It’s the most wonderful time of the year! To me, the build-up to Christmas is more magical than the day itself. Let’s be honest it takes a lot to reject the Christmas spirit when it’s practically slapping you in the face everywhere you go. Don’t take me for a Scrooge, though, I love it. I love the fairy lights, I love the smell of mulled wine, I love the Christmas music being played everywhere. London is especially dynamic with the holiday spirit, particularly with the iconic Winter Wonderland which sets itself up in Hyde Park every year. Market stalls, food and drink booths, ice skating, rides and entertainment occupy the space and attract tourists and locals alike. With so much to see and try, can be a little overwhelming, though, so see how I navigated below.Don’t go hungover. See this is where I went wrong. If you’re the kind of hungover person who can’t stand the smell of food, the company of other people, or the motion of rides then you’re absolutely at the wrong place. If you want to get the most out of the experience, it’s probably best that you’re not threatening to be sick or cry every 15 minutes.
Don’t get intimidated by the queue at the entrance. it thins out once you get inside. A good sense of being able to weave and dodge will come in handy, though. Also don’t get intimidated at the queues for food – they move surprisingly quickly.
Bring pocket money – Entrance is free, so you can spend as much or as little as you like when you get there. Cash machines are hard to find, though, and it’s a pain to limit yourself. This one is more for your own convenience.
Wear something warm. Winter Wonderland – it’s all in the name! It gets cold. It gets especially cold at 4o’clock when the sun disappears. You won’t be having any fun when you can’t feel your fingers and toes. Also this will really affect your mobility and agility if you’re one of those people who enjoy playing fairground games.
Wear comfortable shoes. Expect a lot of walking and standing around – this is no place for the ‘stand-up-sit-down’ beauties that you’re wanting to show off.
Go on an empty stomach – 75% of the importance of Wonderland is the many food stalls. I mean that’s my opinion, but I think many if not most would agree with me. Everyone will be satisfied because there is SO MUCH to choose from; you’ve got your sweets, meats and alcoholic treats (as well as everything in-between). My top tip? Get churros. The trip is incomplete without churros.
Don’t overdo it. You’ll ruin the wonder of Wonderland if you force yourself to stay too long. It’s free – you can come and go as often as you please.
Keep in mind I did three of the above wrong, so I speak from experience! I think arguably the most important part of your Winter Wonderland experience is the people you bring with you (and trust me, I know the best people).
Bring good company.
Make good choices.
You’ll be fine.