Festive Stroll through London
CAPITAL
CHRISTMAS

2006 - 2017


Xmas Walk Knightsb. Oxford St Regent St Jermyn St St James Mall Trafalgar Finally Maps Read Me



A Festive Pre-Christmas Walk

You are invited to join me on a short stroll through the festive streets of the Capital. Every so often we shall go back or forwards through the years as the occasion requests, for these scenes are pictures I have taken over twelve Christmas seasons (2006 to 2017). As you will see, I have used a short walk from Knightsbridge to Trafalgar Square to place all these pictures in their appropriate festive context. For many of you during the pandemic, it will probably not be possible to come to London in person, so do enjoy this online stroll through pre-Christmas London.



Trafalgar Square 2013
The grand finish of our walk will be Trafalgar Square.
Each year the Square hosts a Christmas tree, which is a traditional gift from Oslo.

Our December Stroll takes us from Knightsbridge - traditional home of Harrods - across Hyde Park and on to Marble Arch. Here we are at the western end of Oxford Street, usually graced at Christmas time by decorations across the road. Oxford Street is one of London's - indeed Britain's - main shopping thoroughfares. Our main port of call in Oxford Street is Selfridges, which has a great tradition and is indeed the largest shop on Oxford Street.

We then make our seasonally lit way to Oxford Circus and strike south down Nash's famous Regent Street. At the southern end, past the curved Quadrant, we reach Piccadilly Circus. Here we go further south, into Lower Regent Street. Further down, we turn west into Jermyn Street with its special shops for the well-to-do. From Jermyn Street we can also visit St James's Church and the Piccadilly Arcade.



Berry Brothers 2013
Berry Brothers & Rudd were founded in 1698.
Suppliers of wine for the discerning palate.

At the western end of Jermyn Street we turn south into St James's Street. Here is Lock & Co, the Hatters (established 1676). If you wish to become a proud owner of a top hat, or even a Fedora, this shop is for you. Next door is the suitably named Berry Brothers, wine merchants since 1698. Then comes Pickering Place with its Texan link. Onward we go, crossing Pall Mall and going down Marlborough Road until we reach The Mall. This takes us part well floodlit Carlton Terrace and - looming out of the darkness - Duke of York's Column. Yes, the Grand Old Duke of York as in, "He marched them up the hill and he marched them down again".

We are almost at our destination. First we pass under the Admiralty Arch and then we enter Trafalgar Square with the National Gallery, Nelson's Column, fountains and the Christmas tree.

Please Note. I have found that Microsoft® Edge® on Android 9® causes the four pictures marked [F] (Harrods north front 2017 and Selfridges shop windows 2014) to be rotated 90° clockwise, as you may see. You may therefore find it preferable to use Chrome® or Firefox® when viewing this web page on Android 9®.



Knightsbridge & Hyde Park

We start our festive walk in Knightsbridge, which, for the benefit of those not so well acquainted with London, lies to the south of Hyde Park. Harrods, the famous store, has been here since early Victorian times. Harrods is for the affluent in society, but even if you do not wish to make a purchase, it is interesting to have a look around. We have taken the UNDERGROUND to Knightsbridge Station, and after visiting Harrods (to buy or not to buy) we make our way into Hyde Park and aim for Marble Arch at the north eastern corner of the Park.

2008
We'll first visit Harrods by going back in time.
The Egyptian staircase may be in place all year, but it adds a festive note.



Harrods 2008
Harrods is brightly lit up for the festive occasion.




Harrods - Egyptian Staircase 2008
Rising to all floors under the watchful eyes of Egyptian gods.




Harrods - Egyptian Staircase 2008


2017
We'll move forward in time.
The Egyptian stairwell is still there, but in 2017,
we have a chance to visit the shop windows, all decorated for Christmas.



Harrods 2017
Nine years further on, and the Egyptian Stairwell is still here!




Harrods 2017
During the day, the lights are not that noticeable,
but, as you saw above, they come into their own when darkness falls.




Harrods 2017
The Harrods crest graces the north east corner of the "Emporium".




Harrods 2017
The decorations on the main north front of Harrods show that Christmas is close! [F]




Harrods 2017
Each window display has a different emphasis.
This display seems to focus on giving presents within the family.




Harrods 2017
Here we see two formally dressed gentlemen with ladies in tow,
all enjoying a glass of wine or champagne.




Harrods 2017
Record Keeping and Scrapbooks?




