Tag Archives: Christmas

London Christmas Shopping Guide

Trafalgar Square ©Britainonview Now that the British Pound is so low compared to the Norwegian, Swedish and Danish kroner, why not go on a weekend trip and do your Christmas shopping in London? I always wait until the last day to buy Christmas gifts, but this year I’ve decided to be more organized and I’m starting with you dear blog readers – hope you like my early Christmas gift!

Vintage
Looking for something out of the ordinary that no one else has? Try Beyond Retro, they have the biggest collection of American vintage clothing and accessories. There’s also Absolute Vintage – great collection of vintage clothes for both men and women and one of Britain’s largest vintage shoe collection.

For more vintage stores, please click here.

Christmas Markets
I hardly know where to start, there are so many of them! However, here are two great Christmas markets that are worth a visit.
Winter Wonderland Market Hyde Park, free entry, over 100 stalls selling arts and crafts, there’s also an outdoor ice rink!
Greenwich Christmas Market, from early December there will be a special Christmas Market alongside Greenwich’s famous covered market, with arts and crafts, collectors’ items and food stalls trading every day.

For more Christmas markets, please click here.

Department stores
Harrods is a must see if you’re in London! This is one of the world’s most famous department stores. Their annual Christmas Wonderland is something for the whole family and a great opportunity for the kids to see the Harrod’s Grotto Santa. But beware; you need to book a time since Santa is a very popular man.

Fortnum & Mason is renowned for their fine food, hampers, teas and wine. You’ll also find a wide range of products that will make a great Christmas gift. Come to Fortnum & Mason and get in the right holiday spirit.

The number one shopping destination for kids is of course the legendary Hamleys. With many fun Christmas events and toys as far as the eye can see, I’ll guarantee you this will be a hit for the kids!

For more department stores in London, please click here.

Shopping streets
Take a stroll in some of London’s many classical shopping streets such as Oxford Street, Regent Street and Bond Street and see the beautiful Christmas decorations. Along these shopping streets you’ll find several boutiques, high street fashion stores and exclusive brands.

Other shopping streets in London, please click here.

If Christmas shopping in London sounds interesting I want to remind you that you can right now fly to Britain with British Airways from:
530,- Danish Kroner from Denmark
576,- Swedish Kronor from Sweden
545,- Norwegian Kroner from Norway
106,- Euro from Finland

/Siska

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All I Want for Xmas!

All I Want for Xmas is a unique shopping experience that is set to take over the Old Truman Brewery. The event will feature London’s first alternative Pop-Up Department Store – an emporium of independent retailers, in the form of gift markets, exhibitions, designer sales, product & furniture showcases & plenty more shopping fun for the whole family. All I Want for Xmas offers original, creative retailers, whether established or new, from market stalls, to deluxe floor and wall space to create their own concessions.

This sounds like a lot of  fun! The Old Truman Brewery is not too far away from Liverpool Street Station, a bit further east of the Old Spitalfield Marked in East London. Why not visit both? You’ll find several cafés and restaurants in the area so there’s a full day to spend!

Have fun!
Cathrine

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Trains, buses or undergound – transport during Christmas!

So many of you are planning a Christmas trip to London. It’s a marvelous place to spend the holiday but remember that public transport is not operating every day.

The 24th, Christmas Eve, there will be few problems, everything runs as normal but with Saturday routes. After 19:00 there will be Sunday routes. Some tube-stations close at around 21:00. Airport Express-trains runs more or less as normal.

The 25th, Christmas Day, well this is not the day you plan for the big outings. There are no trains, Dockland Light Railway or underground at all this day. In the morning, everybody snuggle up under their Christmas tree opening presents, so even the London buses has taken a day off. There are some few companies running bus-routes but nothing really to rely on. Travelcards etc. will not be valid on these buses. This is the day for a nice walk in the park and London can offer several! If you do need to transport yourself, taxi will be an option but should be booked in advance.

Heathrow Express runs half hourly service between 06:30 – 14:00 after this a bus service will replace the train until ca. 21:40 and Gatwick Express has a bus-service every half hour from 06:30 to 16:30. There are no Stansted Express trains this day.

The 26th, Boxing Day, There are reduced Sunday routes on the tube and Dockland Light Railway with first underground around 08:30. Buses will operate also from 08:30 on all routes. There are only a few trains in Scotland and Southern England that operates as well as the Airport transfers like Heathrow Express, Gatwick Express etc. Stansted Express will be operating between Tottenham Hale and Stansted Airport so you have to catch the underground to Tottenham Hale which is in zone 3.

For more information, check out Transport for London’s Christmas and New Year information.

Don’t forget that you can buy transport tickets in our Webshop:

Sweden: www.visitbritain.se/shop
Norway: www.visitbritain.no/shop
Denmark: www.visitbritain.dk/shop
Suomi: www.visitbritain.fi/shop

Have a nice vacation and a safe journey!

