Have you ever heard about the Winter Wonderland? This is probably the biggest and the brashest of all Christmas fairs of London, as it welcomed over 15 million visitors ever since 2007. This year, it takes place between the end of the November and the start of January, being held in the most beloved of all London royal parks – the Hyde Park. One of the best things about this event is that the entry is completely free, and all that you have to do is go in and enjoy the greatest Christmas atmosphere that you can find in the city. This is why we made the Know about London Winter Wonderland with tips article, bringing you all that you have to know about it. We will tell you when and where exactly does this fair take place, what are the activities that you can engage in there, what can you find at the large Christmas markets of the Wonderland, what can you eat and drink there, which hotels are the closest to it, and we’ll also give you some tips and tricks to make your visit unforgettable. Know about London Winter Wonderland with tips is here to help you:
The Winter Wonderland of 2015 will, as it usually the case, start at the end of November and be finished in early January. The exact dates would be the November 20 and the January 3, and the fair is open every day from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. with the exception of the Christmas Day.
As in the previous years, the Winter Wonderland 2015 will be held in the famous Hyde Park, with the nearest tube stations being the Victoria, Hyde Park Corner, Green Park, Knightsbridge, and Marble Arch.
The entry to this atmospheric event is completely free, but you have to buy the tickets for the activities are taking place inside it. The tickets for the Giant Wheel, the Zippos Circus, the Ice Kingdom, and the Bar Ice, of course, can be booked in advance.
As the family favorite is once again returning to the Hyde Park, this is a nice place for you and your family to pay a visit to this amazing event. Almost everything here has the Christmas theme, like the huge market which is definitely worth visiting or the observation wheel which will let you have an amazing view of London during the festive season, filled with Christmas lights.
As it is usually the case, this place will easily provide you with laughter, fun, and excitement, no matter your age. You can skate around the huge ice rink that goes around an old Victorian bath stand, or enter the Ice Kingdom which will easily take you away into whole another world, with its frozen sculptures, ice castles, and ice forests. If you’re more into acrobatics, you can also visit the Cirque Beserk or the Zippos Circus, filled with shows that bring the acrobatic wonders.
There are also a great number of rides to engage in – like the helter-skelters, carousels, or the fun houses. Adults will surely love the rollercoasters, which give you a chance to take a ride that will bring you an adrenaline rush.
And let’s not forget the observation wheel, which is here to take you some 60 meters above the city, offering you to take a look at London’s skyline.
The Christmas Markets
The Christmas Markets of the Winter Wonderland are among the best on the continent, as they have loads of decorations, trinkets, works of art, and jewelry, making this place a perfect destination for all those who want to buy a nice present for their loved ones. Be sure to explore both the Yuletide and Angels markets, with a great number of wooden chalets that are filled with all sorts of festive goods.
The Food and Drinks
Feeling thirsty or hungry is surely not a problem at the Winter Wonderland – one can easily get a warming drink or a nice meal at one of the numerous stalls, bars, and restaurants. Be sure to try the mulled wine (goes so well with the festive season!), churros, and keep yourself warm with a nice cup of hot chocolate. You will also get a chance to eat some of the best German Christmas dishes, like the German sausage, in the so-called Bavarian village.
As we already said, the entry to this event is completely free, but you will have to buy the tickets for some of the activities. This goes for the ice skating, for the popular observation wheel, as well as for the Cirque Beserk, Zippos Circus, and the Ice Kingdom.
The Hotels that are near the Winter Wonderland
In our honest opinion, these would be the best hotels that are close to the event:
Located on the northeastern edge of the Hyde Park, the Cumberland hotel has some stylish rooms with Wi-Fi, modern TVs and some beautiful paintings done by the British artists. The hotel also has a nightclub with a DJ, as well as the champagne bar and a gym.
This hotel can be found just east of the Hyde Park, very close to the US embassy. It’s an upscale place that has elegant rooms with the usual commodities, like the flat-screen TVs or the minibars while the Wi-Fi requires an additional fee. The hotel has 2 restaurants – a Japanese one and an Italian.