Harrods 2017
After all that you might need to see a chemist!
This one seems to be from the 1700s or 1800s.
Nice lot of Latin names!




Hyde Park 2008
It's a brisk walk from Harrods to Marble Arch and Regent Street.
There are also buses from Knightsbridge via Hyde Park Corner.



Oxford Street & Selfridges

The Marble Arch is at the western end of Oxford Street. Each year Oxford Street tries to compete with Regent Street for the most innovative and attractive decorations. The famous Selfridges store is on our agenda. Each year the store itself has new decorations in the front shop windows.



Oxford Street 2013
Marble Arch stands at the western end of Oxford Street.
The 2013 pictures were taken at a different time of day to the 2008 pictures.
Hence we left Knightsbridge after sunset but here we are still to experience sunset!




Oxford Street 2013
In 2013 the Xmas visitor is greeted by lots and lots of baubles hanging in the sky.
A silvery-grey invasion from outer space?




Oxford Street 2013
Selfridges is in the background.




Selfridges 2013
We are getting closer to Selfridges.
Seen from the front of a "New Routemaster".
(Hence sun-shade dots at the top).




Selfridges 2013
We are getting much closer to Selfridges,
here seen from the top of a new Routemaster.




Selfridges 2014
Selfridges - Main Entrance


2011
It is December 2011 and we shall step into Selfridges.



Selfridges 2011
Ground Floor. Entrance Floor.




Selfridges 2011
Ground Floor. Entrance Floor.




Selfridges 2011
First Floor.




Selfridges 2011
First Floor.




Selfridges 2011
First Floor.


2012
It is December 2012.
We shall have a look at the shop window displays before going into Selfridges.



Selfridges Christmas 2012
Main South Shop Front




Selfridges Christmas 2012
Main South Shop Front




Selfridges Christmas 2012
Outside - South East Corner




Selfridges Christmas 2012
Shop Window Display
Teddy Bears, Tele-tubbies and Christmas Tree.




Selfridges Christmas 2012
Shop Window Display
Pearly Kings and British Cheeses.




Selfridges Christmas 2012
Shop Window Display
Colourful with Christmas Cracker.




Selfridges Christmas 2012
Shop Window Display
Giant Walnuts and Oysters?




Selfridges Christmas 2012
Shop Window Display
Are these two ladies relaxing in a post-prandial context?
Well? It seems they are having an after Christmas Dinner snooze.




Selfridges Christmas 2012
Shop Window Display
It's those two ladies again.




Selfridges Christmas 2012
Inside Selfridges - Main Escalator Well to all floors.




Selfridges Christmas 2012
Inside Selfridges - Main Escalator Well to all floors.




Selfridges Christmas 2012
A Last Look At Selfridges 2012
On our way to Oxford Circus we see the South East Corner of Selfridges



2013
It is December 2013.
We shall have a look at the shop window displays before going into Selfridges.
This year (2013) the underlying theme is snowy landscapes
- especially those involving ski slopes.



Selfridges 2013
Oxford Street Window
Even skiers might wish for audio entertainment
This suggests good quality head phones.




Selfridges 2013
Oxford Street Window
Why not add some fragrance to a day's skiing?




Selfridges 2013
Oxford Street Window
Has Cinderella come to the ski slopes?




Selfridges 2013
Oxford Street Window
Parachuting ("para-skiing") on to the ski slopes wearing special clothing from Paris.




Selfridges 2013
Oxford Street Window
More Parachuting.




Selfridges 2013
Oxford Street Window
Après Ski? After the champagne you might see penguins on the ski slopes!




Selfridges 2013
The Champagne, like many Champagnes, is classed as "Brut".
This one is called "Blanc de Brignac", from where else but Reims.
The penguins are crowding down the slopes to get to it.
How will they open the bottle?




Selfridges 2013
Oxford Street Window
Is this lady in the golden "all-together"? Brr! Brr!
Is she Goldilocks without the bears?




Selfridges 2013
Oxford Street Window
"Jo Malone, London"
"Pomegranate Noir, Cologne"
Has the perfume run out?




Selfridges 2013
Oxford Street Window
Shake the bubble, and Selfridges will be in a snow storm.




Selfridges 2013
Oxford Street Window
Another view of "bubbled-up" Selfridges.




Selfridges 2013
Oxford Street Window
Somebody has dropped a tub of strawberry ice cream.
What? On to the ski slope?




