the city visit