A walk around Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park, London, December 2015

A walk around Winter Wonderland in Hyde park, London, December 2015

Running until the 3rd Jan 2016, Winter Wonderland describes itself as ‘London’s Spectacular Christmas Destination’ and, to be honest, it’s a pretty good day out.

Admission is free and there’s no shortage of things to look at – or spend your money on, if so inclined.

A walk around Winter Wonderland in Hyde park, London, December 2015

View of the Wonderland from outside. There’s two main entrances at either end, and you can expect to get your bag searched as you enter.

The crowds were surprisingly modest for a Sunday, which made the experience far more enjoyable.

A walk around Winter Wonderland in Hyde park, London, December 2015

Many of the attractions had a pretty tenuous Christmas connection – it’s more of a winter funfair than anything else – but the scale of some of the rides was impressive.

I first visited the event in 2009 and it has grown massively in scale since then.

A walk around Winter Wonderland in Hyde park, London, December 2015

This psychotically laughing dismembered Santa was the stuff of nightmares.

A walk around Winter Wonderland in Hyde park, London, December 2015

As well as all the whizz-bang hi-tech attractions, there was also loads of more traditional fairground stalls.

A walk around Winter Wonderland in Hyde park, London, December 2015

A walk around Winter Wonderland in Hyde park, London, December 2015

There was no shortage of bars on the site but at £5 a pint, it wasn’t the place for drinking on a budget.

A walk around Winter Wonderland in Hyde park, London, December 2015

Some kind of monster grinning corn cob thing.

A walk around Winter Wonderland in Hyde park, London, December 2015

Some of the rides were buttock-clenchingly tall.

A walk around Winter Wonderland in Hyde park, London, December 2015

A walk around Winter Wonderland in Hyde park, London, December 2015

The ice rink was laid out around the bandstand. It’s quite mesmerising to watch the skaters go endlessly by, although I suspect that many people are secretly hoping to watch a spectacular fall or two.

A walk around Winter Wonderland in Hyde park, London, December 2015

A walk around Winter Wonderland in Hyde park, London, December 2015

Person down!

A walk around Winter Wonderland in Hyde park, London, December 2015

A female singer/guitarist played from the bandstand, one of many live performers playing in unusual locations (several were compelled to play on rotating platforms).

A walk around Winter Wonderland in Hyde park, London, December 2015

This was wonderfully daft. A pub that slowly rotated.

A walk around Winter Wonderland in Hyde park, London, December 2015

Weirdly scary ‘talking’ giant Bavarian man and bird.

A walk around Winter Wonderland in Hyde park, London, December 2015

The Bavarian drinking tent was huge with a singalong band playing in the far distance.

A walk around Winter Wonderland in Hyde park, London, December 2015

A walk around Winter Wonderland in Hyde park, London, December 2015

Winnnn-er!

A walk around Winter Wonderland in Hyde park, London, December 2015

Another winner.

A walk around Winter Wonderland in Hyde park, London, December 2015

This guy elected to go for a high-speed, brute force option on this stall. It proved unsuccessful.

A walk around Winter Wonderland in Hyde park, London, December 2015

Dancing to an opera singer.

A walk around Winter Wonderland in Hyde park, London, December 2015

Ice Mountain, one of several paid attractions.

A walk around Winter Wonderland in Hyde park, London, December 2015

A walk around Winter Wonderland in Hyde park, London, December 2015

Cuddly toys. There were an awful lot of them up for grabs on the site.

A walk around Winter Wonderland in Hyde park, London, December 2015

Ice mountain thing.

A walk around Winter Wonderland in Hyde park, London, December 2015

Reindeer racing proved a popular attraction.

A walk around Winter Wonderland in Hyde park, London, December 2015

And they’re off!

A walk around Winter Wonderland in Hyde park, London, December 2015

A walk around Winter Wonderland in Hyde park, London, December 2015

This challenge was designed to lure in overconfident men who felt that it would be easy to hold on to the bar for two minutes. It wasn’t.

A walk around Winter Wonderland in Hyde park, London, December 2015

Another Very Tall Ride.

More details here: hydeparkwinterwonderland.com