Selfridges 2013
Oxford Street Window
This ski boot belongs to a giant.




Selfridges 2013
Oxford Street Window
The "Presents Express" is steaming around the mountain.




Selfridges 2013
Oxford Street Window
There go the presents.




Selfridges 2013
Oxford Street Window
If you are a ferro-equinologist and wonder what this loco is,
then please click here. Its calling in life was not exclusively to deliver Christmas presents,
but who knows, its grown-up relatives may have played
a vital part in the distribution of the said presents.




Selfridges 2013
Oxford Street Window
The presents haven't fallen off yet.
Shh! I think they are glued on!




Selfridges 2013
Oxford Street Window
We have left the ski slopes but are still with snow.




Selfridges 2013
Oxford Street Window
How many things can you spot here?
The Old London Bridge. A boat on a brackish river. A well-tank loco hauling a short train. A Pyramid. At least two outsize red 'phone boxes (K9?). Spires. Churches. ...




Selfridges 2013
Oxford Street Window
Yes, it's a veritable "I-Spy" game!
Remember the "I-Spy" books?




Selfridges 2013
Oxford Street Window
Magic is a serious, if fruity, business!




Selfridges 2013
Inside Selfridges. Ground Floor. Entrance Floor. Main Escalator Well.




Selfridges 2013
Inside Selfridges. Ground Floor. Entrance Floor. Main Escalator Well.




Selfridges 2013
First Floor.




Selfridges 2013
First Floor.




Oxford Street 2013
We'll shortly reach Oxford Circus and Regent Street.


2014
It is December 2014. We'll have a look at these Selfridges's shop window decorations as well,
before going on to Oxford Circus.
So, here are some of the Selfridges shop windows in December 2014.



Selfridges Windows 2014
The golden goose, while having obvious festive connotations, may also refer to a commercial outfit, a few streets away, with which Selfridges has dealings. [F]




Selfridges Windows 2014
This looks like the "Gingerbread House"in Hänsel und Gretel (EN).
This is the "Knusperhäuschen" in Hänsel und Gretel (DE).




Selfridges Windows 2014
Here is another view of the Gingerbread House. [F]




Selfridges Windows 2014
This looks like Paddington Bear - a grown up edition. [F]




Selfridges Windows 2014
Paddington Bear has taken a golden taxi to the middle of a forest of birches. The suggestion is that the honey bees live here, so Paddington Bear is keen to collect his honey supply for Christmas. At least, so it might seem.


2009
We go back through the years. It is December 2009.
We shall have a look at the Oxford Street Decorations
before walking on to Oxford Circus.



Oxford Street 2009
However, let's look back to see the Oxford Street decorations of that year.
Wrapped Cristmas presents are on display this year.




Oxford Street 2009
Here's some more from 2009.

2006
It is December 2006.
Having now reached Oxford Circus, let us cast our minds back to 2006.
In this year, Oxford Street decorations seem to have outshone
those of - perhaps more upmarket - Regent Street. What do you think?



Oxford Street 2006




Oxford Street 2006




Oxford Street 2006




Oxford Street 2006




Regent Street 2006




Regent Street 2006




Regent Street 2006




Oxford Circus 2006




Oxford Circus 2006
Here we can admire some of the traditional architecture ...




Oxford Circus 2006
... and wonder who that lady in the window is?




Oxford Circus 2006



Regent Street

Thinking of Christmas decorations in central London, Regent Street usually comes first to people's minds. So, Regent Street is on our pre-festive agenda. From Regent Street we can also make detours to the Tudor elegance of Liberty's, as well as to the nearby Carnaby Street, which is forever associated with the "swinging sixties".

2012
The " Twelve Days of Christmas" is the theme in Regent Street.



Christmas 2012
The " Twelve Days of Christmas" is the theme in Regent Street.




Christmas 2012
A Partridge in a Pear Tree - Day One.




Christmas 2012
Nine Maids A Dancing - Day Nine.


2013
The "Twelve Days of Christmas" have been joined by "Peabody and Sherman" from New York.
An exercise in transatlantic relations?
Here, for completeness, I'll also include pictures of "Liberty" and Carnaby Street, although three of these pictures are from 2012 and 2014.



Regent Street 2013
In 2013, Peabody and Sherman from New York have
displaced some of Regent Street's "Twelve Days of Christmas".




