Winter Wonderland – Is it worth the hype?
I have since made three trips to the famous Winter Wonderland situated in Hyde Park (twice with friends visiting from Singapore, and once with my hall mates), so I have decided to qualify myself as a professional in navigating that huge area, and worthy of writing a recommendation to visit it!
There are countless Christmas Markets scattered across London, but this is the Christmas Market. With an array of mouth-watering food, exciting rides, and ice skating rink and live bands at night, this is a must-visit for both Londoners and tourists. The closest tube stations are Hyde Park Corner and Marble Arch, though there are directions leading to Winder Wonderland from Green Park and Victoria stations as well.
Food is undoubtedly expensive, so to save you some time, money and calories, my personal favourites are: the churros, duck fat fries and bratwurst in a bread roll.
As for rides, I now have to admit with my fear of heights, general timidity and a proneness to motion sickness, I only tried one ride. There are countless rides such as roller coasters, the drop tower, flying swings, pendulum rides, bumper cars and the all-time favourite carousel, as well as watered down, kids’ versions of them to suit your level of bravery. Each ride will cost around £5-7 per person, so choose wisely!
My first trip to Winter Wonderland was in the early afternoon, where I brought a friend visiting from Singapore around. There is indeed less “atmosphere” when the sun is out, but the lack of crowd and the lovely weather that day made exploring for the first time a lot easier and more comfortable.
My second trip was with my hall mates, as an end-of-term celebration (followed by a Secret Santa gift exchange back in the hall after!). I would highly recommend watching the live band in the Bavarian Village (marked by the tall Bavarian man figure as seen in the image above). Grab an ice-cold beer or cider from the stalls in the tentage, and rock out to your favourite hits.
There will be a short queue to get in, but persevere because rocking out to live music with my friends was one of the best experiences I had at Winter Wonderland! There is another live band just outside the tentage if you’d prefer not to wait, but I definitely enjoyed the crowd and atmosphere inside the tentage much more.
My third trip to Winter Wonderland was once again with a visiting friend. I’m sure you can tell by now it’s my favourite spot to bring tourists to, and I have good reasons for that. It is in a convenient location accessible by various underground stations on different lines, and there is no need to worry about what food to recommend! Your friend can choose from the various stalls and cuisines, and sharing food/snacks always makes it more fun.
That is my friend and I looking proud after successfully winning a soft toy from the carnival games! As a reward for being his tour guide around London, I obviously got to keep it 😛 Winning is not as easy as it seems though, and you should walk around to check out the different games before deciding on one you are most confident about. We won this penguin from a shooting game, since my friend who was in the military for two years felt he had the highest chance of succeeding with a rifle.
I am writing this from warm and sunny Singapore, but for those of you still in London, what are you waiting for if you haven’t made a trip to Winter Wonderland to soak in the festive atmosphere?
Have a merry Christmas and happy new year (before we are back to the hustle and bustle of Lent Term 🙁 ) everyone!