Why you should explore Westminster this Christmas4 December 2015
The countdown to Christmas has begun. With less than a month before the special day arrives, plans are being put into place up and down the country by families seeking to make the most of the festivities. Whether it be nights in with the family, or Christmas parties, there is always something to look forward to come December. In London these preparations are already underway as the city transforms itself into a wonderland of festive lights. Many of these Christmas events are taking place in Westminster, meaning that you don’t have to travel far to take part in the fun and games.
The season started on the 3rd, with the annual lighting of the Christmas tree. The tree has been donated as a gift by Oslo, the Norwegian capital, as a token of gratitude for our help during the Second World War since 1947. The tree will be prominently displayed in Trafalgar Square from the start of December and will continue to attract visitors until 6 January.
A few days later on the 6th, you could join a procession starting at St Martin in the Fields and ending at Trafalgar Square for the Blessing of the Crib, as the choir and clergy take part in this special ceremony. Also in the Square there’s a very popular carol singing programme with over 50 choirs taking part as charities seek to raise funds for good causes over the Christmas period. The programme includes traditional songs as well as more modern favourites with performances taking place between 4-8pm on week days and 2-6pm on weekends. So why not take a trip down, and take in a performance whilst marvelling at the grandiose tree!
If all that is a little too serious, you could try taking a trip to Somerset House where you’ll find one of London’s most famous ice rinks. You can book a session from halfway through November until 10th January. And this spectacular rink offers more than just ice skating. By day you can enjoy the splendour of the Somerset courtyard; by night the whole place lights up when they hold their club nights. With DJs and champagne on hand, this surely takes skating to a whole new level.
Christmas is the season for parties, whether it be a work’s do or a friends, and this year is no exception. For something just a little bit different from the usual drinks out at various bars, why not take the experience out onto the water? Many boat companies can play host to all your demands while you absorb the views of Westminster and the River Thames. Beginning with drinks and a fabulous three-course meal and ending with a DJ and dancing, it’s an opportunity for an unforgettable experience. It’s the perfect reason to put those glad rags on.
If you prefer your experiences on solid ground, then why not try Altitude 360, located on the 29th floor of the Milbank Tower. Surrounded by the best views of London this is the perfect location for Christmas entertaining. You can enjoy your evening while your every whim is taken care of – from dinner and drinks to dancing later on in the evening, this is surely an experience not to be missed!
For those of you who see Christmas as another reason to shop, there are a variety of markets open within the Westminster area. Perhaps it’s more about perusing these shopping spaces than just mindless consumption, but these markets are the perfect excuse to get out and about during the Christmas period. With fine festive foods and vintage goods, there is bound to be something to suit even the most discerning of tastes.
With so much to see and do it Westminster, it’s no wonder it’s one of London’s most popular boroughs to live in. Why not take a wander around and see all that it has to offer!