What does Christmas mean to you? Well, so far I've been hitting the shops and heading to Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park to celebrate the arrival of December; a festive month full of family and fun! After buying yet another pair of earrings from the Christmas market, I stop to admire the Christmas lights and decorations and realise that I'm missing one of the most essential "Christmassy things": my beautiful fresh tree!
So if like me you are buying your tree this weekend, why not head over to a Royal Park and visit Pines and Needles, where you can take your pick from a large selection of trees available in a variety of shapes, sizes and prices.
Richmond Park - Roehampton Gate Car Park
Bushy Park - Diana Car Park
Greenwich Park - Bower Avenue next to Black Heath Lodge
I am going to Bushy Park on Saturday and am planning to buy a small one (I say this every year). I am thinking of selecting a Nordmann fir tree that has soft needles so I don't hurt my fingers when removing the chocolates, but who knows I may change my mind by Saturday. Whichever tree I choose, I'm looking forward to getting even more festive and bringing my perfect tree home.
If you have already brought your tree, you might like to like to plan your Christmas morning walk in Hyde Park, which at 9am is a is a special route, with the sight of seventy intrepid swimmers braving a bracing 100 yards of the Serpentine, in the Christmas Day Swim.
Londoners have been competing on the Serpentine, which was created in 1730 for the amusement of King George II and Queen Caroline, for centuries. Its special Christmas Day Swim was inaugurated in 1864. Since 1904, members who have raced in the winter series compete for the Peter Pan Cup, donated by the creator of the ever-young boy, J. M. Barrie.
For lovers of the Christmas morning walk, Hyde Park is a great place to take an invigorating stroll and see the intrepid swimmers of the Serpentine Swimming Club rewarded with a glass of mulled punch to warm them up as the Greenbury Family presents the winner with the Peter Pan Cup.
The event has become more popular every year with crowds of well wishers willing the swimmers from Britain's oldest swimming club on, as they pass through the central London Royal Park on their exhilarating Christmas morning walk.