Regent Street 2013




Regent Street 2013




Liberty 2013
Liberty, with its Mock Tudor style, is just off Regent Street.




Liberty 2013




Liberty 2013




Liberty 2013
Innovative Window display at Liberty




Liberty 2012




Liberty 2012




Carnaby Street 2014
Carnaby Street is close to Liberty and to Regent Street.




Regent Street 2013




Regent Street 2013




Regent Street 2013




Regent Street 2013
On the seventh day of Christmas my true love sent to me:
7 Swans a Swimming, 6 Geese a Laying, 5 Golden Rings,
4 Calling Birds, 3 French Hens, 2 Turtle Doves, 1 Partridge in a Pear Tree.
OK then, you enthusiastic mathematicians, here's something to look at over Christmas.
The connection of the "Twelve Days of Christmas" with Pascal's triangle.
You might also like to look at Dr Wilson's Web Page and at Wikipedia.




Regent Street 2013
Quadrant and decorations do a left curve to Piccadilly Circus.




Regent Street 2013
A festive display in a shop in Regent Street's Quadrant.




Regent Street 2013




Regent Street 2013




Regent Street 2013


2008 & 2009
Filigree Nets are the theme in Regent Street.



Regent St 2008
Before we leave Regent Street, here are some views of the filigree-like nets which were "spun" over Regent Street for Christmas 2008. These five views are at the Oxford Circus end of Regent Street.




Regent St 2008
Filigree Nets.




Regent St 2008
Filigree Nets.




Regent St 2009
Filigree Nets and - in 2009 - Christmas Carols.
No Peabody & Sherman from the USA yet.




Regent St 2009
Filigree Nets and - in 2009 - Christmas Carols.
No Peabody & Sherman.


2013
Piccadilly Circus



Piccadilly Circus 2013
Piccadilly Circus and adverts are almost synonymous.




Piccadilly Circus 2013
This time Eros has been given protection - perhaps against the effects of over enthusiastic Christmas and New Year revellers. By the way, which way does the arrow of Eros point?




Piccadilly Circus 2013
How many visitors take in the elegant architecture - complete with decorative time-keeping top floor? How many visitors notice the Dutch gable hiding to the right of this building and to the left of the famous adverts?




Piccadilly Circus 2013
It's worth looking at the top floor.
The lighting engineers wanted you to notice.
Reminiscent of a wedding cake.



Jermyn Street

We now go a short way down Lower Regent Street and then turn westwards down Jermyn Street. Now Jermyn Street has many small specialist shops for the well to do. Perfume, Hosiers and Cheese are some of these specialities. St James's Church and the Piccadilly Arcade. The Piccadilly Arcade can also be readily reached from Jermyn Street. Shops, Arcade and Church all are decked for the festive season. Decorations across the street also remind us that Christmas is coming.



Lower Regent Street 2013




Christmas 2012
We turn off into Jermyn Street, where the Christmas Decorations
are elegant but more modest than those in Regent Street.




Jermyn Street 2013
The decorations are repeated in the following year 2013.




Christmas 2012
Before St James's Church we can stop off for afternoon tea at Fortnum & Mason.
Conveniently two entrances - from Piccadilly and from Jermyn Street.
Fortnum and Mason goes back to 1707. Fortnum was a footman at the court of Queen Anne. Queen Anne wanted new candles every evening, so, Fortnum said, "Thank you very much". He melted down the wax of the old candles to create new candles for resale. A nice little earner for Fortnum. Mason joined later and helped to expand the business.




St James's Church 2013




St James's Church 2013




St James's Church 2013




St James's Church 2013




St James's Church 2013




St James's Church 2013




St James's Church 2014




St James's Church 2014




Christmas 2012
On the south side of Jermyn Street is Floris of London.
They are Perfumers by Royal Appointment,
and were founded in 1730.




Piccadilly Arcade 2013
Here is the Jermyn Street (southern) entrance to the festively decorated Piccadilly Arcade which connects Piccadilly and Jermyn Street.




Piccadilly Arcade 2013




Piccadilly Arcade 2013




Beau Brummell 2013
Beau Brummell "stands guard" at the southern end of the Piccadilly Arcade.




Piccadilly Arcade 2012
Here is a view of the Piccadilly Arcade a year earlier.




Jermyn Street 2013
In Jermyn Street we also find Turnbull & Asser.
Since 1885, they have been providing the well-heeled with hosiery, gloves and shirts.
I find the crest attractive.



