From now until the end of the festive year, London’s streets will sparkle bright. The best displays will be right in the centre of town, all short walks away from the Strand Palace Hotel.
This is so close to Stand Palace. Literally out of the door and round a corner, and there, in the centre of the historic square, is a staggeringly high and spangled tree’ bedecked with tens of thousands (almost 30,000) lights. The opening ceremony was marked by The Kingdom Choir, who were a heart-soaring highlight during Harry Windsor’s wedding earlier this year, Between now and Christmas, this bit of Covent Garden is worth a festive stroll before or after a visit to one of the nearby theatres.
Almost as close is one of London’s most iconic destinations. Seconds away from Strand Palace, Trafalgar Square is worth a visit any time of year. Right now it’s especially romantic, with a Norwegian Wood – Spruce – soaring high in the Square. This is a gift from Norway every single year since 1947 and to see it is to feel good – the surrounding fountains reflect seasonal cheer too.
A simple stroll over the river from Strand Palace, London’s South Bank is lined with seasonal treats, with the water always in view. All along the waterfront, charming stalls serve up artisan gifts alongside hot chocolate, and circus acts. Nearly every stop-off point will offer a welcome glass of mulled wine to set off the wonderful lights, river views and wintertime bonhomie.
A slightly longer but wonderful getting to know you walk away from the Strand, Marylebone is a quintessential London village. It will be-decked from now until Christmas with spectacular lighting, and as always, the chance to stop off at Daunts, one of the best bookshops in the world to buy a Christmas gift or two.
Kew is magical any time of year, but from now until January it will be more majestic still, with more than a million little tea-lights sparkling amidst the historic foliage. More modern laser light shows will work up the atmosphere, but even without them, there could not be a more romantic night out under London’s winter skies.
These three streets, walking distance from the Strand Palace Hotel, are London’s most celebrated in terms of designer shopping and city-culture, with every name from old-school Liberty to the newest bars in town sitting directly off the sidewalks. The experience of strolling down them all is only going to be enhanced while spectacular seasonal lights sparkle over them.