The festivities are irresistible
Last Christmas Gary and I popped to London for a few hours to enjoy the festivities around Tower Bridge and along the Southbank of the Thames.
We were amazed that within a reasonably short distance how much fun could be had and the effort the locals had gone to, to show off London at its best.
Go where the lights take you
In some ways, it’s probably best that you don’t really have a specific route in mind.
There are so many sparkling lights & trees alluring you, that you just keeping wandering to wherever tempts you the most.
Yet, you’ll be surprised how much you can discover in just a few hours.
We headed to Somerset House first, not that we are ice skaters, but it’s quite amusing watching the British trying to stay upright. Although I didn’t see any children’s helper penguins or polar bears……I would have needed one of those.
The hosts for this year’s event are Fortnum & Mason, so no expense has been spared.
Somerset House is a lovely place to visit all year around, and you may also recognise it from it from various film locations (particularly the opening credits of Love Actually).
Off to the Garden
Just a short stroll and you wander into the spectacle of Covent Garden, and I love this place any time of year, always brought alive by street entertainers.
A helpful guide
If you've yet to discover London and its ancient history, then let's start planning. I find these DK Eyewitness Travel Guides invaluable. They're extremely informative, easy to follow, and the pictures and maps tempt you into discovering more of those fascinating sites.
You can now grab a recently revised copy of this guidebook, so you won't miss a thing.
Slightly north west of Covent Garden is Seven Dials (and certainly worth a visit), once again the effort that has been made by the local boutiques is enchanting.
Something to make your travels easier?
Onto the movies
Now we head to Leicester Square and the glistening billboards of the latest movies. Here we find that a traditional Christmas market has sprung up in the park. It would be wrong not to head in and taste the wares.
Although London was a bit on the moist side this evening, it certainly didn’t dampen the atmosphere, particularly that Luke Skywalker had returned to town in “The Last Jedi”.
Even though London is a big city, a short stroll is often all that’s required to emerge upon your next historical discovery. If you are in the heart of the West End, Trafalgar Square is always a draw.
You can’t miss the 25-metre high Christmas tree, which has been given as a gift from the people of Norway to London traditionally since 1947. This is in thanks for Britain’s support in World War II.
Where the lights take you
We strolled in the direction of Regent Street up Haymarket, only to be drawn towards Regent Street St James’s, by its captivating lights and tree.
This was definitely worth the detour & such an elegant road.
Who could resist this stylish part of the city, I just love the arcades that cut through the centre and offer a shopping experience like no other.
‘Piccadilly Arcade’ from Jermyn Street to Piccadilly, ‘Burlington Arcade’ from Piccadilly to Burlington Gardens and ‘The Royal Arcade’ which runs from Albermarle Street to Old Bond Street.
Want to discover more than about London?
We've a little book on our shelves that we sometimes delve into when we're about to hit an area of London.
Packed full of historical facts, and broken down into the different regions of London, it's a great resource to help you see what's hidden in plain sight.
Available in Kindle & Hardback editions, it's an excellent addition to anyone's collection who loves London.
A display like no other
300,000 twinkling little lights illuminated Regent Street for another year, ’The Spirit of Christmas’ is the largest display of lights in the capital and is truly stunning.
It will certainly stop you in your tracks.
The merchants of London
There are so many eye-catching stores in the West End, many of whom have gone that extra mile to make the celebrations special.
My favourite has to be Cartier’s & Fortnum & Mason.
However, for us travellers, a trip to Covent Garden will always include a visit to Stanfords, for all your travel literature needs.
What also caught our eye
Narrowing down the photos for this post was tricky, as there was so much that grabbed our attention.
Another short and sweet tour of Christmassy London
Although this is a short glimpse of the West End of London at Christmas, it takes you through some iconic and much-loved parts of this magnificent city.
Something for the Traveller
Inspired to visit London at Christmas?
Are you tempted? Would you like to see the city sparkle?
Why not check out the latest deals on Booking.Com?
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