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 Christmas decorations in the capital. And especially in the Covent Garden area, which I really fancy when it comes to Christmas celebrations …
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.
Now you can find many traders 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 market and gives 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 for Christmas…
And the Christmas tree will give the occasion to every tourist to take a “souvenir” picture!
Covent Garden is usually overcrowded but I was so lucky that early (week) morning to be almost alone to enjoy the place.
Because walking in Covent Garden is truly not to be missed, wether you are a Londoner or not.
Very close to Covent Garden, when you walk up north (Neal Street is my usual way to get there), you can 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…
Walking around the Christmas Market I admired the many drawings made by young kids. Some were quite impressive if we consider the age of the children!
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 National Gallery, which I really fancy due to its 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.
But apart from this Christmas tree, I was surprised by the lack of decorations …
If you go to London for Christmas, go to Covent Garden and then follow this guide to enjoy the Christmas spirit in the capital. And share your thoughts on this blog! Merry Christmas to you all!!