12 festive must-dos
Heading to London for the holidays? The city has a magical charm that comes alive at Christmas, with pop-up markets, outdoor ice-skating rinks and incredible festive lights.
Savills, the global real estate services provider, which has offices in Dubai and oversees property in London, is well placed to know what there is to do in the UK capital during the festive period, and has come up with the 12 ideas below (one for each of the 12 days of Christmas!). Find out more about its London properties at the website here, and discover your festive cheer with the following:
1. See the Oxford Street Christmas lights
Oxford Street is the perfect destination for a spot of Christmas shopping. This year, its annual festive lighting display consists of 27 energy-efficient LED curtains, amounting to 220,000 sparkling lights.
2. Meet Santa at Harrods
Head to London’s world-famous department store to check out its Christmas window displays, then pop inside to catch a glimpse of Santa at his Secret Forest Grotto, created in partnership with Swarovski.
3. Enjoy a New York-themed Christmas party
Yes, arrive in London, then pretend you’re in the Big Apple. Evolution London, one of the city’s top event venues, is hosting its Christmas in New York parties on various nights in December, with a three-course dinner, live acts, and more. Grab tickets here.
4. Sing along at the Royal Albert Hall
Carol concerts featuring the Royal Choral Society and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra will take place at the Royal Albert Hall in Kensington from December 21-24. Performances are at 11am, 2.30pm, 4pm and 7.30pm, with tickets available here.
5. Wander the stalls on Sloane Street
Take the Tube to Sloane Square, then walk along Sloane Street – a makeshift winter wonderland, with gourmet markets and festive pop-ups. There’s even a new light display being unveiled on nearby King’s Road, inspired by King Charles II.
6. Take a festive selfie in Covent Garden
Covent Garden is renowned for its boutiques, dining and charming cobbled streets. This year, a green vintage 1967 Morris Minor has been decked out with a stack of Christmas presents, lights and a festive green wreath – the perfect backdrop for social media pics.
7. Find festive treats at Borough Market
Near London Bridge, the historic Borough Market is a foodies’ paradise. It’ll adopt a festive theme during December, with decorations, and festive food from around the world filling its stalls. Also look for seasonal events, with details here.
8. Meet real-life reindeer
A stone’s throw from the Battersea Power Station mixed-use development is the Battersea Park Children’s Zoo, which has actual reindeer, and Santa himself making appearances until December 20. Book to meet him here.
9. Discover a few hidden gems
New developments such as Battersea Power Station have many undiscovered gems – look to The Coaling Jetty, which opened in the summer, right on the River Thames, which is hosting a magical Winter Village, featuring cosy alpine wooden huts and festive food.
10. Check out the market stalls along the South Bank
Peruse the Christmas markets on the south bank of the River Thames, near Waterloo Station, and see the lights reflecting magically on the water. Pick up hand-made gifts and indulge in delicious goodies from the alpine-style chalets.
11. Try the multi-sensory light festival at Wembley Park
Winterfest at Wembley Park claims to have the tallest-ever LED-lit Christmas tree in London. The event runs until January 3, with art and sound lightworks offering a different take on the usual festive fun. More info here.
12. Look for Santa from The London Eye
See the city from high up, and enjoy spectacular views – while keeping a crafty eye out for Santa and his sleigh. It’s always best to book tickets for this in advance, with plenty of different package options available. Find out more here.
Then, if you still have time, check out one of Savills’ London properties. There’s King’s Road Park, with its exquisite blend of apartments and penthouses; Grade Union, a canalside residence in north-west London; Triptych Bankside, close to Borough Market, featuring apartments with private terraces and stunning views; and the much-publicised Battersea Power Station development, which will completely transform this iconic London landmark.
To find out more, contact Savills at the website below.