An early Christmas London walk – baubles, gas lamps, ice rink, South Bank and ICA art launch

An early Christmas London walk - baubles, gas lamps, ice rink, South Bank and ICA art launch, November 2014

December is still several days away, but the Christmas frenzy is already in full flow around central London, as the shop tills start to ring out their seasonal fanfare.

The length of Oxford Street was exceedingly quick to get the festive makeover, with these illuminated baubles already in place by the middle of October. I rather like them.

An early Christmas London walk - baubles, gas lamps, ice rink, South Bank and ICA art launch, November 2014

In the Getty Gallery in Eastcastle Street (just off Oxford Circus), there’s an excellent exhibition celebrating the work of rock photographer, Michael Putland.

Entitled, “A Life in Music 50 Years on the Road,” there’s some wonderful images to be seen, including striking photos of Bowie, Jagger, Springsteen, The Who and the Clash. The exhibition runs until the 29th November, so you’ll have to look sharp.

An early Christmas London walk - baubles, gas lamps, ice rink, South Bank and ICA art launch, November 2014

Alms box, Soho Square, W1.

An early Christmas London walk - baubles, gas lamps, ice rink, South Bank and ICA art launch, November 2014

The rather tasteful Seven Dials decorations.

An early Christmas London walk - baubles, gas lamps, ice rink, South Bank and ICA art launch, November 2014

Gas lamp, Covent Garden.

An early Christmas London walk - baubles, gas lamps, ice rink, South Bank and ICA art launch, November 2014

Telephone boxes and Christmas lights, Covent Garden.

An early Christmas London walk - baubles, gas lamps, ice rink, South Bank and ICA art launch, November 2014

Rainy street, Covent Garden.

An early Christmas London walk - baubles, gas lamps, ice rink, South Bank and ICA art launch, November 2014

Gas lamp outside St Paul’s Church, also commonly known as the Actors’ Church in Covent Garden.

Designed by Inigo Jones as part of a commission by Francis Russell, 4th Earl of Bedford, it first opened its doors in 1631.

An early Christmas London walk - baubles, gas lamps, ice rink, South Bank and ICA art launch, November 2014

Impressively large Christmas tree at the west end of Covent Garden.

An early Christmas London walk - baubles, gas lamps, ice rink, South Bank and ICA art launch, November 2014

Mahoosive baubles inside.

An early Christmas London walk - baubles, gas lamps, ice rink, South Bank and ICA art launch, November 2014

Street traders on the southern flank of Covent Garden.

An early Christmas London walk - baubles, gas lamps, ice rink, South Bank and ICA art launch, November 2014

Model of a bus decorated as a beefeater outside the London Transport Museum.

An early Christmas London walk - baubles, gas lamps, ice rink, South Bank and ICA art launch, November 2014

Flamboyantly large illuminated reindeer.

An early Christmas London walk - baubles, gas lamps, ice rink, South Bank and ICA art launch, November 2014

This recently refurbished cafe certainly makes the most of the building’s association with the great Victorian author.

An early Christmas London walk - baubles, gas lamps, ice rink, South Bank and ICA art launch, November 2014

Somerset House, off the Strand, hosts a large ice rink in its courtyard every year.

An early Christmas London walk - baubles, gas lamps, ice rink, South Bank and ICA art launch, November 2014

An early Christmas London walk - baubles, gas lamps, ice rink, South Bank and ICA art launch, November 2014

An early Christmas London walk - baubles, gas lamps, ice rink, South Bank and ICA art launch, November 2014

With the rain pelting down, the outdoor dining area was deserted.

An early Christmas London walk - baubles, gas lamps, ice rink, South Bank and ICA art launch, November 2014

I walked across Waterloo Bridge and headed down to the South Bank.

An early Christmas London walk - baubles, gas lamps, ice rink, South Bank and ICA art launch, November 2014

Umbrella held up against the evening drizzle, South Bank.

An early Christmas London walk - baubles, gas lamps, ice rink, South Bank and ICA art launch, November 2014

A lone browser checks out the secondhand book market under Waterloo Bridge.

An early Christmas London walk - baubles, gas lamps, ice rink, South Bank and ICA art launch, November 2014

Skateboard park on the South Bank.

An early Christmas London walk - baubles, gas lamps, ice rink, South Bank and ICA art launch, November 2014

Earlier this year, campaigners successfully fought off a campaign to move the skate park upriver.

An early Christmas London walk - baubles, gas lamps, ice rink, South Bank and ICA art launch, November 2014

The delightfully over the top Christmas Tree Cafe outside Southbank Centre.

An early Christmas London walk - baubles, gas lamps, ice rink, South Bank and ICA art launch, November 2014

Running until Friday 26th November is the World Press Photo of the Year 2014 exhibition. There’s some stunning work there, although some of the war scenes are quite disturbing.

An early Christmas London walk - baubles, gas lamps, ice rink, South Bank and ICA art launch, November 2014

Empty Clore Ballroom. I had a fantastic time here four years ago at the Duckie party.

An early Christmas London walk - baubles, gas lamps, ice rink, South Bank and ICA art launch, November 2014

Break dancers rehearse downstairs.

An early Christmas London walk - baubles, gas lamps, ice rink, South Bank and ICA art launch, November 2014

Full on festive sales by the River Thames.

An early Christmas London walk - baubles, gas lamps, ice rink, South Bank and ICA art launch, November 2014

Merry-go-round.

An early Christmas London walk - baubles, gas lamps, ice rink, South Bank and ICA art launch, November 2014

An early Christmas London walk - baubles, gas lamps, ice rink, South Bank and ICA art launch, November 2014

The final stop was at the ICA galleries for the private view of the Bloomberg New Contemporaries exhibition.

An early Christmas London walk - baubles, gas lamps, ice rink, South Bank and ICA art launch, November 2014

There was some interesting work on show, but the place was far too rammed to really take it in.

An early Christmas London walk - baubles, gas lamps, ice rink, South Bank and ICA art launch, November 2014

An early Christmas London walk - baubles, gas lamps, ice rink, South Bank and ICA art launch, November 2014

An early Christmas London walk - baubles, gas lamps, ice rink, South Bank and ICA art launch, November 2014

An early Christmas London walk - baubles, gas lamps, ice rink, South Bank and ICA art launch, November 2014

This year’s Bloomberg New Contemporaries exhibition will remain open until 15th January 2015.

newcontemporaries.org.uk