December has finally arrived! Which means it’s now publicly acceptable to start celebrating Christmas! No one can complain anymore that “it’s only November” and therefore too early to be wearing a Christmas jumper or playing festive songs (Scrouges!).
So where better to get the festive season into full-swing than London! With its glittering lights, Christmas markets and wintery pop-ups galore. The problem is, there’s so much to do and so little time to do it all in.
One of my favourite parts of Christmas in the Capital has to be the many mesmerising Christmas lights installations. However, each year there are more and more to see, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to get around them all.
Luckily this year I discovered Golden Tours‘ London Christmas Lights Cycling tour, which takes you around most of London’s best installations in just 2 hours!
On Sunday afternoon I met my group and our tour guide Doug, who was aptly dressed in a red coat and white beard, down near Waterloo station where the tour began. I had the option to choose between a standard bike or an electric bike. So being the lazy lump I am, I jumped at the opportunity of a bike that would do half of the work for me.
From Waterloo, we headed over Westminster Bridge, past the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abby, then on to Buckingham Palace, with occasional stops for picture opportunities and some interesting facts from Doug.
At this point, the sun had just about set and London was fading into darkness. Which meant it was Lights time!
Starting in Hyde Park we whizzed past the exciting lights, sounds and smells of Winter Wonderland. Then on to South Moulton Street, Oxford Street and Bond Street.
Next, we turned on to Regent Street for their iconic angels, past Hamleys Toy Store, then through the West End and Trafalgar Square and finally on to Covent Garden where we stopped to admire the twinkling Christmas tree, giant hanging Mistletoe and large reindeer.
The Final Verdict:
Despite the chilly British weather, I highly enjoyed my London Christmas Lights tour. Doug was a great tour guide and made the trip both informative and fun.
Despite being a Londoner myself, Doug taught me plenty of interesting new things about the city and the lights themselves that I didn’t know previously. For example, there have been Christmas lights on Regent Street in various forms since 1882 – wow!
The electric bike was also great fun to ride and meant that after 2 hours of cycling around London I still had the energy to head for a glass of mulled wine to warm me back up.