Christmas in London, honestly, I don’t think there’s anything better. I know New York is the city that has long been crowned as ‘Queen of Christmas’, but I honestly believe London should have a shot in the running. In December the city turns into a Christmas wonderland, ice-skating rinks pop up in the most wonderful locations, under the Tower of London, alongside the Natural History Museum, under the London Eye, in the park, heck, in all of the big parks, there’s an onslaught of Christmas Markets you can visit, wooden chalets line the South Bank, Covent Garden and Borough Market; selling mulled wine, traditional treats and Christmas Decorations. To top it all off, there’s Winter Wonderland, the most festive place in London. A corner of Hyde Park transforms into a, well, Winter Wonderland, fake snow drifts from the sky, Christmas music upon every turn, a skating rink in the middle of it all, fairy lights adorn every surface; it’s the most amazing place to visit over Christmas.
Knowing that this will be my last Christmas in England for a while, I’ve decided to get the most out of it as possible, I will be singing carols under the Christmas Tree in Trafalgar Square, I’ll be visiting Christmas Markets for warm drinks and Churros, joining in on every stereotypically festive activity you can imagine. So, what better way to kick off the festive season than to go to Regent Street to see the Christmas Lights get turned on? What better person to take along than my mum, the person who brought me up to know that Christmas is quite frankly, the most wonderful time of year.
Our day of joviality was spent in the most wonderful way, breakfast at Cecconis, a place that we frequent on special occasions, sitting there in the window watching people stroll past in the cold Sunday morning air was the perfect start to what was set to be an amazing day, the breakfasts at Cecconis never fail to disappoint, it’s a lovely restaurant nestled in the heart of the West End. From Cecconis we headed on a blustery walk through Green Park; we followed the path alongside the weathered trees to the Bombers Memorial, a Statue which is poignant enough most days, but as the previous weekend was Remembrance Sunday the memorial was covered in Poppies, we stood silently and remembered those who fought, those who are fighting and those who have fallen.
We headed off silently, towards Piccadilly where the action was to be held; the roads were blocked off, the crowds gathered expectantly, not being ones to miss out on anything my mum and I edged our way through the crowd until we had an excellent view of the stage. Not before long the street had completely packed out with Christmas Enthusiasts, waiting to see the sparkle of the lights for the first time that season.
The clock ticked down, a selection of acts came on to entertain us, my favourite being the Jersey Boys, the cast of the West End show about The Four Seasons, if you’re in London and you’ve got some time then I highly recommend watching it; I watched it a few years ago and the memories still make me smile. Other acts followed, but they were mostly for the younger ones in the audience, from the X-factor and Britain’s Got Talent, Christmas songs played as fake snow floated down from the dark sky. Not before long the time was nigh, the crowds gathered closer together, as the countdown started, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1… POW! The whole street lit up in the most wonderful array of lights, fireworks burst from the rooftops as we welcomed Christmas Season once again.
The lights stretched from one building to another, floating along Regent Street, hanging like stars in the sky; it was the most perfect start to what will be the most festive Christmas season I have ever had. Keep it coming, Christmas, I’m ready for you.
Where’s your favourite place to spend Christmas? Let me know in the comments below, I’m also on Twitter and Instagram where you can find me almost daily posting photos and talking travel. Come join in the fun.