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  • Writer's pictureIna

Christmas in London: Where to Spot the Prettiest Festive Wreaths

Updated: Dec 22, 2023

Ho, ho, ho, it's the most wonderful time of the year in London! Did you know that the tradition of hanging Christmas wreaths on doors is a widespread practice in our pretty city? Every winter, the day after Halloween, Londoners start to hang the most wonderful Christmas wreaths on their front doors. It's such a popular tradition that wreath spotting (aka #wreathwatch) has become a thing on social networks.

So what makes these circular garlands so special? Let's dig deeper into the story of these cherished festive decorations and how they get to embody the cheerful spirit of the holiday season.

The entrance decorations at the Frenchie restaurant in Covent Garden look so fresh and creative! Pine and red berry branches create a festive facade for the holiday season.

Symbolism and Tradition

Warm Welcome: Christmas wreaths symbolize a warm welcome, inviting friends, family, and even strangers to share in the spirit of the season.

Festive Spirit: The vibrant colors and traditional elements of Christmas wreaths are a visual representation of the festivity that fills homes during the holidays.

Design and Decoration

Evergreen Foliage: Many Christmas wreaths feature evergreen foliage, such as pine, holly, or fir, symbolizing resilience and the continuity of life during the winter months.

Red Berries and Bows: Red berries and bows are commonly used to add a pop of color, signifying warmth and festivity.

Ornaments and Lights: Some wreaths are adorned with ornaments, pinecones, garlands, ribbons, glitter, candles, or even twinkling lights, pumping a dash of glamour and capturing the magical ambiance of Christmas.

Historical Roots

Pagan Traditions: The use of evergreen plants in winter celebrations has ancient roots, with pagan cultures viewing them as symbols of life and protection against the harsh winter.

Christian Symbolism: In Christian traditions, the circular shape of the wreath represents eternity and the unending nature of God's love. The red berries may symbolize the blood of Christ.

Community and Neighborhood Displays

Friendly Competition: In some London neighborhoods like Kensington & Chelsea and Belgravia, there is a friendly competition to have the most beautifully decorated Christmas wreaths. Residents take pride in creating eye-catching displays that contribute to the festive atmosphere.

DIY and Handcrafted Wreaths

Personal Touch: Many Londoners enjoy crafting their own Christmas wreaths, adding a personal flair to their holiday decorations.

Workshops and Classes: Some local communities and businesses offer wreath-making workshops, bringing people together to create their festive masterpieces.

Commercial and Public Spaces

Shopping Districts: London's iconic shopping districts, such as Oxford Street and Regent Street, often feature large, professionally crafted Christmas wreaths on storefronts and lampposts, contributing to the city's overall holiday ambiance.

Public Buildings: Various public buildings and landmarks in London, including museums and government offices, may also showcase grand Christmas wreaths, injecting a rush of festive cheer into the cityscape.

Seasonal Events and Markets

Christmas Markets: Seasonal markets in London often include vendors selling a variety of Christmas wreaths, providing residents and visitors with the opportunity to purchase or admire these festive decorations.

In London, the tradition of hanging Christmas wreaths on doors is a delightful and communal way for locals to express their festive spirit. Symbolizing joy and glory since antiquity, each London Christmas wreath is a one-of-a-kind piece, adorned with a mix of twigs, dried festive fruits and flowers, pine cones, ivy, and seasonal foliage. Whether through handcrafted creations or store-bought designs, Christmas wreaths contribute to the city's joyous atmosphere during the holiday season.

Where to spot the prettiest Christmas wreaths in London?

If you want to contribute to the popular #wreathwatch challenge on Instagram or simply wish to delight your sight with the most beautiful winter wreaths, here are some streets to add to your Google Maps destinations:

  • Belgravia: Elizabeth St., Ebury St.

  • Sloane Square: Duke of York Square, Pavillion Rd.

  • Chelsea: King's Rd, Sydney St., The Boltons.

  • Covent Garden.

  • Mayfair: Audley Street (particularly McQueens Flower shop), Brooke Street.

Healthy London activity challenge: Take your camera, put your walking boots on, and snap pics of the prettiest Christmas wreaths on a 20k-step stroll around Victoria, Belgravia, Sloane Square, Chelsea, South Kensington, and Notting Hill. You'll love it, I promise. It's such an exciting way to explore London's hidden corners and get lost in its ever-changing beauty.

 *All photos were taken by Ina/WithinLondon, unless stated otherwise.


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