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Five places in London where Christmas has come early

By Time Out contributors

It might only just be November, but Santa’s sleighs have already descended on the capital. Grinches beware...

1. Natural History Museum Ice Rink 

Get your skates on at the Natural History Museum’s picturesque courtyard ice rink. Flanked by twinkling fairy lights and with an imposing tree slap-bang in the middle, it’s a magical spot to sharpen your skills. Scared of slipping on the ice? There’s plenty of other distractions – here’s looking at you, Hotel Chocolat’s melt-in-your-mouth hot choc. Or prosecco if you’re feeling fancy…

2. Selfridges 

Of course, Selfridges is Christmassified already. We’d expect nothing less from the department store. Its shop windows are already choc-full of Santas. Plus you can feast on the department store’s edible Xmas ‘greatest hits’ at its dedicated food shop. Traditionally open for 10 weeks, this year it’s here for much longer (and all the better for it). Oh and if you’re feeling particularly smug, get a head start on your Xmas shopping. There are berry wreaths and personalised Christmas sacks at your service…

3. Oxford Street

Christmas in the capital wouldn’t be complete without Oxford Street’s annual light-up. Given a festive facelift for its 58th year running, 1,778 decorations (and 750,000 energy-saving LED light bulbs) have descended on the shopping haven. Sure, they might not get switched on till November 7, but the baubles are already hanging above the iconic shopping street, reminding us that Christmas is right around the corner. They also look great on Instagram with or without light.

4. Liberty London

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So. Much. Sparkle. That’s the best way to describe the department store’s dedicated festive shop. Decked out with fairy lights and wall-to-wall ivy and pine, it’s a typically extravagant affair. Explore the grotto of traditional wooden toys, giant reindeers and baubles featuring traditional London landmarks, be it red telephone box or a wooden London bus. All that glitters really is gold...

5. Skylight

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Spend an evening switching between skating, ice-hockey shooting and street food on this Tobacco Dock rooftop. If the arctic fun and twinkling fairy lights don’t get you in the festive mood, the cheese fondue and mulled wine (plus patio heaters) promise to warm your cockles to post-Christmas-dinner levels. 

Words: Salma Haidrani

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