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Posted by on Dec 24, 2013 in ARTICLES | 0 comments

Destination Christmas in London!

The festive period is perhaps the best time of year to visit the capital city. From the magical Winter Wonderland that dominates Hyde Park to the dazzling decorative lights down Oxford Street, there’s no denying that London has Christmas spirit. And judging by the photographs recently released by the Museum of London, the Christmas spirit isn’t something to have arrived in recent years.

Selfridges1953

Outside Selfridges, 1953 / © Henry Grant Collection / Museum of London

This is a festive Selfridges 60 years ago. The photograph is one of a collection of images released by the Museum of London, captured by Henry Grant, depicting Christmas in the capital in the 1950s and 1960s. This snap, along with 11 others, showing scenes such as Trafalgar Square in the snow and a crowded Hamleys shop window, were released for promotion of the Museum of London’s Victorian Santa’s grotto.

 

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Photo: Claire Payne

Here’s what Selfridges looks like today; illuminated by a giant ‘Destination Christmas’ sign, surrounded by giant silver baule baules. It’s garish glamour is worlds away from the childlike Father Christmas and Mickey Mouse which stood above the main entrance in the 1950s.

Selfridges aside, every single London borough truly excels itself at Christmas time. Southbank is taken over by a fantastic Christmas market; Covent Garden welcomes reindeers, whether real or created from shrubbery; Kew Gardens transforms into an enchanted winter landscape. There is something on offer for every individual, irrespective of whether they’re a tourist or a Londoner.

Claire_Payne_coventgarden

Photo: Claire Payne

Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland is undoubtedly the London Christmas highlight. Though crowded and a little overpriced, it’s worth paying a visit for the atmosphere alone. The market stalls are a highlight, perfect for purchasing gifts and the variety of food on offer is fantastic. As well as this, Winter Wonderland presents an incredibly photogenic scene – its twinkling lights and wooden huts, not to mention the ice sculptures, assist people in capturing images worthy of fronting a Christmas card.

Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland is undoubtedly the London Christmas highlight. Though crowded and a little overpriced, it’s worth paying a visit for the atmosphere alone. The market stalls are a highlight, perfect for purchasing gifts and the variety of food on offer is fantastic. As well as this, Winter Wonderland presents an incredibly photogenic scene – its twinkling lights and wooden huts, not to mention the ice sculptures, assist people in capturing images worthy of fronting a Christmas card.

Claire_Payne_hydepark

Photo: Claire Payne

From Harrods’ hundred-thousands of fairy lights to Somerset House’s elaborately elegant tree, London delivers year on year, especially for Christmas. Though many people with a passion for the Big Smoke appreciate London the whole year around, it would be difficult for even the biggest Scrooge not to fall a little bit in love with the city’s festive spirit.

Claire_Payne_harrods

Photo: Claire Payne

 

Claire_Payne_somersethouse

Photo: Claire Payne