There’s nothing more festive than the sight of the Christmas lights glowing around the city. Each year, thousands flock to Oxford Street, Regent St and other sites across London to watch the big switch on.
Last year I hosted a Christmas run club with pit-stops at some of the best lights around the West End and Soho, with Christmas jumpers encouraged. This year, I changed the route to include some must-see areas in The City.
The Holiday Inn London – Mayfair provides the perfect starting location for a running street tour, taking in the lights of London.
Starting out on Piccadilly, enjoy the beautiful decorations adorning the buildings, before turning around and running up Old Bond Street, New Bond Street all the way to Oxford Street.
Battle the crowds to admire Oxford Circus (if you time it right you can take a mid-run selfie right in the centre of the traffic crossing), turn right down onto Regent Street before turning left onto Great Marlborough Street, past Liberty London.
From there you’ll turn right and admire the magnificent Carnaby Street offering, (the LOVE lights make a great Instagram pic!) before turning right again back out onto Regent Street.
Make a pitstop at Fortnum and Mason (you’re now back on Piccadilly, so for those that just wanted to stretch their legs, you can turn back to the hotel now – or for those walking the route). For those wanting more mileage, continue onwards down Regent Street, turning left onto Pall Mall to view the magnificent Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree – you might even get lucky and hear some of the regular carol singers within the square.
Continue along The Strand and run on to Somerset house, cutting through SKATE and the magical Fortnum and Mason decorated tree.
Run along the Embankment and admire London in all it’s glory, with views across the River to the London Eye, Big Ben behind you and The City in the foreground. Our next destination is Tower Bridge, and the Tower of London (another fabulous ice-skating location at this time of year).
We finish our run at St Katharine’s Dock and the 45ft floating Christmas Tree adorned with 14,000 lights moored in the West Basin.
Stop here for a well-earned Mulled Wine, cider or hot chocolate, before hopping on the tube back to the Holiday Inn…or run the 3.5 miles home!