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Christmas lights in London

See the city at its most dazzling when London switches on its Christmas lights

There's nothing like the sparkle of London Christmas lights to give the city an instant festive makeover. Plan an outing to gaze upon Christmas lights in London, ahead of a festive spot of ice skating or Christmas shopping, with our guide to all the main lights in London this Christmas. This is London at its most bling. 

RECOMMENDED: See our full festive guide to Christmas in London

Christmas lights in London 2016 info

Oxford Street Christmas Lights

The Oxford Street Christmas lights switch-on will see 1778 snowball-like decorations (and  750,000 LED lightbulbs) lit up once again for what is the fifty-seventh year the road has been decorated for the festive period. Plus, this year the lights have a charity partner: the NSPCC. To celebrate the launch of its Little Stars campaign, the charity asks Londoners to donate £5 to dedicate one of the star-shaped lights to a loved one.

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Oxford St , Fitzrovia Until Friday January 6 2017

The Brunswick Lights Up For Christmas

The modernist marvel that is the Brunswick Centre will be lit up and livened up this festive season with the help of a stream of festive lights until January 6 2017. The Brunswick's usual shops and restaurants will see added sparkle, glitz and glam and should make for one seriously festive shopping trip.

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Brunswick , Bloomsbury Until Friday January 6 2017

Carnaby Christmas Lights

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This year, the inspiration for Carnaby’s Christmas lights comes from the V&A’s new exhibition ‘You Say You Want a Revolution? Records and Rebels 1966-1970’. Carnaby Christmas decorations – usually among the most distinctive in town – will remain on display until January 6.

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Carnaby Street , Soho Until Friday January 6 2017

Christmas Lights on the Strand

The Northbank was the first area in London to get electric street lighting, and The Savoy Theatre was the first public building in the world to be lit entirely by electricity. More than 100 years on and the Strand and nearby Villiers Street will be decorated with London's greenest Christmas lights, powered by a biofuel based on cooking oils collected from London's restaurants. Seriously. Shining from 4pm daily.

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The Strand , Charing Cross Until Friday January 6 2017

St Katharine Docks’ Christmas Lights

St Katharine Docks’ impressive floating 45ft Christmas tree will be lit up when all its 14,000 Christmas lights are on - London's first floating tree display. Moored in the West Basin, weighing in at nearly six tonnes, the tree's topped with a 5ft tall star. The lights will be switch on at 5pm on the first day. 

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St Katharine Docks , Tower Hill Until Tuesday January 3 2017

Covent Garden Christmas

Even if you’re not a big fan of living statues or fire-eaters, Covent Garden’s cobbled piazza and market buildings are irresistible at this time of year. The decorations bring back a mistletoe theme for 2016, with over 40 mistletoe chandeliers hanging over the area's streets and in the pretty market buildings. A rather magnificent silver reindeer stands majestically on a pile of gifts on the east side of the piazza.

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Covent Garden Piazza , Covent Garden Until Friday January 6 2017

Shepherd Market Christmas Lights

This charming corner of Mayfair invites us all to its annual Christmas lights, with boutiques, pubs, restaurants and cafés in the area all open late especially when the lights come on for the first time. The lights will be switched on by Liz Hurley at 7pm this year and there'll be live music, carol singers, traditional treats and mulled wine. Younger visitors can burn off some energy on the treasure hunt or go and confess their Christmas wish in Santa's Grotto. Find more Christmas lights in London Find more festive fun with our guide to Christmas in London

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Shepherd Market , Mayfair Thursday December 8 2016 - Friday January 6 2017

Regent Street Christmas Lights

The grand shopping stretch gets its usual Christmas makeover with garlands of lights down the length of the road. The 2016 display is a throwback to Regent Street's first set of Christmas lights, which went up in 1954. The decorations will form one part of a wider display that will run all the way from Oxford Circus to Waterloo Place via Piccadilly and St James's. Central London's set to sparkle.

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Regent Street , Soho Until Friday January 6 2017
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Find more Christmas sparkle in London

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By: Time Out London Things To Do

Comments

19 comments
P T
P T

Anyone know when the Oxford street traffic free day in December is?

stephen r
stephen r

To see London under twinkling lights and take photos its ultimate experience. I want to suggest 3 hour Christmas Lights Bike Tour of London. Under this to see the London top attractions including the London Eye, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament while admiring colorful illuminations and light displays.

Hannah B
Hannah B

Hello.  I'm coming to London for my honeymoon starting on Dec 23rd.  Any advice on places that will be open and neighborhoods to try to stay in so that we can walk to them?  Interested in ice skating, christmas lights, general festivities, indian food.....

Elisa R
Elisa R Tastemaker

As the store manager of a shop located on Carnaby street, I'm on the front row for all things Christmas lights in central London, which is great because I generally love anything Christmas related. However, I must say I've been a bit disappointed this year: Oxford street is same old same old, Regent street is, as usual, one big advertising campaign and Carnaby... Well I hardly know what to say. A shiny, discoey, tacky mess of pinkish purple everything. An atrocity. Please do better next year Carnaby people.

thevelvetrunway
thevelvetrunway

The Christmas lights in London are lovely, but it is also worth checking out the window displays. Selfridges has a Star Wars theme this year and if you have children; then you should definitely look at Hamley's windows in Regents Street

Have a look at my post on New Year in London, which covers the Christmas lights, shopping in the Sales, a Winter Wonderland, New Year's Eve Fireworks and more!

http://www.thevelvetrunway.com/new-year-london/


Jade M
Jade M

Does anybody know when the Covent garden lights are being switched on? Desperate to go! Thanks x

Barbara P
Barbara P

Please if anyone can provide me with the information as to where to get the balls of lights used in the display of 2013 at Christmas on Regent and Oxford Street, I would greatly appreciate the info. I have been searching everywhere and all the pictures never tell who did the work or where the products came from..... I am desperately searching Thank You 

bpratt25@cogeco.ca

Candice
Candice

@Geo, The Regent Street xmas lights are usually switched on in the 2nd week of November. Oxford Street lights are a few days before that but they don't do the stage with Live Music and Celebs and fireworks like Regent Street. Not sure when Carnaby Street switches theirs on. But all the other xmas street lights are already on when Regent Street does theirs. We go every year to Regent Street switching-on celebration with our daughter and then stroll along all the other streets looking at the lights and decorations. One of the best ways to start the Xmas season!

Jane
Jane

There are Xmas Light walking tours that take you to the best lights away from the usual routes!

michelle
michelle

what dates do they usually switch the lights on? as ive never been to see them being switched on before, so would need to book accommodation too. thanks :)

phil
phil

Can't wait for the xmas lights to be turned on,looking forward to seeing them and getting into the festive spirit with some mulled wine

Sharon willetts
Sharon willetts

The last time I saw the xmas lights in london was when I was 8 years old a friend of the family took me in thier sports car they took me to see father xmas in harrods I got a fantastic doll. Am going there this xmas :)

Mary
Mary

Lovely photos. And, for kerouc2, if you had looked below the photos you would have seen where they were taken.

adam kurszewski
adam kurszewski

It don't matter what street in what town these images were taken,they show the magic of x mass and the beat time of year that me and my kids look forward to,I will be there when the lights go on and in reality I don't mind where just too ne there is truly magical

kerouac2
kerouac2

What a useless set of photos since you don't tell us where they are. I'll be in London in December, and I know that I can see lovely decorations in Regent Street and Oxford Street, but I would really like to know about other places to go.

Ximena
Ximena

Why are they switching them on so early this year??

Geo
Geo

when will the London Christmas lights be switched on?