Christmas in California is always fun, but sunshine and palm trees don’t quite scream winter holiday like a bit of cold weather and fog. That’s why being in the UK in the weeks leading up to Christmas is a great way to get into the spirit of the Yuletide season. Here are a few ways to celebrate the holiday while you’re in the UK!
Eat Christmas Food
In the US, the food you eat at Christmas might just be a repeat of the Thanksgiving meal you had a month earlier, so being in the UK during Christmas time gives you a chance to try new treats. Stop into any grocery store and you’re sure to see mince pies, chocolate Yule logs, and Christmas pudding and cake. Give each of these a try and you might just find your new favourite Christmas tradition!
Visit Christmas Markets
All over Great Britain there are Christmas markets popping up. These are fantastic places to buy gifts and decorations and sample the foods mentioned above. Some of these markets are open every weekend or everyday, but some are only open once during the holiday season, so be sure to find out before you get there.
Go Ice Skating
Put on your scarves, gloves, hats and wool socks and head to the nearest ice rink! Britain has plenty of outdoor ice skating rinks, the largest one being at Hyde Park Winter Wonderland (which also has two circuses, an Ice Kingdom and Christmas markets). The Natural History Museum and Somerset House, both in London, have their own ice rinks as well, and in Brighton you can skate under the lights of the Royal Pavilion.
See the Lights and Decorations
Put some hot chocolate in a thermos to keep you warm while you take a tour of your Host University city’s Christmas lights. Most cities in the UK have already switched theirs on, but if yours hasn’t, be sure to go to the switch on ceremony. Christmas lights around town make everything feel more festive, even running errands, especially when those errands are buying Christmas presents for your loved ones back home! And while you’re out shopping, take a look at what’s going on in the stores themselves. Many shops take pride in their Christmas displays and over-the-top decorations, so browse through some of the more upscale stores, even if you’re not doing your shopping there.