Hatchards, London’s oldest bookshop, has provided the annual crafted Christmas tree for St. Pancras International Station, in the style of a ziggurat tower of books.

(c) ianVisits

Standing at 12 metres tall it features a winding staircase, wrapping around 270 shelves with more than 3,800 books, but also around the base, nooks to sit in and rest, or if you prefer, listen to books being read out loud through some speakers in the cubby holes.

(c) ianVisits

The station’s Christmas tree is always themed, and this year’s is one of the better ones. I quite like it – it reminds me of old bookshops the way you want them to look, all nooks and winding staircases and shelves full of leather-bound covers.

The books are worth a look as well, as some have handwritten titles on the sides – although I ended up using my camera as a handheld telescope to zoom in to read them.

The Chronicles of Narnia, The Hogfather, Christmas with the Tylers, Mog’s Christmas, The Nutcracker, A Christmas Carol, and The Polar Express are all suitable Christmas themed books. Locally relevant was Sam Lane’s St Pancras thru the lens, but naughty… someone snuck in a copy of Fifty Shades of Grey.

(c) ianVisits

And do look inside the cubby holes, if the person sitting in them doesn’t mind you peering over their head, for some history posters from the railways and the bookseller. I must admit, it would have been marvellous to be able to walk up the stairs that wind around the “tree”, but I suspect the cost of making it suitable for climbing would have been prohibitive.

(c) ianVisits

Some previous trees in the station have felt a bit overly commercial or trying too hard to be worthy — this one, just like Mary Poppins, is practically perfect in every way.

However, it could have waited a couple of weeks before going up. It’s just too early for Christmas trees.

(c) ianVisits

St Pancras Christmas Trees Past

2022 – The Princes Trust

2021 – London Zoo

2020 – EL&N London

2019 – Lancôme

2018 – Tiffany

2017 – Moyses Stevens

2016 – Cirque du Soleil

2015 – Disney Junior

2014 – Eurostar

2013 – Fortnum & Mason

2012 – Olympics theme

2011 – LEGO

2010 – Lanson Champagne


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One comment
  1. Sam Lane says:

    So cool you spotted my “books”! I’ve had the pleasure of taking photos at StP for over 10 years and this is the 13th Christmas Tree I’ve had the joy of photographing!! Maybe there’s a book (or three) to come!

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