London is at its blingiest at Christmas time with its twinkling and sparkling lights, glamorous shop fronts, designer Christmas trees and festive themed streets. It’s a wonderful time to enjoy the festive atmosphere of the capital. However the challenging times we are living through are also recognised as the lights of Oxford Street play tribute to the everyday heroes of the pandemic and Carnaby Street features the themes of Hope, Kindness and Goodwill .
Elsewhere, there are beautiful angels lighting up Regent Street and stunning displays of white peacock feathers in Bond Street as a nod to the young men of the 18th century who were famous for strutting around in fashionable attire in that area.
Don’t miss the advent calendar styled Fortnum and Mason or the magical lights of the Nutcracker styled Annabel’s in Berkley Square.
In Covent Garden there are spectacular mistletoe chandeliers and close by in Seven Dials the streets are decorated as festive woodland.
Selfridges has chosen the theme of Back to Basics for its window display, whilst Peace, Love and Liberty is the choice of the fabric and design store Liberty.
There are beautifully decorated Christmas trees all over London but my favourites are the art deco tree at Claridge’s Hotel designed by the fashion brand Alexander McQueen, inspired by the roaring 20s, and the giant Norwegian spruce in Trafalgar Square. This tree is a gift to Britain from the people of Norway as a thank you for helping them during WW2.
And just to excite your interest, try this suggested festive trail ……….
- Starting at Bond Street Underground Station
- Exit the station at Oxford Street for your first glimpse of the lights and then pop across the road to see the windows at Selfridges.
- Cross back and head down South Molton Street, walk to the end and turn right into Brook Street. Check out Claridge’s to see the designer tree (you may need to tell the doorman what you are doing).
- Continue along Brook Street and turn left into Davies Street until you come to Berkley Square. At one end of the Square you will see the club Annabel’s.
- Cross the Square and turn into Bruton St, walk to the end and turn right into Bond Street. When you are tired of taking photographs, turn into Burlington Gardens.
- Take a right tour into Burlington Arcade.
- Walk right to the end of the Arcade and exit on Piccadilly.
- Turn left to see the fabulous display at Fortnum and Mason.
- Walk to the end of Piccadilly until you come to Piccadilly Circus.
- Turn left and walk up Regent Street.
- Cross over to the other side of the road
- Almost half way up Regent Street you take a right turn into Beak Street.
- Take a left turn into Carnaby Street.
- Walk all the way to the end of Carnaby Street
I would estimate that the distance walked to be about 1.5 miles and allow about an hour. Enjoy!