London is abuzz with Christmas. It’s also busy with last-minute Christmas shopping. Every time I venture into the heart of Oxford Street, I’m overwhelmed by crowds. But there’s a silver lining to this mayhem, and that’s the city’s seasonal decorations. For me, the best of these can be seen in London’s shopping arcades.
London Shopping Arcades at Christmas
London’s main arcades are in Mayfair and St James’s. Up Bond Street and along Piccadilly, they often fly under the radar. But during the Christmas season they come alive with lights and baubles. Seeing their festive regalia is worth a trip in itself, but the shops they hold—many of which are very traditional British ones—are worth a browse, too.
First up is the Royal Arcade. Hiding in plain sight on Bond Street, this is my favorite place to soak up the season.
The dramatic red upper story is Christmassy in itself, but the addition of trees and garlands give it the perfect festive touches.
A few steps away from the Royal Arcade, Burlington Arcade is one of the best-known London shopping arcades at Christmas and beyond.
I love the trees with tiny spiraling lights that line the hall. They bring a magical aura to the arcade and never fail to lure me in with their twinkling.
Just across the road, Piccadilly Arcade is another of the prettiest shopping arcades at Christmas.
I love how the lantern lights along the domed ceiling are garlanded with baubles and bows, and that the shops are graced with wreaths.
Just down the street from Piccadilly Arcade, Princes Arcade is perhaps the most hidden of all. But those who find it are rewarded with beautiful pine garlands and an abundance of Christmas trees.
The golden baubles and tartan bows are just the things to get me in the seasonal spirit, crowds and all. And that’s what I love so much about London at this time of year—no matter how busy it gets, there’s always enough cheer to go around.
Which is your favorite of the London shopping arcades at Christmas?