Four years ago I spent a lovely New Year’s Eve exploring Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland. As well as numerous scream-inducing fun fair rides it included (and still does) a magical Christmas market, the first one I’d ever visited. Since then I’ve been to many more but Angel’s Market has remained one of my favourites so yesterday, with the echoes of Auld Lang Syne still ringing in our ears, we hopped on the underground to Marble Arch tube station to see if it was as fun as we remembered.
Despite the chilly, drizzle we had a great time simply wandering around watching other people laughing and occasionally screaming their lungs out on the hair-raising rides. Entry was free so the only thing we spent was £4.50 each on an indulgent Bailey’s Hot Chocolate with a large dollop of cream, topped off with a chocolate flake. It was spot on warming us up a treat as we drank it snuggled up on a red padded bench in an old waltzer car, a traditional ride found in English fairgrounds. These were in a covered area containing a numbers of bars and food stalls furnished with repurposed fairground ride parts, with a centre piece of a bar serving mulled wine and draught ales in the middle of a revolving carousel.
All the usual tasty treats were on offer such as Belgium waffles, mulled wine and in the picture below barbecued salmon. With some 25 food stalls, bars and cafés throughout the park there was a good range available and plenty of seating undercover.
Angels Market looked even prettier than I remembered with traditional rides such as carousels and helter skelters interspersed between rows of wooden chalet stalls selling some very pretty crafts and edible treats.
It was fairly quiet when we were there in the afternoon, with virtually no queues for the rides or food and drink stalls. As we left, just after dusk, it was steadily getting busier which while bringing some queues would create a more festive atmosphere. With the addition of a couple of covered areas, that weren’t there as far as I saw on my previous visit, it was easy to step inside to miss the worse of the bad weather.
Although the last day will be tomorrow (Sunday 3rd January 2016) I’m sure it will be back again next year and is well worth a visit for the young at heart of any age.
Nearest Tube Stations: Bond Street, Green Park, Knightsbridge, Marble Arch, Hyde Park Corner, Paddington and Victoria. Green Park station is best for step-free access.
Opening Times: 10am to 10pm daily
Children’s Rides: From £2
General Rides: From £3
Advanced Tickets: Some tickets can be bought in advance. You’ll find more information here. Having seen Cirque Berzerk earlier in the year I can certainly recommend their show.
Website: Hyde Park Winter Wonderland
Wheelchair users and anyone else with accessibility queries can find out more information here. Don’t let your wheelchair stop you from ice-skating, going to the circus or riding the Giant Wheel (but please do contact them in advance).