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A Complete Guide to Celebrate Christmas in London

Christmas in London

Spending Christmas in London?  Then you can look forward to a lot of festive fun and entertainment. 

All the main shopping areas such as Regent Street, Oxford Street, Kensington, The Strand, and Covent Garden are always beautifully decorated with festive lights.  A massive Christmas tree adorned with long strings of twinkling lights is placed in Trafalgar Square. This tree is a gift from Norway. It is sent every year in recognition of the help and support given to Norway during the Second World War.  Alternatively, you can go for accommodation near Earls Court London and have a great time exploring more.

Head for South Bank, Hyde Park, Leicester Square, Portobello Road or Greenwich for some really wonderful Christmas markets.  Each market contains numerous chalets selling beautiful decorations, gifts, food and drinks.  Entertainment is often provided too in the form of bands, music, and street performers.  At Hyde Park for example there is also a fairground and a Giant Observation Wheel revolving 200 feet into the air providing stunning views across London. 

Ice skating is another fun activity over the Christmas period.  Numerous outdoor rinks are set up throughout London.  Some of the most spectacular are sited outside the Natural History Museum, in the courtyard of Somerset House, and in the moat of the Tower of London.  Hyde Park’s Christmas market includes access to the largest outdoor ice rink in the UK which is situated around the Victorian bandstand. 

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Public sessions are held at all the rinks often late into the night, and skates can be hired. If you are near to hotels in London Earls Court, you should visit the Victorian bandstand  Some of the ice rinks also incorporate special sessions by professional skaters where you can watch performances.  At Hyde Park, for example, there are regular shows of Cinderella on Ice performed by championship skaters.

More entertainment can be enjoyed in the West End theatres where special festive productions of favorite ballets like The Nutcracker and Sleeping Beauty are staged. The Nutcracker is very much a feature of a British Christmas, with its tale of a Christmas party, a fight between the Nutcracker and the evil Mouse King followed by a journey to the Kingdom of Sweets. 

Also essential to any British Christmas are performances of A Christmas Carol, Dickens ever-popular story showing how Scrooge learned the real meaning of Christmas from the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future.

Christmas in England would not be Christmas without the pantomime.  These are comic versions of traditional fairy stories. This year Dick Whittington is being staged at the London Palladium.

Dick Whittington is very much a London story about a boy and his cat who come to London to make their fortune, initially deterred and start to go home before being told by the bells to ‘turn again’, and after various adventures marry the girl he loves and become the Lord Mayor of London.

Expect calls from the audience of ‘he’s behind you’ whenever the bad guy comes on stage, and a pantomime dame wearing the most extravagant, over-the-top, dresses. Oh – and the dame is usually a man dressed as a woman. In addition, choosing the Mowbray Court Hotel in Kensington London will multiply your enjoyment.

As the festive season comes to an end, head to Trafalgar Square for New Year Celebrations which include fireworks displays along the Thames.

THE WORLD OF HARRY POTTER

The World of Harry Potter

Harry Potter, the boy wizard has become an international phenomenon with London taking a key role in his adventures which is why countless fans follow in his footsteps every day.

Many of the scenes around the center of London are all too familiar to Harry Potter fans.  The Knight Bus sped across London’s bridges and through the West End; the little shops of Leadenhall Market provided the inspiration for the Leaky Cauldron and Diagon Alley while the flying car set off from St Pancras Station and every year, Harry Potter set off for Hogwarts via the Hogwarts Express steaming at Platform Nine and three quarters at Kings Cross Station.  

Now, let’s talk about accommodation. London, notorious for its pricey lodgings, might seem daunting to the budget-conscious traveler. But fear not, for hidden amidst the hustle and bustle of the city lies a plethora of affordable accommodations in London, waiting to welcome you with open arms.

Warner Bros Studio Tour, where all the films were made.  This is the setting for an incredible Harry Potter adventure behind the scenes, where visitors can find out the secrets of a green screen, and see the wonderful sets and props that brought the films vividly alive.  

The original Hogwarts Express stands puffing on the platform, waiting for passengers.  Stroll down the Great Hall of Hogwarts, take a look under the staircase of No 4 Privet Drive, follow the gold to Gringotts Bank, and admire the wands in Ollivanders.  Who can resist the fun of Weasley’s Joke shop in Diagon Alley?  Peep inside the Knight Bus and drink some butterbeer.  

