Switching on of Regent Streets famous Christmas lights (on its 200th anniversary!)

When it comes to anything outdoorsy this time of year in the UK, there’s always the risk of getting soaked.

However on 14th December London got well and truly into the Christmas spirit without a cloud in sight. The occasion was the switching on of the Christmas lights on Regent Street.

Regent Street is world famous. On regentstreetonline.com, it states the following about the street:

Named after the Prince Regent, the street was built in 1819 under the direction of architect John Nash and its Grade II listed facades represent some of the most distinguished architecture in London. When built, Regent Street was the original shopping street for the capital and has grown into a world-renowned destination that curates year-round memorable experiences that go beyond the world-class shopping.

So with the Christmas lights being turned on, this was a better time than ever to take a visit.

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Crossing London Bridge was beautiful that night, the moon was the brightest I have seen it in a long time. In these shots the moon is in different locations, I assume the third photo was taken on the way back home later that evening.

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First, I went to my work place just before the commute, to drop off some things before my morning shift. I left my place near Borough Station, headed to work, jumped on a Jubilee Line train at Southwark Station to Green Park, got off and onto a Piccadilly Line train one stop to Piccadilly Circus.

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Looking back I don’t know why I was looming around London Bridge… maybe I went for a coffee or something.

It seems a lot, but the actual travelling doesn’t take too long at all. There are trains every couple of minutes and is a great- and sometimes crowded- way to get around the Capital.

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Just off Piccadilly Circus is Carnaby Street, another popular street for similar reasons. It seems like many streets in the surrounding area are really putting in the effort which is great to see.

And it isn’t just for Christmas. Looking at the above decorations it is clear to see an ocean theme, and Project Zero (seen in the sign) is a movement trying to save our oceans.

I just took a look at Project Zero, and have linked the movement at the bottom of the post.

They state on their site:

Project 0 is a global movement supported by renowned scientists, business leaders, campaigners, culture makers and ocean experts, who are all working together to awaken the fight for the ocean.

The greatest threat to our planet is climate change and if we don’t take action now, the collapse of civilisation and the extinction of much of the natural world is on the horizon. The ocean needs safe havens where it can replenish, and fortify itself against climate change, overfishing and pollution. That means strongly protecting at least 30% of the ocean by 2030, from the Arctic to the Antarctic, coastal to high seas areas and everywhere in between.

I am always happy to see such a movement, and knowing how many people will walk underneath this and google it like I have is great to think about.

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I’m not sure if the guy above is taking a photo of me or taking a selfie…

Liberty department store is one I hadn’t heard of, but went into and was really impressed. Again, just round a corner (I was getting pretty lost at this point and every corner was new to me) but walking through this building I could tell it was a store with a big history. It was founded in 1875 and is situated in a gorgeous looking building decorated with the holidays in mind. I should have taken more shots in here, but as I wasn’t expecting to be wandering around a department store I was taking it all in before walking out another exit and back onto the streets. Next time perhaps.

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Here is a somewhat blurry shot from outside, Liberty being the Tudor building with the Union Jack flying outside of it. This wasn’t the reason I took this photo, instead I wanted to capture that amazing moon again.

Take a look, you can see the whole row of street lights and the moon is just above it… and just as bright!!

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Now back to Regent Street. The decorations were plain to see, just not lit up. But the moment they turned on I realised they weren’t just any high street Christmas lights.

The street celebrated the evening with fireworks, set off the moment the lights came on. You could hear the crowd (including me!) gasp in union as the fireworks lit up the sky. I wasn’t expecting it and I am sure many others weren’t either. Was it tradition, or because this was the streets 200th year? I am not sure but I don’t care. It was great.

It was an incredible sight on one of London’s most beautiful streets.

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The crowd went as far as the eye could see. For obvious reasons traffic was closed for the event and people took advantage of the open roads. Further down Regent Street a stage was set up for what I assume was a mini festival of music, or maybe carol singers. It was obvious that people weren’t going to leave the area after the fireworks came to an end.

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The displays mainly consisted of angels, arms out looking a little like an acrobat about to catch another midflight.

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These angels lined the roads, with the lights flickering and lighting the wings up in a sequence. You can see the changes in the shots below.

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Smaller displays lit the way down smaller streets, some of these streets offering hot buttered rum (which was delicious) and churros free of charge to keep the hands warm and hunger satisfied.

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This night really got me into the Christmas spirit. People were happy, the classics were playing, the lights were shining. And it made me want to see what else London is doing for the winter season.

Now London is huge. I know all of these shots pretty much consist of the same lights however this is just one area of a city full of very cool areas. In fact I have already seen other areas I want to visit properly and blog about, one being Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park. Apparently it’s awesome and for all ages.

I shall blog about some of these places soon.

And I am preparing my blog posts for 2020, I have mentioned I will be putting the destinations to vote on Instagram and the winning places will be visited and blogged about. Until then I will probably blog about everything Christmas that’s going on in London and grab a couple more of those hot buttered rums.

Below is a shot taken of a band performing that night, I wish I got their name. They were performing a great cover of I Say a Little Prayer and I hope I bump into them again on my wanders. I will upload a small clip of this as well as the shots to my Instagram shortly.

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Speaking of Instagram, I have changed my website a little and added the clickable social media icons to the home page. I felt like it needed a little change, but wanted to keep the photographs as the focal point of the site. I did like the look of one theme that had a layout similar to a book (some of you may have noticed it briefly as I was trying it out), however my mum provided some feedback pretty much straight away telling me that she loved being able to look at the photos on the old theme and find older posts easily. So thank you mum, I have changed the theme with that in mind.

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My Insta, Facebook and Twitter isn’t doing much right now, but as I build momentum and begin to post more frequently I will be using them more. Feel free to add me over on these channels, I would greatly appreciate it and promise that they will come to life very soon!

Thank you for reading, and apologies for not posting so much since returning to the UK. My mind has been all over the place with moving and sorting documents etc and I have honestly just felt a little flat. But I am very excited to get back into the swing of things and really looking forward to the year ahead!

Oh and Happy Thanksgiving to my readers in the USA too. I am sitting opposite a bunch of Irish folk bringing the holidays a little closer to home with an epic roast, and I don’t blame them. From now on I feel like celebrating other countries and cultures holidays a little more… why keep it inside the borders? If it’s and excuse to be merry and have a little fun I am 100% on board.

And I will leave you with this question- what’s your plans for 2020? Anything exciting? Let me know and I will see you in the comments!


 

www.regentstreetonline.com/

www.weareprojectzero.org

 


 

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Categories: Blog, TravelTags: , , , , , , , , ,

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