As the name already says, this particular hotel is located on the Park Lane, which would be a huge street that runs along the eastern edge of the Hyde Park, allowing you an easy access to the Winter Wonderland. It has the polished rooms with the usual amenities, along with the French restaurant that has a stunning view of the city.
Just like the Millennium Hotel, the Connaught is also on the eastern side of the park, close to the US embassy. It was opened more than a hundred years ago and has some modern rooms that come with 24-hour butler service. The hotel has an Asian spa, as well the pool, a fitness studio, bars, a restaurant, and many other things.
The Berkeley is located on the southeastern edge of the park, not far from the tube at the Hyde Park Hotel. It is one of the best hotels in the city, a luxurious place that has elegant rooms which come with the designer furnishings, the marble bathrooms, and the free Wi-Fi access.
Tips for the Winter Wonderland
1.Take your kids with you
The kids will almost certainly fall in love with the Winter Wonderland as this place will offer them a chance to experience the true magic of Christmas. It is the family-friendly fair that has numerous rides, like the Haunted House (don’t take your kid there if it’s too young!). Let’s not forget that the Winter Wonderland also has the numerous baby-changing facilities spread all over the place
2. Eat and Drink!
The Winter Wonderland will certainly make you happy since it has a great number of eateries and bars that you can choose from. One can easily warm himself up with some of the mulled wine and eat the best farmhouse meals that are served around the fire put, which always comes to life at night, with the addition of the 70s-style live band. The Star Tavern & Village Square will provide you with things like fish and chips or the hog roast. There is also the House of St. Nicholas that has some festive refreshments at their log fireplace.
3. Head to the Magical Ice Kingdom
As already said, the Magical Ice Kingdom is surely not something to be missed while at the Winter Wonderland. It is a dreamy world that is made of snow and ice, having some beautiful sculptures inspired by the fairytales, a frozen forest, as well as the ice thrones (Knights of the Round Table) and the Ice Bar. An adult ticket will cost you £7 while the one for children can be bought for £5.
4. Buy the Tickets in Advance
During the peak periods, some of the attractions of the magical Winter Wonderland are fully-booked, which means that you should definitely book the tickets in advance if you want to see the Ice Kingdom, take a ride on the Observation Wheel, or attend the show at the Zippos Circus.
5. Meet the Santa
This is a must if you’re coming here with small children. The Winter Wonderland has a Santa Land grotto that is opened every day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (with the exception of Christmas), and every kid will receive a small kid directly from Santa himself. There will also be an official photographer who makes the souvenir shots that you can buy, but you can also take the photos on your own.
6. Go with Cash
The Winter Wonderland has numerous attractions and rides that can be accessed by using tokens, and each of these tokens will cost you £1. The tokens can be bought at the booths that are dotted around the whole site, and, unfortunately, can’t be bought in the advance. You can also buy a great number of gifts here since the Winter Wonderland has over 200 wooden chalets that are selling everything from Christmas decorations to some amazing culinary delights.
7. Get Warm!
Since the winter months can be pretty chilly, and the Winter Wonderland takes place outdoors, you should definitely consider wearing some clothes that will keep you warm. Consider wearing gloves, a warm coat, as well as the hat and the scarf. The Ice Kingdom is probably the coldest place in the Winter Wonderland, having the temperatures around -8°C. You can also always warm yourself up with the mulled wine or with a cup of hot chocolate.
8. Have a taste of Germany
if you want to feel a bit of the party atmosphere, head over to the Bavarian Great Hall or the Bavarian Village, and have a sip of the German beer, eat a bratwurst, and listen to the oompah bands.
9. Don’t miss the Observation Wheel
Head over to the Observation Wheel and go all the way up 60 meters above the ground and took a look at the unforgettable skyline of England’s capital city, while at the same time being in a comfortable pod. The whole thing lasts for 15 minutes and you hire a private ride, with a pod that will take up to 6 people.
10. When should you visit the Winter Wonderland?
The Winter Wonderland is busiest during evenings and weekends, and you should always be prepared for long queues when it comes to attractions and rides. And if you don’t want to visit the fair when it’s crowded, come at weekday mornings, although you should be aware of the fact that the true festive atmosphere can be experienced only during the evenings, which bring the Christmas lights, loads of people, and live music.