St James's Street & St James's Palace

St James's Street connects Piccadilly and St James's Palace. St James's Street has a number of interesting, and festively decorated, shops, including Lock & Co, the Hatters (established 1676) and the aptly named Berry Brothers, wine merchants since 1698.



St James's Street 2013




St James's Street 2013



Lock & Co 2013
Now you know where to get your bespoke Top Hat,
or perhaps you have you sights set on a more modest Fedora?




Lock & Co 2013
First Floor: Millinery - Perhaps a hat for Ascot?




Lock & Co 2013




Berry Brothers 2013




Berry Brothers 2013




Berry Brothers 2013




Berry Brothers 2013




Christmas 2012
Berry Brothers Window Display the previous December.




Pickering Place 2013




Pickering Place 2013




Pall Mall 2013
Heritage Routemaster Bus for the tourists.




Trafalgar Square 2013
Another Routemaster Bus for The Tourists.
(Seen nearby on Trafalgar Square).




St James's Palace 2013
Any Ghosts Around?




St James's Palace 2013
Christmas Tree, but where are the ghosts?




St James's Palace 2013


The Mall

We have passed Pall Mall and St James's Palace and reach the Mall. This links Buckingham Palace to Trafalgar Square via the Admiralty Arch. Carlton Terrace is brightly flood-lit. Hiding somewhat in the darkness is the Duke of York's Column. The Duke of York is of course known to the younger generation by the "hill marching" song suitably entitled the "Grand Old Duke of York".



The Mall 2008
Carlton Terrace is an elegant London landmark
which at one time was going to be demolished.




The Mall 2008
Carlton Terrace




The Mall 2008
Duke of York's Column




The Mall 2014
Carlton Terrace - Pediment



Trafalgar Square

Trafalgar Square [link] is the centre of London. Well, OK, officially, and more accurately, the centre of London is the intersection of The Strand, Whitehall and Cockspur Street on the south side of Trafalgar Square. This road intersection is often referred to as Charing Cross, not to be confused with the nearby Victorian Eleanor Cross itself, nor the station in front of which the cross stands! The National Gallery, Nelson's Column, Landseer's Lions and the fountains are all part of the Square. Of course, in the Festive Season, there is also the Christmas Tree, an annual gift from Norway.

Saint Martin-in-the-Fields faces on to the north east corner of Trafalgar Square. The fields have long gone, but this church leads the Nationwide Annual Christmas Appeal.

2006
First you see some pictures from 2006. It was my first digital camera which was capable in some ways, but technology moves very quickly. So, while the camera didn't catch all the ambient light, you can still get a flavour of things. You see the carol singers. At the time, the crib, a Christmas focus for church goers, was unfortunately not so easy to photograph.



Trafalgar Square 2006




Trafalgar Square 2006




Trafalgar Square 2006




Trafalgar Square 2006




Trafalgar Square 2006

2008
It is December 2008. Two years later and probably with some additional flood lighting introduced by the local powers that be, Trafalgar Square had become more colourful. This year (2008) I couldn't see any crib. Regarding the carol singers, perhaps they were to come later in the evening. To be honest, however, I did have a more capable camera!



Trafalgar Square 2008
Light Green Fountain.
Saint Martin-in-the-Fields can be seen
in the background to the right of the Christmas Tree.




Trafalgar Square 2008
Red Fountain




Trafalgar Square 2008
Green Fountain




Trafalgar Square 2008
Blue Fountain




Trafalgar Square 2008
Purple Fountain




Trafalgar Square 2008
Pink Fountain




Trafalgar Square 2008
Yellow Fountain




Trafalgar Square 2008
Nelson's Column rises up into the night sky.
Nelson is bathed in a blue light.




Trafalgar Square 2008
A Landseer Lion reflects the evening light.




Trafalgar Square 2008
Here he is again with shining mane.




Trafalgar Square 2008
Nelson is reaching for the night sky.




Trafalgar Square 2008
Two last looks ...




Trafalgar Square 2008
... before going home.




Trafalgar Square 2008
The UNDERGROUND is close by.



It's Time to Say Goodbye

Dear web-visitor, I hope that this page enabled you to experience at least some of the pre-Christmas sparkle in downtown London - even if distance or health reasons might preclude an actual visit. In addition, I hope you liked the idea of trying to follow a fixed route through town, stopping occasionally to move between the years.

A Safe and Happy Christmas to you all!