I love the whole concept of Secret London Runs events so when I saw that they had a festive run coming up, I took the opportunity to sign-up for a spot of festive sightseeing.
Booking it a few months in advance meant I didn’t really have any plans so my aim was to do head into London early for a spot of Christmas shopping before heading off on the run. However … after a heavy day of drinking for around 12 hours (family do then running club Xmas social) and having the worst hangover of my life, I was very close to staying in bed, feeling sorry for myself. I shook it off, telling myself I’d feel better for it and made my way to London much much later than planned, feeling a little sick and wondering how I was going to run to the end of the road let alone six miles….
Anyway once I arrived, found the group and only hoped that I could hold down the BLT I’d had on the way. We got ourselves ready with Santa hats and Jingle Bells and met our guides for the evening – Vickie and Becca (@thisbunnyruns).
As we ran off to begin the tour, the skies opened and the rain poured down! At least we were seeing Christmas lights!
From memory (I’ve slept, ate and drank since then) some of the places we stopped at were:
- The Dickens Inn linked to A Christmas Carol
- Ice Watch – the huge ice bergs that had been dropped across London to highlight climate change
- St Paul’s Cathedral
- Covent Garden
- Somerset House
- Bohemian Rhapsody themed lights on Carnaby Street
- Regent Street
My top learning from the tour was about White Christmas. Dreaming of a White Christmas is based on the River Thames and a really long time ago – think Henry VIII – the Thames would ice over completely and parties were held on the River where people bought food and drinks to share with others. One time Henry VIII sledged along with ice with an elephant.
Apart from being soaked, the tour was again a great opportunity to see the lights and learn more about the city and it’s hidden past. Afterwards, I felt pretty good – after warming up with two hot chocolates!