On Wednesday the 4th of December my beautiful Laura had her Christmas party and as we are still driving in from Reading during the week I thought I would offer to wait around in town so we could drive back together. The original plan was that Laura would leave the party at 9:30pm so I would have 3 and a half hours to entertain myself.
As it was cold, wintry evening in December and I had a budget of £0 there was one obvious plan – a walking tour of London. It’s rare that I ever get the opportunity to just walk and admire London and London at Christmas is special. The bustling streets, the fancy window displays and the lights all build a level of excitement that I love.
From Victoria where my current office is based I made my first destination the Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, a short 10 minute stroll away. I prefer to head there during the day to enjoy the market but at night this place is a fairground filled with lights, music and crowds of people. The line of coaches was HUGE!
After a brief pit stop I head towards Marble Arch and down to Oxford Street. This was the most challenging part of my walk, it took almost 25 minutes and other than a busy road and impressive hotels the distraction is limited. I was so relieved to get to Oxford Street and be welcomed by the lights.
Selfridges is a third of the way down Oxford Street but the light it omits is clear from almost the top. In every window the main attraction varied from shoes to underwear, playdo to vodka – all covered in snow and little people – their theme ‘Destination Christmas’ was well executed!
Next with the impressive decorations were HMV, the ailing music store, and Boots – the UK version of Walgreens. They really committed to wishing everyone a Merry Christmas.
|House of Fraser|
On my long walk down Oxford Street I came across my favourite window displays, this year by John Lewis.
I had heard that the Mr Peabody & Sherman display on Regents Street was also worth seeing so I took a turn that way thinking it would allow me to detour through Carnaby Street – it was worth it! Both Regent Street and Carnaby Street were completely lit up.
Even the little back streets gave me windows to marvel and smile at – who knew Sumo fighters were Christmassy!!
Back on to Oxford Street I continued my journey towards Tottenham Court Road and my next stop – Primark! This store is seriously the BEST store I have been in – UK and USA! – Four floors of good value clothing, bags, shoes, accessories, Christmas decorations, Christmas outfits, Christmas gift ideas just CHRISTMAS – I loved it so much I lost 2 hours and £70 in there! Ooops that £0 budget was always going to be a challenge.
By this time I had heard that the party was now going on till 10:30pm!
It was 8:30pm by the time I left Primark so I thought it was worth getting a non-so-healthy snack to keep me going. I decided to head for Leicester Square for this.
From Tottenham Court Road I cut across to Covent Garden to see the lego London and the tree there – very impressive and festive with the carols in the background!
My final destination of Leicester Square welcomed me with a fairground, who knew London had so many Christmas fairs?! I debated walking in but my appetite drove me to Maccy’s and after that all I could think of was getting to the car.
Thankfully after a 20 minute tube ride and I was back at Turnham Green and had just enough energy for the 20 minute walk back to the car. The de-icing was almost the end of me but thanks to the motivation of seeing L shortly I powered through and with clear windows made my way to collect her from her Baker Street location.
I love London, especially at Christmas, but next time I head of on a walking tour i’m wearing trainers!!!