The Best Festive Events in Town

If you’re studying abroad in London in the run up to the traditional festive season, you’re in for an absolutely magical time. There are so many themed events going on all over the city, so no matter where you’ve chosen your student accommodation, London’s going to help you celebrate in style.

Half the fun is discovering the many events on your own, but if you need a head start I’ve got a few favourites to share. So, grab a few friends and get out and enjoy some of the best festive events in town.

Warm Up With Ice Skating

While the city definitely turns up the chill factor at this time of the year, there’s no better way to warm up than to get out on the ice. Some of the city’s most iconic venues turn their outside spaces into giant open air ice rinks and the atmosphere is fun, festive and as fast or slow as you want to go! I’ve got so many favourite places to skate, including the Tower of London (what a backdrop!) and the amazing Skylight, which is a rooftop ice rink complete with igloos for when you want a cocktail break.

If you’ve chosen Southbank for your student accommodation, the stunning Somerset House is just a short walk away. The enormous Christmas tree, beautiful lights and large ice rink will definitely get you in the festive spirit! When you arrive, why not treat yourself to a warming mulled wine from the lovely traditional Fortnum and Mason lodge? Though you can walk here from Britannia South Bank, this pop-up ice skating venue is also easy to reach on the Circle and District lines.

For those staying in the city’s north in student accommodation, London’s famous Alexandra Palace sets up their annual ice rink inside the magnificent building, and the entertainment includes big name DJs and themed disco sessions. You will also find a beautiful ice rink just outside the Natural History Museum which is easily accessible from many student accommodation options. 

Light Up All Over the City

There’s nothing that gets me more into the festive spirit than Christmas lights – and this amazing city certainly knows how to put on a show. No matter where your neighbourhood is, you’ll probably be surrounded by endless displays of illuminations and decorations as people join in the fun, but there are definitely some stand-outs that you should make an effort to experience.

Central to everywhere and very easy to get to, the Oxford Street Christmas lights are renowned all over the world. Stretching the entire length of the famous shopping street, there’s a different theme every year. But the one thing certain is that it’s always stunning and encompasses shop fronts and a dazzling overhead canopy. If you’re staying in our Rathbone Place apartments, you’ll find this beautiful display right on your doorstep.

An ideal place to see some festive décor for anyone staying in our Spitalfields student accommodation, London’s Royal Exchange building celebrates the season with an elegant display, complete with towering Christmas tree.

There are way too many to mention them all, but here are a few of my other favourites I wouldn’t want you to miss:

  • Trafalgar Square
  • Bond Street
  • Carnarby Street
  • The King’s Road, Chelsea
  • Kew Gardens
  • The Enchanted Woodland, at Syon Park

Be Jolly at Southbank’s Winter Festival

One event you definitely shouldn’t miss while staying in London is the Winter Festival at the Southbank Centre. Make the most of the markets, festive food and performances from dancers, singers and comedians – there’s something for everyone to enjoy! You’re sure to have a magical day out at this iconic venue, so take some friends along and discover what Christmassy events are of offer.

Turn Up at Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park

Open from the end of November right through until early January, Winter Wonderland is the absolute must-do event of the festive season. Along with a host of fabulous Christmas-themed entertainment, there’s the UK’s biggest outdoor ice rink, pop-up restaurants, countless rides, games, workshops, circus events, markets, bars and even a comedy club! One of the highlights this year will be the brand new 70-metre observation wheel, which offers views all over the twinkling lights of London. Don’t miss it!

If you’re coming to London to study abroad, make your experience seamless and hassle free. Get in touch with our Britannia Student Services advisors to take the worry out of searching for perfect accommodation. With a wealth of local knowledge and many years of experience, we take care of the details so you’ll get the most out of your stay in this amazing city.

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