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The Forbidden Forest awaits you – and if you don’t like spiders then it may be something of a nightmare.  This is where the giant animated model of Aragog has her lair together with all the spiderlings.  

Admire the delights of Mrs Weasley’s kitchen complete with self-stirring cauldrons or imagine yourself sitting in Professor Snape’s gloomy potions classroom.  Other famous sets include Professor Dumbledore’s study, the Gryffindor Common Room, and the turret dormitory shared by Harry, Ron, and their friends.  

Everywhere you go within the Studio Tour are hundreds upon hundreds of original props made for use during the filming. There are wands, time turners, chests, armor, games, paintings, books, and over 200 monster heads.  One of the highlights of the tour is undoubtedly watching the metal snakes slithering over the great door to the Chamber of Secrets – and seeing it slowly open!

The incredibly detailed model of Hogwarts arouses admiration from every visitor.  Every single detail can be seen, nothing has been left out.  Green screen technology enabled this model to be used for filming many of the exterior scenes showing Hogwarts in all its glory.  It never fails to impress.  

You can even get yourself filmed on a broomstick, flying across the sky! Harry Potter’s magical universe is definitely alive and thoroughly enjoyable.

After a day of exploring the wizarding world, why not retreat to the comfort of the Mowbray Court Hotel in Central London? Located in the heart of the city, this cozy hotel offers the perfect home base for your magical adventures. with comfortable accommodations and easy access to all of London’s attractions, it’s the ideal place to rest your weary feet after a day of spellbinding fun.

Exploring one of the World’s Greatest Gardens

 

Exploring-one-of-the-World’s-Greatest-Gardens-Kew-Garden-Mowbray-Court-Hotel-London

A totally different world awaits you just a short distance away from London. This is a world of calm tranquility, of extensive lawns and flowers with unexpected treasures such as a tree top walk and a royal palace.  Kew is one of London’s hidden secrets.

The wide expanses of parkland make you feel as though you are far away from the busy London streets, which on a hot humid day can be a real treat. London’s green spaces have always been highly prized and Kew is no exception.

But before we delve into the enchanting world of botanical wonders, let’s talk about something equally important for a family adventure: finding the perfect place to stay.  Lucky for you, there are plenty of family-friendly hotels near Kensington, ensuring that your exploration of this green oasis is not only memorable but also comfortable and convenient. 

Kew Gardens is the largest and most diverse botanical garden in the world, housing hundreds of thousands of different flowers, many of which are rare and endangered in the wild.  The gardens are so important that they are UNESCO listed and contain acres of beautiful scenery.  You can explore on your own or join one of the many free walking tours that take place daily.  It is full of surprising hidden corners such as the Minka House, which was originally a farmhouse near Okazaki City in southern Japan. It was donated to Kew as part of the 2001 Japanese Festival.

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Hunt out the Badger Sett, home to several badgers who live underground; and the incredible willow sculptures by Tom Hare, which line the walkways near the Main Gate. Designed to resemble giant flowers, the sculptures include horse chestnut and a giant star anise. This is something for everyone who resident at hotels near Earl Court and especially, Artists may enjoy visiting the Marianne North Gallery lined with hundreds of paintings of flowers, landscapes, animals and birds from all over the world.

Don’t forget to explore the massive glasshouses containing thousands of exotic plants.

Then there is the meandering Tree Top Walkway where you can get a bird’s eye view of the gardens but beware – you do need to climb over a hundred steps to reach it.  How about exploring a Chinese Pagoda?  Tucked away in the furthest corner of the grounds is a magnificent Chinese Pagoda complete with dragons, which was built in 1762.

Equally unusual is The Hive.  This is a giant translucent building that resembles the interior of a beehive. You can actually step inside and find out what life is like for the busy bees who live within hives. Constantly changing lights and sounds create a multi-sensory experience.  

To complete your visit to Kew which is well connected from Mowbray Court Hotel Kensington, head for the smallest royal palace in the country. Kew Palace was a royal retreat popular with the royal family in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.  You can visit many of the rooms, which are beautifully proportioned and decorated, as well as the stunning Royal Kitchens.  Recently restored, the Royal Kitchens include numerous preparation rooms and the massive Great Kitchen which would been at the heart of the culinary activity, preparing extensive meals every day.