I often take London for granted. And London at Christmas time is something else. If I find myself wanting to visit a busy city, I’d always rather go abroad than go to London. But after a failed visit to Winter Wonderland on opening night a few years ago, we decided to try again.
This was also our first time staying in an Airbnb. I’m normally a hotel kind of girl, but for one night we couldn’t justify the prices some places were charging. So we opted for a room in a gorgeous apartment on the edge of Zone 1 with a gorgeous view of the city. I’ll be honest, we chose this place in particular because they have two cats. I couldn’t fault the apartment at all. It was spotlessly clean, beautifully decorated, and he did us the best vegan breakfast I’ve ever had. If you’re ever staying in London, make sure you stay here.
I’d planned to do quite a few things during our time in London, but in the end, we didn’t end up doing half of it. Honestly, I forgot how much walking is involved with London. So rather than a fully packed London post with all the tips and tricks, this is more of a photo-heavy post. If you want to see more about my trip, head over to my Instagram page to view my London highlights.
Kynance Mews is one of the prettiest streets in London that I’ve ever seen. Tucked down a side street in the Kensington area you’d probably miss it if you weren’t actively looking for it. I do tend to go for darker tones in my photography anyway, but I can imagine it looking so much better in literally any other season apart from this one!
Another place ticked off my list is Leadenhall Market located right in the middle of Canary Wharf. It was bustling full of businessmen enjoying a beer on their lunch break and people going about their day. They used it as Diagon Alley in one of the Harry Potter films, and the Leaky Cauldron was also nearby (which is actually an optician’s!).
Would a trip to London ever be complete without visiting Notting Hill? I didn’t get many photos here because it was starting to get dark, and I was absolutely shattered.
Honestly, I don’t feel like I got many photos compared to some of my other trips. We took advantage of the public transport wherever we could but we still did a hell of a lot of walking. My back and legs were killing me by the end of each day. And with the evening’s drawing in at around 4 pm, I didn’t have as many daylight hours as I’d have liked to be able to get all the photos I wanted.
Another thing that I discovered while in London is that you can now use your contactless cards on the tube. (I’m sure this is NOT breaking news and you’re probably thinking that I’ve been living under a rock). Previously we’d always bought the travel cards for around £12.50 each, which covers journeys from zones 1-6. On the second day, we realised that it’s much cheaper to just use our contactless cards, as it caps the spend at around £6.20. (This depends on which zones you travel to).
Pain and time limits aside, I did have a wonderful time. No visit to London at Christmas would be complete without a visit to Winter Wonderland. It was magical but very busy and crowded. It was a bit of a mix between Bridgwater Fair and the rustic Christmas Market’s I visited in Vienna. Now that I’ve been to Winter Wonderland once, I don’t know if it’ll be something high on my list to do again.
If you enjoyed reading about my experience in London – why not check out some of my other travel-related posts here!
Have you visited London at Christmas?