Winter Festivities for NYU London Students
The end of the semester is approaching, and with that comes two things: exams and the holidays. With no Thanksgiving feast between Halloween and December, holiday cheer is in full swing in London and the city is full of festive opportunities to take a break from the end-of-semester grind. So close the books and get out there to see all of the wonderful winter festivities London has to offer!
Oxford Street Christmas Lights
The Oxford Street Christmas lights have been up since September, but they’ve finally been switched on! In addition, the stores on Regent Street have their holiday displays up, so if you find yourself missing the Fifth Avenue winter vibe, you should definitely check this out. Grab a friend and your wallet and go window shopping up and down Oxford and Regent Streets for a lit time!
While you’re window shopping up and down Oxford and Regent, be sure to take a quick detour to Carnaby to see a magnificent display of Christmas lights. There are also over sixty bars and restaurants in the area, so if you’ve had enough of wandering outdoors, you can nip inside to warm up with a cup of tea!
Winter Wonderland Hyde Park
Hyde Park is one of the most famous parks in London and is the largest of Central London’s four royal parks. It is a short walk from Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey, which are must-sees for anybody studying away in London. Every winter, Hyde Park hosts a great winter festival from November until January complete with an ice skating rink, a Christmas market and a circus show. Book your tickets in advance through their website though, because the Winter Wonderland is a big attraction and booking ahead of time guarantees you a time slot on the rink!
Wintertime at Southbank Centre
Down by the River Thames is a two-month-long winter extravaganza full of activities, performances and shopping. Southbank Centre has set up their usual Christmas market but has also brought in several pop-up shops such as a Finnish rooftop sauna to celebrate the season. As you wander down the Thames and take in the views of St. Paul’s Cathedral and the Tower Bridge, be sure to swing by the Wintertime festival for some holiday cheer!
Hogwarts in the Snow
If you’ve ever dreamed of spending Christmas in the Great Hall with Harry and the Weasley’s, dream no further because the Warner Brother’s Studio Tour has officially been decorated for the holidays. See the Great Hall, the Gryffindor Common Room and Hogsmeade Village decked out in the decorations actually used in the making of the Harry Potter films. Again, tickets must be booked in advance through the Warner Brother’s website. Check this out if you’re looking for a truly magical afternoon!
London is definitely ready for the holidays, and it’s almost impossible not to feel festive with all the lights and decorations up in the streets. So if finals have got you down, or if you’re done with them and ready to celebrate, head out to explore the city and all of its frosty fun!
Written by: Gabrielle Roehr