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Mesmerising throughout the year, winter brings out an altogether different charm of London! Dedicated markets are set up at various places and existing stores are lit up to mark the festive spirit. Choices are varied, that range from handmade jewellery to beautiful arts and crafts. Notting Hill, Southbank Centre and Winter Wonderland are some of the areas hosting Christmas markets.
Winter Wonderland is a one stop destination for families to indulge into fun and shopping. Hosted annually in Hyde park between the months of November to January, it brings fairground rides, a giant wheel, circus, Christmas market, an ice rink and also stalls selling food and beverages. Victorian bandstand is encircled by a large ice rink while visitors are greeted to an ice forest of frozen sculptures and a gleaming ice castle in the Magical Ice Kingdom.
Zippos Circus and Cirque Beserk stage shows of acrobatic wonders. Rides like rollercoaster offer an adrenaline splurge, and there are also gentle ones like carousels, helter skelter and fun houses for children. Topping the attractions list in Winter Wonderland is the replica of London eye. At a height of 60m, it offers spectacular views of cityâ€™s skyline.
Entry to Wonderland is free, however giant wheel, ice kingdom and other rides call for advance booking to avoid last minute queues. Being held in open air, visitors are advised to guard themselves with hat, scarf, gloves and warm coat to beat the chill. Father Christmas shows up in the Santa Land Grotto each day between 10am to 6 pm, except Christmas day.
Winter Wonderland brings a number of bars and eateries offering wine, farmhouse foods, hot chocolate and more. Entry is free, however rides, ice rink, ice kingdom and circus call for advance bookings. Online booking option is also at visitorsâ€™ service for ticketed events.