London is a truly romantic city, and the festive season is no exception. Until the middle of January, the capital is transformed into a winter wonderland, with every inch decorated with Christmas lights and special events going on in every corner. When it comes to romantic things to do in London at Christmas time, you and your partner (or date) will be spoilt for choice: there are numerous markets to peruse, cosy cinema screenings, and pop up ice rinks to swirl around in. So here's my list of 7 romantic things to do in London this Christmas:
On a budget? Why not check out some of London's Christmas lights? The West End has spectacular light displays at this time of year, particularly along Carnaby Street, Oxford Street, Regents Street and Bond Street. Shops like Tiffany & Co and Cartier have unmissable displays this year. Alternatively, if you want to avoid central London, you and your date could go for a wander around your local area and take photos of your neighbours' decorations. Much like in American films such as Deck the Halls, some residents go all out at Christmas, bedecking their houses with giant inflatables and more lights than you could imagine. The houses in Notting Hill and Chelsea tend to have the most Instagram-worthy displays.
3. Cuddle up at the Christmas Floating Film Festival
Snuggling up on the sofa and watching a movie is the perfect cosy evening activity for couples during the festive season. However, if you want to get out of the house and do something relaxing, the Christmas Floating Film Festival is worth checking out. The festival takes place in St. Katharine Docks (near the Tower of London) and you can choose from a selection of classic Christmas films, such as Home Alone and Love Actually, as well as the more recent tearjerker Last Christmas. Refreshments are available at the screenings. Tickets cost £15 for a single deckchair and £30 for a sofa for two.
Is your partner or date an avid Potterhead? I'm sure they'll appreciate a trip to Hogwarts in the Snow this winter. Anyone who's seen the films will know that Hogwarts is particularly magical at Christmas, and Warner Bros. Studios has recreated this for fans. Take a look around the Forbidden Forest, which has been given a festive makeover, covered in layers of artificial snow. There's plenty of decorations in the Boy's Dormitory and Gryffindor Common Room, and the Great Hall is lined with Christmas trees. You'll also be able to see the costumes, sample Butterbeer, visit Hagrid's Hut and find out how the special effects in the films were produced.
Christmas at Kenwood is new for 2021, and it's one of the best Christmas events in London this year. No matter how old you are, the outdoor illumination trail at Kenwood is bound to impress you. According to the organisers of the event, the trail is a "multi-sensory mix of light, fire and sound). There is also be a market in the gardens of Kenwood House, with festive drinks and street food. Christmas at Kenwood runs until the 9th of January, giving you plenty of time to catch it. Click here to buy tickets.
Hyde Park's Winter Wonderland is now in its 13th year (after being cancelled in 2020), and it's an absolute must for any couples who are in London for the festive season. Winter Wonderland is bursting with Christmas spirit and there's so much to do and see. Check out the stalls at the German-inspired market and go on the various rides. Brave the thrilling Munich Looping, admire London's epic skyline from the Giant Wheel, and enter the creepy Haunted Mansion. You can also marvel at the amazing sculptures in the Magical Ice Kingdom or go on a minibar crawl (choose from The Ice Bar, The Fire Pit, Thor's Tipi, Explorers Rest, Carousel Bar, and the bars in the Bavarian Village). The best thing about Winter Wonderland is that it's open from 10am to 10pm, so you can head there for a date at any time you wish. Unlike previous years, you won't just be able to turn up at Winter Wonderland – book your tickets via the website.