Coronavirus has forced us all indoors and the country has been on lockdown for 10 weeks. The streets of London have gone quiet with barely a soul to be seen – or so I kept seeing on the news.
I’d been desperate to go into the city since the start of lockdown, to see it for myself and like many others, I felt compelled to document the empty, usually crowded locations.
Thanks to the second stage of lockdown and incredibly confusing guidelines from our government (Cheers, Boris.), we decided to venture into the city for our daily exercise and use it as an excuse to photograph the surreal scenes of a deserted London Town!
I lived at Baker Street as a student and have never seen the station so deserted, it just felt so eerie being there.
Ordinarily, this entire area is packed with commuters, students and tourists wanting to visit Madame Tussauds, the Sherlock Holmes museum or Regents Park. It was unreal to see it so empty and peaceful for the first time ever.
We stumbled upon one of Mayfair’s best-kept secrets; the Mews Of Mayfair – a unique hideaway, tucked away in one of London’s historic courtyards.
It’s one of the most stunning mews I’ve walked through in London due to it’s beautiful display of faux-flowers.
Thanks to the London lockdown, we had it all to ourselves so I couldn’t resist a photo op. I’m certain this would be a popular spot on a regular day – particularly with instagrammers, photographers, tourists and locals.
There was not a soul to be seen at Berkeley Square, and nor were the streets lined with parked Lamborghinis like they usually are. Surprisingly, we also had the public garden to ourselves, it was so serene.
The irony of this photo was not lost on me..
Oxford Street is the first place any seasoned Londoner avoids; it’s just not pleasant weaving through the masses of shoppers and tourists that gather here every day.
Top tip – always take the side streets behind the rows of shops and thank me later!
An empty Oxford Street sounds impossible, and it was so surreal to see all the shops closed and lights turned off during the day. During this London lockdown, and the best way of describing the west end is eerie.
Aside from a handful of people walking, and a few busses, cars and motorbikes whizzing past, it was deserted and calm. Not a word I ever thought I’d associate with this area!
Knightsbridge was certainly busier with vehicles and cyclists, but the pavements were crowd-free. It was actually really pleasant walking around and admiring the architecture without the hustle and bustle.
While rainbows, murals and tributes to NHS workers adorn walls and windows up and down the country, I particularly loved Harrods’ bold window displays..
Each pane has a tribute or an inspirational quote against a bold rainbow which was uplifting to read as you walk the length of the building.
From ‘Sunnier Days Ahead’ to ‘Small Gestures Can Change the World’ and ‘It’s Gonna Be OK’, the artwork really brightens up the empty streets, while sending messages of hope in these darkened days.
Check out my list of the 11 Most Instagrammable Places in Chelsea.
Unlike Oxford Street, Chelsea was busy. Mainly because there are a number of supermarkets and more restaurants and coffee shops than retail stores on the King’s Road. The socially distanced queue outside Waitrose was particularly long as I assume it’s one of the biggest supermarkets in the area for locals.
Check out my list of 10 Streets to Find Wisteria in Kensington & Chelsea.
Surprisingly, Starbucks was open so of course I made a beeline for that. Like all the other coffee shops and milkshake bars, the entrance was blocked off with a table and you had to order and pay on the app to limit contact as much as possible.
Needless to say, it felt like such a treat to have a frapuccino after almost 3 months of going cold turkey! It’s strange to think that this will be our new normal for a few months now.
Pret are limiting the number of customers in store and (I assume) as it was difficult to buy so many essentials at the start of lockdown due to people stockpiling.. they’ve now started selling groceries. This particular store had a great range of dairy and non-dairy milk.
London in lockdown wasn’t how I’d imagined it. Once upon a time, we thought it was bizzare to see people walking down the street wearing a surgical face mask. And now it’s become the norm – you see people everywhere; walking, cycling and even driving with all kinds of DIY face masks on.
It’s crazy to think of how much has changed in such a short space of time!