Spending Christmas in (lockdown) London is really unusual for me as ordinarily I’d be back at my parents’ in the Midlands by at least Christmas Eve. 2020 however, has been such a surreal and challenging year for all of us, with plans having to be cancelled at the last minute and so I’m sure Christmas looked very different for the majority of us.
Naturally, I saw this as an opportunity to walk around London, like I did back in May, to photograph surreal scenes of a deserted London in lockdown!
Jass and I were lucky to be in a support bubble with my aunt who lives alone and in the heart of the city. So for us, it felt like a real treat to be able to celebrate Christmas Day in central London for a change.
The sun was shining brightly on Christmas Day, and so we went out for a post-lunch walk, in an attempt to ease the food coma we were all in. It was eerily quiet along the river – so unlike the London we all know.
The views from Battersea Bridge were stunning; with the reflection of Chelsea Bridge in the water and Battersea Power Station in the distance.
Again, Boxing Day was bright and sunny, but cold; my perfect winter’s day, so we went back out for a much longer walk. Would you believe that in 18 years of living in London, I have never been to Buckingham Palace!?
I was surprised at how many tourists were still in London as it was quite busy around the palace. Many others clearly had the same idea as us, as we were surrounded by people with cameras and tripods.
Thankfully coffee shops were open for a takeaway as the temperature started to drop, so we grabbed a Starbucks and made our way to Piccadilly.
We wanted to see the festive Fortum and Mason advent calendar display they’d created, and were surprised to see they were actually open – however, it was heaving! I don’t know what I was expecting London at Christmas, in lockdown to look like, but I was shocked to see so many people inside.
It truly felt like any other Boxing Day; people crowded in the sale section, no social distancing and people walking around with tons of shopping bags. The only noticeable difference this year was that they had masks on!
I presume they were technically allowed to be open because they sell food, but I have to say that it didn’t feel very safe inside with the amount of people that were there. So we didn’t hang around..
En route back to my aunt’s, we took a detour past The Ivy Chelsea Garden as I love seeing their seasonal window displays. This one certainly didn’t disappoint and seemed so much more extravagant than usual, for some reason.
It’s a shame it was dark by the time we got there, but again there was a line of people queuing to take photos outside, like it was any other day.
While walking through Mayfair earlier in the day, I spotted this strategically placed glove on the railings at Berkeley Square. I’m sure you’ll agree that this is the perfect way of conveying 2020 with a gesture!
Just like last time, London in lockdown wasn’t as I’d imagined it. I’ve loved walking around the deserted parts of London as it’s something we’ll (hopefully) never experience again.
Playing tourist in your own city really is so much fun!