LSE - Small Logo
LSE - Small Logo

Madeleine

December 17th, 2021

A Budget-Friendly Guide to London in The Holiday Season

0 comments

Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

Madeleine

December 17th, 2021

A Budget-Friendly Guide to London in The Holiday Season

0 comments

Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

London, in my opinion, is one of the best cities to be in for Christmastime and the holiday season. However, depending on what you celebrate, December can become an expensive and busy month! Below I’ve compiled some of my favourite (and budget friendly) activities that I got up to this holiday season. I’ve organised the list from free to slightly more expensive.

Window Shopping

London is home to many stunning department stores. The ones I would recommend the most are Selfridges, Harrods, Fortnum & Mason, and for everyone’s inner child the toy shop Hamleys shouldn’t be missed either. Even if actually shopping at these stores is out of reach on the typical student budget, window shopping and exploring the festive store displays are a great holiday activity.

Christmas Light Displays

Within the same neighbourhood as many of the aforementioned department stores lies amazing holiday light displays. The route I would recommend starts at Oxford Circus Station and then continues along Regent Street where you can see the very iconic “Spirit of Christmas” with golden angels flying overhead. This should then lead you to Carnaby Street where you can take in a “Kaleidoscope” of butterflies. Next, I would recommend checking out New Bond Street’s Peacock-themed holiday lights. Finally, a short walk away, you will find yourself outside of Annabelle’s, or rather the most luxurious gingerbread house ever seen! A self-guided walking tour was my favourite free activity this year, it was perfect for when my family came to visit this December with the chance to explore more of central London while getting into the festive spirit.

Winter Wonderland

You may feel surprised to see Winter Wonderland on my list of budget friendly activities, especially with the change to paid entry for this year. However, it is one of the Winter season activities that London is most known for and doesn’t have to be crazy expensive depending on how you plan your visit.

Tickets must be booked in advance, and if you choose an off-peak time then entry is free! Off-peak entry also means enjoying a less busy experience; when I went in the afternoon there were no lines whatsoever. Also, you can book rides and game tokens in advance, which is a good way to avoid overspending. Personally, rides aren’t for me, but I loved playing carnival games, walking around the market areas, and my favourite experience: roasting marshmallows over a fire pit (at the area of the map called ‘The Fire Pit’) for only a couple of pounds! You have until January 3rd, 2022 to visit.

Natural History Museum Ice Rink

If there is one London wintertime experience to budget in, it would be the skating at the Natural History Museum Ice Rink. This experience is on until January 16th, 2022 and tickets must be booked in advance. Not only is skating at the NHM fun, festive, and an active break from studying at your desk—this is the last year it will be running before the rink is replaced with greenspace!

While not a free experience, it is very affordable for students. As a student, you can get a discounted ticket that also includes a free drink from the ice rink bar.

Wishing you all a happy December and school break! Whatever you get up to I hope you stay safe and have fun. Feel free to share your favourite December activities in London in the comments below!

About the author

Madeleine

I’m a Master’s student here at LSE studying International Relations. This year I’m balancing my academic pursuits with exploring and enjoying everything London has to offer!

Posted In: London life

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Bad Behavior has blocked 743 access attempts in the last 7 days.