Sweetbriar Dreams

So where shall we go on our journey today?

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Revisiting Camden Town and Santacon in London

On Saturday 10 December, something special will be happening iaround the world in towns and cities... 

Santacon 2016
(you can find out more here)

An event organised by the power of social media and one that I loved coming across a couple of years ago in 2014.  So, my blog today is going back in time and revisiting December 2014, when we were pleasantly surprised by the fun and festive feeling of Camden Town and Trafalgar Square in London.  Full santa outfits have to be worn (not just a hat or Christmas jumper!) and details of where the events being held are only told the night before.  Unfortunately I can't get down to London for a couple of weeks but reliving this day from 2014 was still as fun as it was then.  So, mince pie and a glass of sherry my dear readers... here we go again...

Well the year is nearly over and this would be my last trip to London for now.  A little bit of Christmas shopping was to be embarked upon, along with some sight seeing in the City to see the Christmas decorations sparkling in the night time.  What we were not expecting to see along the way were Santas.  Many, many, many Santas.  Now, if your little ones are reading this with you, can I explain that these are being interviewed to work in the North Pole next year in the real Father Christmas' workshops!  To the adults- this was one massive pub crawl!!!!  So as I take you around our visit this time, you may see quite a lot of Santas' in different shapes and guises along the way!

Just a quick hop onto the tube to Camden Town from Kings Cross and we joined the crowds.  Yes, people were saying that we were mad to go Christmas shopping in London, so seeing the Mad Hatter as we came out of the tube station really didn't help!!

Camden Town is full of markets, individual unique shops and friendly staff - unrushed and very happy to please.  Yes, it was full of shoppers but we didn't feel as though we were being pushed along, instead we were able to take our time and handle things at our leisure.  What is also so different is that the signs for the shops are accompanied by huge examples of the wares they are selling inside.  So instead of seeing a typical barber shop red and white column, you can see boots...


in fact anything from a distance.

As we walked along there were more and more Santas walking along to Camden Lock.  Santacon was obviously in full swing!

Now to some I suppose Camden Town can look a little shabby with its individual style, so if you are into sleek and shiny High Streets then Camden is not for you.  However, if you like things that are a little different and especially if you have teenage kids, then this is a MUST see.  Miss Teen and her friend Miss B felt totally at home and were happily soaking up the young, vibrant atmosphere and were surprised at just how long the stallholders spoke to them and let them try things on without getting all huffy.  It was a new experience for them.

My happy places though were capturing the ghost signs on the sides of old shops...

... taxi cabs outside good old fashioned fish and chip shops...

... lamp shops...

... boots...

... dresses...

... candles...

... necklaces... (a favourite for Miss Teen and Miss B - the stallholder was amazing with his knowledge of TV shows and film).

Then there was the food, and what a huge choice there was.  All freshly prepared and cooked.  Yes there are the typical fast food places, but most people head to the stall holders where cocktail sticks are handed out to try the different flavours of the world.  Even Octopus is freshly cooked and served.

We went for the Turkish option with succulent chargrilled chicken, perfectly cooked rice, fresh salad and a flat bread!  Perfect!  For dessert we went along to some more stalls and spotted this one with oozing cakes.

I truly wanted that sticky toffee cake but passed, however Miss Teen and Miss B enjoyed the brownie pops.  I was allowed a little taster and they were heavenly!

Lunchtime here is very busy but again we didn't feel that we were being rushed along, everyone just taking their time.

But hey, do you want to see where all the Santas went?  They were at Camden Lock...

Streams of them, all very merry.

One had obviously already been down a chimney!

Another had already been to one of the corset shops.

The atmosphere was fantastic and the girls were so happy to be part of it.

But to keep on track we needed to get back over the bridge.

Passing this great looking shop called All Saints where you can just see all the antique sewing machines in the windows

Can you make them out?

Time was knocking on so we needed to say a reluctant goodbye to Camden Town.  I feel that this will be a regular trip for my daughter now!

Another tube journey to Charing Cross and a short walk to Trafalgar Square next.

When I was younger I used to have a regular Christmas trip here with my Nan and Grandpa, just to see the Christmas Tree which is a gift from Norway.

The lights were on as the sun began to set over London town.

Including the star at the top!

Yes, you guessed it.  Santacon was here too!

If I was prepared I think we would have stayed to see the whole square full of Santas, which is what happened later on.  But we needed to walk to Westminster before our train back.

We walked past Downing Street on the way.  Long gone are the days when you could stand next to the famous front door with a policeman!

Westminster was full but we managed to get near the railings of the Houses of Parliament.

Then along to Westminster Bridge to see the London Eye at night.

County Hall looks beautiful when it is lit up.

London at night is my favourite time to see this magical place.

Everyone dashing here, there and everywhere!

It was now time to say goodbye to the Thames...

And let the ghostly carriages pass us by!

Sorry, couldn't resist, the photo could have come out A LOT better but it was a quick turn round to see them going past me.

Back to 2016 and my last London trip of the year will be coming up in a couple of weeks when I hope to capture the tree at Trafalgar Square while Miss Teen and Miss B enjoy a West End Show.  I can't wait to get down to my old home town and breathe in that air again and have a couple of hours of selfish 'me' time.


  1. I was just remembering last night how we always had a trip up west to see the lights when we were kids. The santacon looks loads of fun!

    1. It's those old traditions again isn't it? Santacon does look fun and being amongst the crowds a couple of years ago, it really was a fantastic atmosphere. Take care. Chel x

  2. Great series of Santacon photos, never been to London in Christmas time, might be we get more time to go everywhere we want to, now we are retired.

    1. Just make sure you sharpen your elbows as it is BUSY! Try to keep away from the usual haunts such as Oxford Street, and NEVER go to Hamleys at Christmas... it's suicidal! Take care. Chel x

  3. Wow, now that was amazing tour, sparking some lovely memories when I used to meet up with my daughters whilst they were at University there for our annual trip to Harrods and an afternoon tea. Such a great atmosphere.

    1. The atmosphere in big cities around this time is truly wonderful. Humans at their best (apart from the shopping quarters!!). Take care. Chel x

  4. Oh my goodness . . . Camden is like stepping through the rabbit hole . . . so much color and excitement. It's a bit contagious. Oh to be young again and dropped off there :) This is my first visit to your blog . . . I do a lot of traveling through blogging . . . when you are married to a stick in the mud traveler, that's what you turn, too. Thanks for the amazing tour.
    Connie :)

  5. What a very nice and fun trip for us to see, Thanks for taking us with you.

  6. Oh...I remember this post! It was such fun reading through again and seeing all the fun photos. Such a neat event! I didn't realize they only announce the night before. Hope you're doing well and enjoying this lovely season!

    Hugs, Vicky

  7. I've heard about the Santacon (possibly via your blog!), but not seen it - and I haven't been to Camden for years. Wonderful shots. Really popped in to wish you a wonderful Christmas and a fabulous New Year, Chel. Thanks for all the great posts x.

  8. Missed Santa on this year. Completely forgot to check it out. I love all your photos as they bring back memories for me also.

  9. Ooh I like those photos, you had a great time that day

  10. great photos! I don't know why but it seems that my comments don't go through when I use my WordPress account :(


Thank you so much for visiting, I love reading your comments and will answer either by email or on the blog. You can also email me privately in my side bar. Have a great day x

Other Posts

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...