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Santa's Sleigh and Gigantic Bells at Covent Garden in London. Photo Credit: © Ursula Petula Barzey.

5 Reasons To Visit London During The Christmas Holidays

Christmas is a magical time of year to be visiting London. There are spectacular decorations everywhere and people are generally in a festive mood. Here are some of our favourite seasonal experiences which are all great reasons to visit London during the Christmas holidays.

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2018 Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree. Photo Credit: © Ursula Petula Barzey.

Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony

For many Londoners, the Trafalgar Square Christmas tree lighting ceremony along with carol singing marks the start of the countdown to Christmas. The ceremony typically takes place on the first Thursday in  December and is led by the Lord Mayor of Westminster, accompanied by a band and choir followed by the switching on of the Christmas lights.

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Kensington Palace - In front of the east front public entrance stands a statue of Queen Victoria, sculpted by her daughter Princess Louise.

History of Kensington Palace: from Jacobean Mansion to Royal Residence

Kensington Palace, nestled at the western edge of leafy Kensington Gardens, has been a royal home since 1689. Today, it is the London base of the Prince and Princess of Wales and the nerve centre of their operations. It is also home to the Dukes of Kent and Gloucester and Princess Michael of Kent.

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13 London Christmas Markets: Purchase Unique Gifts and Festive Delights

Embrace the joyous spirit of Christmas and discover a treasure trove of unique gifts at London’s enchanting Christmas markets. From the bustling South Bank’s festive market to quaint neighborhood fairs, these eight markets offer an unparalleled Christmas shopping experience. Immerse yourself in the twinkling lights, handcrafted delights, and heartwarming cheer that permeate these seasonal havens.

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Whispering Gallery at Saint Paul's Cathedral in London. Photo Credit: © St Paul's Cathedral.

The Whispering Gallery at Saint Paul’s Cathedral Reopens

It is no more than appropriate that in Sir Christopher Wren’s tercentenary, the star feature of his masterpiece, the Whispering Gallery at St Paul’s Cathedral, should have been re-opened after four years of renovation. London’s great sotto voce experience is back.

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UK Honour System: Damehood and Knighthood medals. Photo Credit: © UK Cabinet Office.

The UK Honours System: A Comprehensive Guide to the Orders and Medals

The United Kingdom’s honours system rewards those who have rendered significant service to the country. These awards are typically in the form of lifetime titles that cannot be passed down to the recipient’s children. However, in very rare cases, a hereditary peerage is granted, allowing the recipient to leave a title to their offspring.

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The British Royal Family on Buckingham Palace balcony after Trooping the Colour 2023. Photo Credit: © Katie Chan.

British Royal Family Finances: How is the Royal Family Funded?

The Royal Family of the United Kingdom is financed in a number of different ways. Its main source of income is the Sovereign Grant (the Civil List until 2012), which currently costs £86.3 million a year. This comes in the form of a grant from the government that meets the costs of the royal residences, staffing, travel and state visits, public engagements, and official entertainment.

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Afternoon Tea at Brown's Hotel in London. Photo Credit: © Brown's Hotel London.

10 Facts You Didn’t Know About The History of Afternoon Tea in England

Many visitors to Britain like to partake in the ritual of afternoon tea, which is a long-standing British tradition. It combines the British love of drinking tea with a fondness for cakes and other sweet dishes in the middle of the afternoon. Many hotels and well-known shops, such as Fortnum and Mason on Piccadilly, offer afternoon tea packages.

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Afternoon Tea at The Wolseley Hotel in London. Photo Credit: © The Wolseley.

Afternoon Tea in London: Where to Indulge in the Ultimate English Treat

What could be more quintessentially English than afternoon tea? This is often one of the top items on London visitors’ itineraries, but many are unsure of where to go or surprised by how expensive it can be.

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Prince William and Charles at Garter Day 2008. Photo Credit: © Ibagli via Wikimedia Commons.

Knights Of The Garter: The Oldest Order In The United Kingdom

Throughout British history, there have been just over a thousand Knights of the Garter. According to tradition, the order was founded by King Edward III in 1348, not long after he laid a claim to the throne of France. King Edward and his son, also called Edward, began the Hundred Years War against the French for control of their country.

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View of Millennium Bridge from Tate Modern looking towards Saint Paul's Cathedral. Photo Credit: © Ursula Petula Barzey.

Mission Impossible Films: Scenes Shot In London And Around The United Kingdom

The Mission Impossible film series is famous for its use of exotic locations around the globe. Tom Cruise, portraying the top secret agent Ethan Hunt and his team save the world in the world’s tallest building in Dubai or at the Vatican. However, they also use British locations in their films, some of which are seen in the latest instalment, Dead Reckoning: Part One. The second instalment of the film has been made and is due to be released in June 2024.

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Red Arrows taking part in the RAF100 parade and flypast over London. Photo Credit: © Cpl Tim Laurence RAF/MOD via Wikimedia Commons.

The History of the Royal Fly Past

The Royal Fly Past takes place after great state occasions, most particularly after events such as Trooping of the Colour, the official celebration of the monarch’s birthday. The Trooping takes place on a Saturday in June every year. Although the date might not coincide with the actual birthday of the monarch – King Charles III was born on 14th November 1948 – it is a convenient date for the ceremony, which takes place when the British weather is usually at its best. Since the accession of George III in 1760, Trooping of the Colour has been an annual event.

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