The Calm After the Storm: A Look at Post-Christmas London

 

There are a few things you grow accustomed to after living in London for several years. The first is the weather (as much as we’d all hate to admit). The second is the congestion.

London is crowded. Crowded with tourists. Crowded with residents. There are just heaps of people everywhere, all the time.

That is, except for those precious few days between Christmas and New Year’s.

While London is a great place to visit in the run up to Christmas, the city pretty much shuts down on the evening of the 24th. By then, locals and tourists alike join in on a mass exodus from the UK capital. Londoners, I suspect, either head someplace warm to enjoy the festive season or escape to the country. And the tourists? Well I suppose they just go home.

An empty Limehouse (my neighbourhood) in the fading afternoon light.

Either way, that leaves those of us who do choose to spend the holidays in London with a fantastically empty city. With that in mind I ventured out for walks every day between Christmas and New Year’s just to soak it all in.

Covent Garden

Covent Garden

One of the places I chose to visit was Covent Garden, which is usually teeming with people. On a drizzling post-Christmas morning though, it was pretty empty.

Covent Garden

Covent Garden

From Covent Garden I wandered over to Seven Dials and Neal’s Yard, which still managed to look cheery and colourful in the rain.

Seven Dials

Seven Dials

Neal's Yard

Seeking Cover in Neal’s Yard

Neal's Yard

Neal’s Yard

Covent Garden

Covent Garden

Beyond Covent Garden, I took a walk along the Thames through Central London, stopped by at St. Katharine’s Dock (near Tower Bridge) and explored parts of Shoreditch. The one part of the city I did purposefully avoid was Oxford Street, which is notorious for its crowded post-Christmas sales. The rest of the London, however, was an absolute delight.

London

View of the City of London from a bridge along the Thames

Christmas Tree in St. Katharine’s Dock

 

1 Response

  1. Sarah 26 January, 2016 / 12:29 am

    Brilliant… will be heading to London for Christmas/New Years this year so will be interesting to see it without so many people!

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