As soon as December is in sight, the ads start going up for Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park. London goes mad for it – its 2014 season received over 2.5 million guests over the course of just over a month!
What is it? Essentially its a humungous fair ground with ice skating, a cute market, a beer village, an ice bar and even a circus!
My friends Sam, Kim and I decided that we would go on a Friday after work. WOW it was super busy. The wide appeal of the place was reflected in the crowd, with families, couples, groups of friends and everything in between in attendance. Although it took a while to get in, once you were in and the crowds melted into the land of wonder, so it wasn’t too packed.
The Christmas music pumps out as you walk around and you can’t help but start to feel festive. Naturally I was straight on the market stalls with their cute little Christmas trinkets, which actually weren’t badly priced! I picked up a couple of bits and then headed for food.
Unfortunately I made the wrong choice with food and ended it up with a burnt sausage bap from a stall near the entrance. There is a wide range of food there (including a wide range of sausages/wurst) and you can certainly get your hands on something a lot better than my burnt offering!
There is a huge wooden beer hall where you can listen to live music sitting at long tables with a beer or glass of mulled wine. I plumped for the cherry mulled wine which was super tasty albeit extortionate at £8.50.
Following a swift beverage, we proceeded to play a fairground game or two. Be warned I am a near deadly shot at archery!
There are a lot of ad on experiences that you can buy such as going on the big wheel (around £8 per person), and popping into the ice bar (around £15 per person) which can be bought online in advance or on the day, but we stuck to the basic areas and managed to spend an enjoyable couple of hours.
I would thoroughly recommend Winter Wonderland to get you ready to deck the halls, but would offer two pieces of advice:
- Set yourself a budget – its easy to go mad when festive fever hits
- Try to go off peak so you can take your time browsing around – also some of the paid for attractions have cheaper off peak prices