As an international student it is always difficult to be away from home during the Christmas season, but in London you will never be bored. There is a huge range of events and activities and the chance to meet people from all over the world.
You will have the chance to do some shopping for Christmas in the most beautiful areas of the city. You will be able to hang out with your friends and have a great time at the Christmas fairs and/or ice skating rinks in London, or you can also help organise the unique events for this time of the year in different locations.
So if you want to start planning your schedule, we recommend you do it now to avoid sold out tickets! Here some ideas of what you can enjoy:
1. Winter Wonderland
This event takes place in Hyde Park every year from November. You will enjoy all the different attractions and entertainment shows surrounded by the best Christmas atmosphere including people singing Christmas carols and a huge Christmas Tree. For more information about the activities there, you can check the Winter Wonderland official website and get tickets to avoid the large queues!
2. Ice Rink Canary Wharf
Especially in the run-up to Christmas, ice skating is one of the best activities to do in the city. Even though we have indoor Ice Skating rinks open all year long, it is very special at this time of the year as the rinks are outdoors.The Ice Rink in Canary Wharf (near Bethnal Student Living) has decided that this year’s theme is “Lumino City” with more than 8km of LED lights laid beneath the ice. It also guarantees skating lessons whatever the weather is as it is covered by a clear roof.
3. London Christmas Lights
Check out the different London Christmas light displays along the whole city. See the beautiful shopping district of Oxford Street, have a walk with your friends from your Student hall in Covent Garden or see the world-famous tree in Trafalgar Square. Take advantage of the Boxing Day sales starting on December 26, offering the chance to pick up some post-Christmas bargains while having a walk in the City Centre.
4. Festive London Markets
This is the perfect inspirational idea for your gifts! You can walk around the Kingston Christmas Market and taste the different varieties of food, visit all the stalls at Greenwich Market or get all you shopping at the Winter Festival at Southbank Centre. In order to not miss anything, check out the Time Out Christmas Market List and get more detaisl. We assure you that this year you will not run out of ideas for your Christmas gifts.
5. Warner Bros Studios
If you are a Harry Potter fan, the Warner Bros Studios in Watford is a must. There will be a special Christmas display called Hogwarts in the Snow and you will have the chance to discover all the tricks used for the J.K. Rowling movies. If you have the chance after the planned three-hour tour to stay a little while in the village, we recommend you do it as it has beautiful walks in Cassiobury Park and great food tastings in the Watford Market.
6. Winter Film Festival
If you want to avoid being outdoors because of the cold, you can attend the Winter Film Festival this December for a seasonal selection of films such as Elf, Die Hard or Home Alone. That’s the perfect alternative to chill in a cozy place in the Peckham’s Electric Theatre. The tickets sell out very quickly and they have different sessions until the 23rd of December. For more information, click here.
7. Christmas Pudding Race
Want to do something different and to have something incredible you’ve experience during your stay in London? This is definitely your perfect match! Around 150 people are participating in teams dressed up in Christmas costumes and will race around a course strewn with different obstacles trying to balance a Christmas pudding on a plate. Something that you cannot miss!
8. Christmas at Kew
These Botanical gardens get a beautiful Christmas makeover with awesome illumination. It will lead you through huge Christmas trees, a scented garden and a light showinspired by nature. Also, Santa will be there plus Christmas gifts and traditional festive fare. They will be opened on special dates, so we suggest you to check here first before you go.
9. Christmas Dinner
You can treat yourself and go out with your friends by booking a table for a Christmas dinner. There are plenty of options for all budgets. The Aqua Shard is a great opportunity to enjoy a festive menu while observing its panoramic views, as it is located on the 31st floor. If you prefer something simpler, you can check Open Table to see all the restaurants available for the day you want to organise the dinner and book your table now.
10. Christmas Party at your Residence
Join the activities your student accommodation is offering and it will be the perfect time to meet new people from around the globe! That’s the perfect occasion to meet up with them and attend all the activities mentioned above. In our case, the Christmas Party is going to take place in the Internet Room of Bethnal Student Living. You can get all the information you need to participate in our contests or/and activities coming over at the reception or by sending us an email.
Written by Cristina Garcia