December is upon us and it’s an exciting time to be in The City, as everywhere is dressed up in its Christmas best and there is a wide selection of seasonal events to enjoy. If you are due to be staying in the Square Mile during the month, check out these highlights and perhaps attend one or two.
The Barbican Christmas Market – weekends from December 4th to 20th
Pick up some last minute Christmas presents that are sure to impress at the Barbican Christmas Market. Featuring 35 designers and makers, all of the gifts available are unique and made by some of the UK’s best craftspeople. Expect everything from ceramics and prints to jewellery. Get into the festive spirit yourself by quaffing some mulled wine and a mince pie while you’re there.
Open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays December 4th to 20th, 12 noon to 8.30pm.
This annual event at the iconic St Paul’s Cathedral is always very popular and features celebrity readers reciting seasonal passages. Music is provided by the Cathedral Choir and City of London Sinfonia and conducted by Andrew Carwood. Safe to say that the 2,500 people who attend this magical evening will be enchanted by the atmosphere that is created inside this beautiful church through both singing and harmonious instruments.
It begins at 6.30pm, but is worth arriving early.
Not only is this a great opportunity to see inside the house of the famous dictionary pioneer Dr Samuel Johnson, but it has a Christmassy twist. This gorgeous Georgian townhouse will be open after hours and lit up throughout with candles, as staff explain more about the building itself and what the festive period would have been like in Dr Johnson’s Day. A must for all avid lexicographers and historians, as well as anyone interested in Christmas traditions.
There are two tours – one at 6pm and another at 7pm. Tickets are £10 each and should be booked in advance.
At this time of year, ice rinks crop up all over the UK and The City is no exception. Not more than two minutes’ walk from Liverpool Street Station is Broadgate Ice Rink – the perfect place to strap on some skates and see if you can remember how to stay upright. Once you’re done whizzing around the ice you’ll have earned yourself a mulled cider or hot choctail at The Tasting Room, which is conveniently located rinkside.
Skate from 10am to 10pm, or choose a selection of hours in between those times! Tickets cost £13 for adults, £9 for children and £35 for a family.
To escape all things Christmas, why not attend this fascinating exhibition at the Bank of England Museum into plants and animals in relation to money. It will explore creatures that have appeared on banknotes and coins over the years, as well as those that are lurking in the architecture of the bank’s building itself. Look out for dragons, phoenixes, lions, hawks, doves and bumblebees.
Learn more about this interesting subject between 10am and 5pm Monday to Friday for free.