A few years ago I shared my thoughts on wandering around an abandoned Central London, and this Christmas I went again and have to say that it’s definitely not as deserted as before. When I got there at 7.45 AM (same time as before), there were already a fair number of people and cars on Piccadilly Circus and Oxford Street. Covent Garden and Trafalgar Square even felt like a Sunday morning before the shops open.
Is everything really closed?
No, not everything, there was a Pret as well as a few Caffe Concerto branches open. On Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus I saw some tourist-focused eateries open and the Hop On Hop Off bus was driving around.
Who do you run into?
People doing the same thing as you, some confused tourists, locals walking their dog and homeless people. Around Covent Garden I also spotted security and a street sweeper.
Is it still worth waking up early for?
Actually yes, not for a 28 Days Later or eery vibe, but there is something magical about walking from Leicester Square to Covent Garden without anyone in your way and seeing new details that you might miss as you don’t have to watch where you are going. Also, renting a bike and cycling around with a smaller chance of being hit is amazing.
Anything else I need to know?
– Though there are a lot of people, you can still get a photo or two without anyone in it. Patience. A lot of patience.
– Skip Westminster Bridge as Elizabeth Tower is still under scaffolding, go to Embankment instead for the perfect London Eye and Westminster Bridge shot.
– Just like last time the small side streets are my favourite as those are the ones you usually don’t see empty