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.
That red double-decker bus just shouts ‘London’ at you! My visitors are very keen to make sure I build a ride on a bus into their itinerary and once on board we head for the top deck and if we can grab a front seat that’s even better. It feels like a proper London experience and is a brilliant way to see the sights for the price of a bus ticket. Continue reading
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
There are so many fabulous Christmas lights in London this year I just had to put up another selection for you! I still have some lights left to visit, so there could even be part 3…
Not quite fitting the heading of lights, but very Christmassy none the less, were the sights on show this Saturday in Trafalgar Square where I stumbled upon a massive Santa gathering! Hundreds of Santa were streaming out of the tube stations and off the buses to hang out together, sing songs, do congas and (shock – horror!) drink beer! Everyone was having such fun it was infectious, although the tourists who had come to check out the Olympic clock were rather bemused. They kept asking ‘why’? It seems the only answer was to have fun…
Nearby Covent Garden always looks beautiful at Christmas and I was eager to see if the giant reindeer was there again. Yes, he was although he had set up camp round the other side of the piazza. I missed the real ones who had been there during the day but I love this chap with his proper red nose! There was also an intriguing and beautifully lit chalet which turned out to house a digital installation work by Martha Fiennes called Nativity. The market sections were decorated with enormous baubles and the whole area looked wonderfully festive, as I’d hoped.
Regent Street is a posh shopping street but they have a habit of putting up the most commercial lights with product placement to the fore. This year, however, they have been more restrained and have some lovely lights about sledges and elfs!
All the big shopping areas in London are great for lights, festive window dressing and decorated trees – even skating rinks! Here is the last set of photos showing: the window at Selfridges, the tree at Whiteleys; and the skating rink at Westfield Shepherds Bush.
I hope you’ve enjoyed more Christmas in London!
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,
This was the week when London caught Royal Wedding fever and I’m going to show you just how much we were taken over by it! The weather was beautiful, London looked amazing and we really got into the party spirit.
The first set of photos show you the streets and shops all decked out in bunting and flags. You can see Notting Hill streets, street stall,, even Ann Summers getting covered (just) in the flag, and the most over the top of them all – Regent Street – winning the prize for the most possible flags in one street award!
Finally the day of the wedding arrived. You had to get up in the middle of the night and ideally camp out for several days to get a spot on the route itself and I decided not to try this as being rather short of stature I’d probably not see very much . I was offered an exclusive ride on the London Eye to see the procession to the church so here’s a photo of the royal car passing Big Ben and a shot of the Mall as it looked the day before the big moment. From the Eye we walked through to Trafalgar Square to see the service on the giant screen where it was absolutely packed with people trying to catch a glimpse and be part of the party.
The next party was Hyde Park where, surrounded by thousands of Londoners and visitors, we saw the balcony moment, the WW2 fly past and then the band struck up and there was dancing and flag waving everywhere! Dressing up as well of course with knights and lots of brides. And finally the street party back in Notting Hill. What a day!
Good job we had a long weekend to recover!