Sometimes us Londoner’s tend to take for granted the time, effort & finance that often goes in to making the ‘Smoke’, just that little bit more pleasant and enjoyable to wander around – especially at this festive time of year.
London’s magnificent ‘Christmas Lights’ display is a seasonal tradition that began way back in 1954 – and as a child, a trip ‘up-west’ to see the lights, was something that my mum & dad always tried to get done before Christmas Eve – but quite naturally, as you get older, the enthusiasm tends to wain a bit – especially when you’ve heard that devastating news that ‘Father Christmas’ doesn’t really exist!!!
However, in the past few years I have felt the urge to resurrect the pilgrimage up London to see the ‘lights’ again – maybe with me now being a grandfather to 3 little’uns has re-kindled some of that pre-Christmas excitement – and so it was really good to spend a few hours this week, roaming through the west-end streets to check out just some of this year’s Christmas lights on display.
The ‘Oxford Street’ display this year consists of 27 LED ‘Light Curtains’, hanging high above this famous street, that are made up of 220,000 individual lights.
For me, the best and probably the most poignant display I saw this year, has to be the newly introduced “Ever After Gallery” in ‘Grosvenor Square’ – where Londoner’s can plant a silk rose in memory of a loved one, or simply take time to remember absent friends & family this Christmas time – very tasteful & very moving.
The globally famous ‘Carnaby Street’ has an excellent underwater themed display designed by the ‘Project Zero’ ocean conservation charity – where everything on display is made from recycled material.
The famous ‘Liberty’ store and the world famous ‘London Palladium’ theatre are always good at creating a good old festive vibe at this time of year.
Then there just has to be the customary wander around the toy department of ‘Selfridges’. Not quite sure what Selfridges have got going on with their famous window display this year – it is titled ‘Future Fantasy Tales’, which is supposed to represent the old Xmas stories, but for the modern day times – it didn’t really make any sense to me – but the great thing about Selfridges at this time of year are the amazing toys on their 4th floor, especially the cuddly ones – just a pity I can’t afford any of them!!
‘Regent Street’ has returned to its usual ‘Spirit of Christmas-Angels’. The angels are inspired by the street’s debut display back in 1954, which featured traditional angels playing trumpets.
Last but not least, no trip ‘up west’ to see the lights, is complete without venturing a little further on up the road to Notting Hill Gate, to check out the historic and amazing ‘Churchill Arms’ pub (a simple 5min walk from the tube station) which is completely smothered with 97 Xmas trees containing 27,500 lights – always a fantastic sight to see.
So – having viewed and enjoyed all of the above sights, I have to say that even a renowned & seasoned old ‘Grinch’ like me, felt a slight twinge of the old Christmas vibe.
See below for more detailed photos of London’s Christmas Lights for 2019