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Best Christmas Markets in Europe

Best Christmas Markets in Europe: London
Jasper James

London, England

London's Christmas shopping season opens in November, when Regent Street ceremoniously switches on its Christmas lights for a pedestrian parade. London typically spreads out its Christmas cheer, from the official Norwegian fir on Trafalgar Square to the ice skating rink at Somerset House. Trees bedecked with fairy lights herald Hyde Park's Winter Wonderland (mid-Nov. - early Jan.), which includes London's largest outdoor skating rink, a toboggan slide, a Ferris wheel, carolers, and a traditional German Christmas market. More small markets spring up at the Natural History Museum, which installs a temporary ice rink (early Nov. -mid-Jan.); and the Greenwich Market (most of Dec.), also with a nearby ice rink. Christmas concerts abound, but it's hard to resist the carol sing-along at the Royal Albert Hall (most of Dec.).

Look For: The Tower of London's Medieval Christmas (end of Dec.), a fanciful "historical" reimagining set in the 1284 court of Edward I, and the Great Christmas Pudding Race of costumed contestants treading an obstacle course around Covent Garden while balancing fruitcakes on spoons.

For More Info: visitlondon.com

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