Every time I visit Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland it seems to get better and better. Here are my tips for getting the most out of your visit. When my husband still lived in London, it became a bit of a tradition to visit every New Year’s Day. While you can’t see in the new year here at midnight as it closes at 10 pm it’s nevertheless a great way it’s a fabulous place to celebrate the New Year on 1st January.
As well as numerous scream-inducing funfair rides, there’s a magical Christmas market called Angels Market. It was the first Christmas Market I ever visited. Since then I’ve been to many more all around Europe but this one remains one of my favourites. Each year, with the echoes of Auld Lang Syne still ringing in our ears, we hop on the underground to Marble Arch tube station to see if it is as fun as we remember.
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What to wear to Winter Wonderland London
Despite the sometimes chilly, drizzly weather we always have a great time simply wandering around watching other people laughing and occasionally screaming their lungs out on the hair-raising rides and there are numerous covered areas to escape the worst of the showers.
Nevertheless, wrap up warm with layers you can remove. I’d recommend wearing a hat, scarf, gloves and a warm waterproof coat. At the Bar Ice or The Magical Ice Kingdom presents A Christmas Carol, you’ll find it particularly chilly at a frosty -10°C (14°F)… brrr!
Ice skating at Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland
Watching everyone enjoying the ice rink is almost as fun as joining in. Ice skating sessions run every hour, on the hour, between from ten in the morning until nine at night and last 50 minutes. You’ll need to book in advance and arrive 20 minutes before your booked session so you’ve got time to collect your skates from the skate hire. The smallest child skate is a size 9 and the largest adult is 15, although there are a limited number of skates in the larger sizes. Prices vary greatly depending on the time of day you want to go. You can find more information here.
The nearest stations to the ice rink are Victoria, Green Park, Hyde Park Corner and Knightsbridge.
Angels Market at Winter Wonderland London
Angels Market always looks so pretty with traditional rides such as carousels and helter-skelters interspersed between rows of wooden chalet stalls selling some beautiful crafts and edible treats.
Fairground rides at Hyde Park at Christmas
From the traditional to the new, there’s a fabulous range of rides costing around £5 each. You can pay for Winter Wonderland rides via contactless payment or by using tokens, which are available at the token booths dotted around the site. From this year you can also buy a season ticket.
Food and drink at London’s Winter Wonderland
One of my favourite indulgences is a Bailey’s Hot Chocolate with a large dollop of cream, topped off with a chocolate flake. It warms us up a treat as we drink it snuggled up on a red padded bench in an old waltzer car, a traditional ride found in English fairgrounds. This is in a covered area containing a number of bars and food stalls furnished with repurposed fairground ride parts, with a centrepiece of a bar serving mulled wine and draught ales in the middle of a revolving carousel.
All the usual tasty treats are on offer such as Belgium waffles, German sausages, 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.
Try the Hungarian chimney cake (above) or for those with a big appetite, Lángos, a Hungarian fried bread topped with shredded cheese or sour cream (pictured below).
And wash it down by a mug of hot chocolate, mulled wine or cider, mead or perhaps a glass of Viking blood (a German mead made with cherries and honey) or a pint at Santa’s Pub one of many fine drinking establishments in Winter Wonderland.
The best time to go to London’s Winter Wonderland
This year Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland will run from 18th November 2022 to 2nd January 2023.
The mornings and afternoons can be fairly quiet, with small queues for the rides and food and drink stalls. But, around dusk, it tends to steadily get busier. The queues get longer but there’s a more festive atmosphere.
Things to know before you go to Winter Wonderland London
Website: Hyde Park Winter Wonderland
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: 10 am to 10 pm daily
Entry: FREE but there are rides and events that you will need to pay for, although there is plenty to see without spending a penny!
Advanced Tickets: you need to buy tickets for the various shows in advance. You’ll find more information about here. Having seen Cirque Berzerk I can certainly recommend their show but there’s plenty more to choose from for all ages.
Accessibility: 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).
London’s Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park just gets better every time I go. It is well worth a visit for the young at heart of any age.
You’ll find loads more information on their website including a handy site map, details of the rides, attractions and refreshment stalls. You can even download their app from the Apple App Store or Google Play.
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