Icy temperatures and one too many rainy days might put people off spending winter in the British capital, but once the festive season gets underway there are few places more atmospheric than London.
While a white Christmas can’t be guaranteed, much of London still looks like it’s been lifted from the pages of Dickens’ famous yuletide tome ‘A Christmas Carol’. Shop windows drenched in tinsel; children’s choirs singing classic carols in the city squares; the scent of roasting chestnuts seeping out onto the streets and an enormous Christmas tree shimmering over Trafalgar Square.
It’s not just the festive atmosphere that plugs into the Christmas spirit either; there are plenty of Christmassy activities to keep visitors entertained. Open-air ice-skating rinks, vibrant Christmas markets and fairground rides take over the city’s landmarks, and late-night shopping is accompanied by mulled wine dished out from makeshift street stalls. Santa’s grottos, reindeer petting yards and pantomimes will keep the kids busy, but for the adults, nothing beats a night down the pub. Pick one with an open-fire, plenty of cheerful Christmas decorations and a good homemade Christmas pudding on the menu.