It is no secret that I am obsessed with London. It is my favourite place on Earth and I always get that warm feeling in my heart as soon as I step on the London soil. Or should I say concrete? Anyway, I’m determined to call this city home one day, and am already trying to save up as much money as I can so that I’ll be able to afford at least a few months’ rent before I take the plunge and try to find a job there. Hopefully somewhen in the next two years. But until then, all I have are my yearly visits, which fill me up with joy every single time and make the wait a little more bearable.
Last year/this year, my sister and I visited London during the New Year’s holidays and in a little bit over a week, I’m visiting London again for my birthday. I can’t wait! I’m not going to lie, I definitely prefer London during the warmer months, because the green parks make it look ten times nicer, and I love the whole picnic and lying on the grass culture, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t tons of things you can still do despite the cold and sometimes gray weather. Here are some of the activities I personally enjoy doing in London during this time of the year:
1) Winter Wonderland: Winter Wonderland is something that you can’t miss during the Christmas time. It’s magical! For those of you that haven’t heard about it yet, it’s basically some sort of an amusement park with attractions, Christmas markets and food stands. My sister and I visited it last year and we had a blast! We did some shopping (remember my panda hat?), went on a few rides, and treated ourselves to some waffles and hot chocolate. It was the perfect evening! Well, if you disregard my pre-roller coaster freak outs. Let’s just say that I’m not an adrenaline junkie. Unlike my sister.
2) Museums: I can’t say I’m much of a museum-goer, because I usually find them boring, but London museums are really good. And free. And warm, haha. They’re the perfect place to learn something new, escape from the rain, and get yourself warmed up for your next outdoor adventure. My personal favourite would be the The National History Museum. Even if you’re not planning to spend a lot of time in there, I think it’s worth a visit just for the architecture. I don’t know if this is just me, but I find the building stunning! Oh, and the British Museum is great too in case you’re interested in history. The only museum I don’t think I’ll be visiting again any time soon is the Tate Modern. I just don’t get it. To me, blank walls splattered with black paint are not a masterpiece. 😀
3) Ice-skating: This is something that I actually haven’t done yet in London, but I desperately want to go do it one day. I just don’t know when. Last year, my sister and I ran out of time (too much shopping), and this year, my knee is injured, so I’ll have to kiss ice-skating goodbye yet again. Oh, well. One day, I’ll definitely go do it. The ice-skating rinks are set up all around London, so you can’t miss them. They look really pretty and festive with all those Christmas lights around them!
4) Musicals: There is no better place to go see a musical than London. Ok, maybe New York, but in Europe, London definitely wins. Especially in winter, when days are short, I think an evening show is more than welcome entertainment. The only musical I’ve seen so far is The Lion King. I went to see it three times already and I’m still not tired of it. I always get goose bumps when I listen to the music and I may also shed a few tears every single time. Shhh, don’t tell anyone! This year, though, I’m going to break The Lion King spell, because we’re going to see Mamma Mia. I’m sure I’ll love it as well. And the next one on my list? Les Miserables.
5) Shopping: Last, but definitely not least, is shopping. I’m sure every single person on this planet knows about the famous Oxford Street, but in winter, I actually prefer shopping in one of their shopping centres. You still get tons of different stores in one place, and the best thing about it is that you don’t have to take your coat on and off all the freakin’ time. Last year, my sister and I were shopping a lot at Westfield London. It was way less crowdy than Oxford Street and there are also a lot of great restaurans around in case your stomach begins to growl. I just wish they had Primark there! I saw that they have one at Westfield Stratford City, though, so I might go to that one this year. Does anyone know if there are any other great shopping centres in London?
Phew, finally made it to the end of the post. But wait a minute, I still have one more tip to share with you! It’s regarding the London accomodation. During the winter, I think it’s essential to stay at a hotel that’s as close to the tube as possible. Trust me, in case of a snow storm or any other type of unpleasant wintery weather, you’ll be thankful that you don’t have to walk for ages to come (back) to your hotel room with feet full of blisters and hands full of shopping bags or enormous suitcases, which are by the way essential if you’re visiting London after the Christmas time. Because, you know… SALES! 😉