Cathrine

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More Christmas fun in London! Carols and theatres!

I’m happy to see that so many read our post about Christmas Markets in London. Here you’ll get some more good ideas about what to do and what to see when visiting London in December!

For the first time ever the Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London will be open during Christmas and New Year.  From the 22:nd December to 3:d January, this beautiful Victorian open theater will have a show with a mixture of music, theatre and circus – all in the spirit of Shakespeare!  The show is 2 times 30 minutes and though it’s an open air theater you can keep warm by having a nice cup of mulled wine or other warm drink or food  during the break.

A visit to England in Christmas time should always include a Christmas Carols concert! You can visit the daily concerts at Trafalgar Square with different choirs singing, and sometimes dancing, around the huge Christmas tree.

If you prefer indoor concerts, the famous church St. Martins in the Field can offer several fantastic concerts all guaranteed to get you in that special Christmas festive feeling. Especially the Glory of Christmas by candlelight concerts the 10:th and 18:Th December is worth a visit. On the 15:th there is a Family Carols by candlelight and on the 23:rd, Händels “Messiah” is on the program.

Another choice is St. Paul’s Cathedral which have wonderful carol concerts. If you visit London the 15:th of December you can attend the special atmospheric  Celebration of Christmas Concert.

Christmas pantos is a fun British tradition which I love.  You’ll find shows that the whole family will enjoy like The Snowman at the Peacock Theatre or the Life & Adventures of Santa based on the story The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. The traditional pantos, more suitable for adults and teenagers, are Aladdin at the New Wimbledon Theatre and Cinderella at the Catford’s Broadway Theatre. They both mix magic, comedy, adventure and romance,- truly British! Both theatres are situated in the outskirts of central London and can be reached by local trains.

Enjoy!

Cathrine

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Christmas markets in London

Going to London and looking for the true Christmas spirit? Why not visit one of the many fabulous Christmas markets?

The South Bank is a perfect place to start. From London Eye/Westminster Bridge to The Royal Festival Hall the street-artists will entertain you in a fantastic Christmas setting. 

Here you’ll find two markets, the Cologne Christmas Market has 60 stalls in a German/Scandinavian style with lots of gift ideas, Christmas tree ornaments, decorations and tasty food. You’ll also find Santa’s Secret Village and might be lucky to meet Santa himself! The Cologne Christmas Market goes on from 20 Nov. to the 23. December. Click on this link for more information about opening hours.

At South Bank Centre Square the Christmas Chocolate Festival (11 – 13 Dec) offers everything for the chocolate-lover! A dozen stalls gives you the chance to taste, smell, look and shop!

In Hyde Park, close to Hyde Park Corner,  you’ll find Winter Wonderland with its gorgeous Ferris wheel and toboggan slide. The Christmas market chalets offers gifts, food and warm drinks. Why not rent some skates as well and go ice-skating, a good idea for a shopping break.

The Maritime Greenwich offers a twinkling, shining Christmas market with a beautiful Christmas tree and a Santa’s grotto. (until 31 Dec.) The National Maritime Museum recently won two gold medals for Best Tourism Experience and the Visitor attraction of the Year and could also show off a bronze medal for Outstanding Customer Service! Another good reason to take the trip to this cozy, interesting part of London! The Christmas Market is open daily from 10:30 to 17:00 except Mondays & Tuesdays.  You’ll find more info about opening hours on this link.

Enjoy the Christmas markets, have a cup of mulled wine and a minced pie, but leave the Christmas crackers in London – unfortunately you can’t take them home on the plane!

Cathrine

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Best of Xmas Shopping in London!

Xmas shopping in LondonAre you going to London soon? With the British pound in our favour this is the time to do some serious Xmas shopping. In our latest edition of London Planner, the ultimate guide brochure for London, there are some really good tips and ideas!

VB-00009545-001The favourite toystore Hamleys has listed their Top 10 “hot picks” with Battle Strikers Tournament Set on the top and several Transformers and Barbies to follow. A haven for kids and probably the best place for you parents to find “the” gift for this year.

I always go for a book as a gift and if you have English reading friends why not visit the largest bookshop in Europe? Waterstone’s at 203-206 Piccadilly offers eight floors, 150.000 books and a place for a coffee break!

OXO TowerBrits have a special faibless for decorating and if you are looking for the quirky, different and rather unique Christmas decoration you should visit The Oxo Tower at Barge House Street. If you treat yourself to a meal at this fabulous restaurant you can buy a miniature silver-plated OXO Tower to decorate your tree! Maybe a must for the London lover?

Looking for more ideas? Why not order a free copy of London Planner for December? Send us an e-mail (e-mail addresses are found on our webpage) and we will ship one to you. Please note that you pay for the postage. The brochure has several great Xmas ideas besides the listing of London’s fabulous museums and attractions. Order a copy today!

Cathrine

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