It’s soon time for London’s gloomy streets to become illuminated with dazzling festive displays… Here’s where to see the best of London’s Christmas lights
London’s famous shopping destination will turn its iconic Christmas lights on 21 November. Partnering with Capital Xtra, visitors will be treated to in-store music performances from big names in hip hop and R&B, plus exclusive shopping discounts and pop-up events.
From 21 November, oxfordstreet.co.uk
Squidsoup has created a colourful installation for Eccleston Yard’s Chromotherapy Christmas, a sound and light experience featuring 500 individually suspended orbs. The colours in the illuminated courtyard have been designed to evoke positive feelings, from happiness (yellow) to calming (blue) and energising (orange).
From 28 November, mayfairandbelgravia.com
Covent Garden’s famed Christmas decor is returning with a festive bang – think 40 mistletoe chandeliers, 320 metres of garland and 100,000 twinkling pea lights, not forgetting London’s biggest hand-picked Christmas tree in the courtyard outside the historic Market Building. Covent Garden will be lit up on 12 November at 5.30pm.
From 12 November, coventgarden.london
An unusual Christmas light display is coming to the up-and-coming Wembley area in the form of Winterfest, an immersive light festival beginning on 20 November. Installations such as ‘Sonic Runway’, straight from Nevada’s Burning Man festival, will transform the park into a multi-sensory corridor of music and light. Other highlights include the tallest LED Christmas tree ever built in London and a three-metre tall heart sculpture adorned with mistletoe and pulsating red lights.
From 20 November, wembleypark.com/winterfest
Every year since 1947, the people of Norway have given the people of London a Christmas tree in gratitude for Britain’s support for Norway during World War II. At 6pm on 5 December there will be a lighting ceremony for the 25-metre tree, plus every evening until Christmas Eve, a group of carol singers will gather beneath it to sing festive tunes.
From 5 December, london.gov.uk
Christmas at Kew is back for its seventh year with a magical winter trail full of exquisite lights, lasers and art installations. Visitors can grab street food and a cup of mulled wine as they wander through the grounds and marvel at the illuminated Temperate House, finishing off with a browse of Kew’s gift shops.
From 20 November, kew.org
Covent Garden hub Seven Dials is having an immersive shopping event to coincide with their Christmas lights switch on. Shoppers can enjoy complimentary food and drink, exclusive shopping discounts and free festive activities like wreath making and eco-friendly glitter makeovers. Also, Seven Dials has just launched a partnership with Shelter and charitable visitors will be able to donate directly at the event ‘tap point’.
From 14 November, sevendials.co.uk
Coal Drops Yard
Coal Drops Yard is hosting a brand new live musical experience with Famous First Words. It’s simple – step up, grab the mic and perform your favourite yuletide tunes. The prize for the best rendition is the opportunity to switch on the Coal Drops Yard Christmas lights. The Yard will be transformed into a fluorescent Winter Wonderland with bright lighting and flocked Christmas trees and there will also be plenty of live entertainment from the London Gay Men’s Chorus performing a kaleidoscope of your favourite seasonal numbers and the unmissable House Gospel Choir.
From 13 November, coaldropsyard.com
Baker Street Quarter
The Baker Street Quarter in Marylebone is turning on its Christmas lights for the first time ever. It incorporates four light installations inspired by noteworthy people and places of the Quarter, for example Sherlock Homes and Lady Montagu. On Wednesday 4th December at 6pm, visitors will be able to take part in a free Christmas lights discovery walk. To join the hour-long walk guests should meet outside 55 Baker Street (no booking required) at 6pm.
From 21 November, bakerstreetq.co.uk
For more autumnal activities, why not check out ‘The best Sunday roasts in London‘?