Christmas is one of my favourite times of year in London, the buzz, the festive events, the mulled wine and carols, but mainly because of the Christmas lights. London is lit up so beautifully that even those of us who have seen many many Christmases are still enchanted by the sights. Each area has its own style from classic to wacky, with Carnaby Street winning the prize for the latter! Take a stroll with me to enjoy the lights from the warmth of your own home.
It’s that time of year again when London comes to life with festive lights in all the major shopping areas. I’ve been out and about checking them out for you and my view on 2015 is that some new ones are great, some areas have kept with old favourites which is no bad thing but some of the major shops have not made much effort this year and one major street is just not up to our high standards.
London always looks beautiful at Christmas time as the shops, large and small, and the famous streets, like Regent Street and Oxford Street, put a huge effort into their lights and window displays. Most of them are up and twinkling now so I thought I’d give you a tour around London by night to enjoy these festive sights. Continue reading
Only 15 days to go! I’m rushing around trying to make sure I have bought everyone’s presents, posted all the cards and, most importantly, enjoyed London’s Christmas lights!
One of the wonderful traditions in London at this time of year is the lighting of the tress in Trafalgar Square. Every year since 1947 the people of Norway have sent us a magnificent Christmas tree as a gesture of thanks for British support during the dark days of the Second World War. The switching on of the lights attracts huge crowds and this year was no exception with the square and every viewing point crammed with excited Londoners and tourists. The 70 foot tree looked fabulous with its 600 bright lights hanging vertically, as is the Norwegian style. Here are some photos to show you the scenes in the square including the fine voiced choristers who braved the cold to entertain us!
To top off the evening, we went into the church of St Martin-in-the-Fields for the annual VSO (Voluntary Service Overseas) charity Christmas Carol Concert where we had great fun belting out all the old favourites, listened to a wonderful choir doing it properly and heard some fun and inspiring readings and talks about the work of VSO. A festive glass of hot mulled wine was also happily consumed!
|Inside St Martin-in- the-Fields|
The British Museum has a special open evening for members so we could shop in private and enjoy the Egyptian Galleries by night, which was a bit spooky and put me in mind of the film A Night at the Museum. The famous inner courtyard and Reading Room looked festive with their snowflake design.
|The museum by night – watched by a Pharaoh!|
South Molton Street, just off Oxford Street has very striking lights and they have done the sensible thing and used last years’ again – good to see the recycling and the dramatic blue arches would be hard to beat.
Another example of recycling is Oxford Street where they have kept most of the lights used last year but added several sections sponsored by Marmite. The advertising for this quintessentially British spread is ‘you’ll love it or hate it’ and that seems to apply to the lights too! I think most of them are ok but the section where people’s faces appear is rather creepy. Have a look at the good bits:
Selfridges, one of London’s top department stores on Oxford Street, is famous for its Christmas windows and although they are not all as good as usual this year, I particularly like these two.
I’ll be back soon with some more sights of London at Christmas time for you.
Bye for now
The Christmas lights seem to go up earlier each year but by December we are all getting into the swing of the festive season. Huge numbers of people come to visit to big shopping areas in London like Oxford Street, Regent Street and Covent Garden to buy presents but also to enjoy the wonderful Christmas lights.
This will be a 2 part blog as there are so many to show you. Here’s part 1 and I hope you enjoy a trip around London with me!
One of the loveliest and yet very simple Christmas lights are the blue arches in South Molton Street:
I’m not usually a great fan of Oxford Street as it’s so busy and has mostly chain stores but their lights are great this year and really lift the mood in the crowds:
Carnaby Street is often the best of the lot and this year they have gone all loved up with their mistletoe and holly branches and Kingly Court looks magical with its fairy lights:
Just one more for today! The tree in Trafalgar Square is very special as it is sent to us each year from the people of Norway to thank us for our help during the Second World War. It’s a huge and beautiful tree and each evening you can listen to the carol singers gathered underneath it.
I hope you’ve enjoyed a short trip round the London Christmas lights. I’ll try to squeeze a few more in very soon.
Bye for now,