There’s something about London at night that’s enchanting—a bit surreal, too. As the taxi sped over Waterloo Bridge the other night, I couldn’t help trying to capture the magic. Well, while the amateurish photo isn’t bad, it doesn’t do the capital’s mysticism any real justice, does it?
Surely, I have something that says a thousand words, I told myself as I looked over my digital files—sunsets, sunsets, fireworks, fireworks.
Not what I had in mind. Though I have photographed Shanghai by night, Bangkok, Paris, New York, Boston and so on, I don’t have much of London. What does this mean? Possibly, that I don’t carry a camera around my home base at night. Who does? In any case, I’ll have to remedy that, but it might take some time.
In the meantime, I thought I’d take this opportunity to list five of my favourite views in London at night and tell a bit about what makes them special. Note that the list does not necessarily appear in preferred order. I love them all:
1) A view looking east on the Thames, which highlights the various riverside apartment buildings, the Albert and Chelsea Bridge and the lofty skyscrapers of the city of London in the distance. You’ll need a bird’s eye view for this one, but that shouldn’t be too hard to manage with skyscrapers popping up all over the place.
2) The twinkling lights of Harrods, located in Knightsbridge, which also happens to be one of my favourite views by day, too, or shall I say my favourite hang outs. The famous department store is one of the largest, if not the largest in the world. Checking it out by night won’t cost you a thing, considering what you might spend by day. Closest tube stations are Knightsbridge and Hyde Park corner.
3) Piccadilly, from Green Park to Piccadilly Circus. It’s just vibrant, bodacious and atmospheric all at the same time. So I am told the nightlife in the area keeps it teeming. What do I know, but when I am lucky enough to be there, I can see and feel exactly what the buzz is about.
4) Speaking of buzz, Park Lane is the place to be any time. But by night, the ritzy hotels light up and appear seductive under the moonlight. If you happen to be staying on the famous street or attending a gala there, you’re in serious luck. But if not, do catch a ride and zip alongside London taxis, Bentley’s, Maserati’s and the likes to take it all in.
5) When you tire of riding and want a stroll, go from Leicester Square to Covent Garden for a hive of activity and eclectic views. From watching fascinating street artists to sampling exotic foods, expect to be wowed. Young and old alike gather before and after theatre or heck just gather for the fun of it.
With all this talk about wonderful views maybe those fireworks are fitting about now. Magic!