Christmas in London is a magical time. I like to wander in the city and discover several places where the Christmas spirit is at its best. For those reading the post from abroad, it will give you an idea of the best places to get the Christmas atmosphere in the capital. Especially in Covent Garden and around, you can feel that Christmas is in the air, as all lights and christmassy decorations adorn every door and shopfronts.
For this reason, Covent Garden is where I really fancy going to when it comes to celebrating the end of the year…
Today, DOYOUSPEAKLONDON invits you to discover Covent Garden’s Christmas spirit.
Covent Garden, heart of London
Covent Garden derives from “Convent Garden” as in the 16th century it was the vegetable garden of the monks of Westminster Abbey.
The history has been rich there and today Covent Garden is renowned for its markets (Apple and Jubilee Markets), luxury fashion and beauty stores, outstanding restaurants as well as for the museums and theaters around the place.
The Apple Market was formerly home to London’s fruit and vegetable market.
Today, you will find many shops selling a variety of goods: antiques, craft items, pictures and handmade clothing so it’s a great place to buy gifts and souvenirs from London.
Every year, the same decorations adorn Covent Garden’s market and give the place a great Christmassy look.
Covent Garden also hosts many luxury shops under the nice arcades and this year’s new perfume bottle created by Chanel was made highly visible …
Several restaurants will welcome you to cheer up all year round and especially for Christmas (I can recommend an amazing restaurant for dumplings fans: Din Tai Fung).
You might see some performers inside and outside the covered market, having a show ready for you to enjoy your time at Covent Garden!
The usual giant Christmas tree is one of the most Instagrammable one, which gives the occasion to every tourist to take a “souvenir” picture!
Covent Garden is usually overcrowded, but you can get lucky if you come early during the week. This is the best way to enjoy the place and soak in this special atmosphere at Christmas.
Walking in Covent Garden is truly not to be missed, wether you are a Londoner or not. This renowned place will try its best to surprise you and this year in particular, a car full of presents made the buzz on all social media…
Very close to Covent Garden, when you walk up north (Neal Street is my usual way to get there), you can easily reach Seven Dials, a famous intersection of 7 streets.
At the centre of this circular space stands a column bearing six sundials, as a result of the column being commissioned before a late-stage alteration of the plans from an original six roads to seven.
In this area you will find many luxury and trendy shops, and restaurants for every taste. I particularly like walking on Monmouth Street, where coffee lovers will be pleased (especially go to the Monmouth Coffee Company, where you can usually see a crowd outside the cafe…).
Also there, you will find the Neal’s Yard Square accessible via a small street.
The square is famous for its colorful buildings.
It is named after the 17th century developer, Thomas Neal. You will find healthy food there and also the famous Neal’s Yard Remedies.
This place is rather unique in London and thus worth a visit if you don’t know it.
Not far from the Seven Dials, when you head south, is Leicester Square.
I have to say this is not my favorite place in London, but at Christmas I like to go there and look at the decorations.
Leicester Square hosts a famous Christmas Market, which I have not visited yet but is quite popular…and local school seem to contribute to the effort of decorating the place too!
This may be the most popular place among tourists.
Trafalgar square is very famous for its centerpiece: Nelson’s column, which was built to honor Admiral Nelson who led the British to Victory at the Battle of Trafalgar.
It also hosts the famous National Gallery, which I really fancy due to its impressive collection of impressionists paintings.
But at Christmas, Trafalgar Square is also worth visiting for its Christmas tree. Indeed, the giant Norwegian spruce has been an annual gift to London from the people of Norway since 1947, in recognition of Britain’s support during the Second World War. Each year, the 25-metre (82-foot) tree is illuminated with hundreds of lightbulbs set in vertical strings of light.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this post and found inspiration here. If you are planning to visit London for Christmas, go to Covent Garden and then follow this guide to enjoy the Christmas atmosphere in the capital. And please share your experience and opinion here!
Merry Christmas to you all!!