A re-creation of the Northern Lights opens this weekend

It will be blazing away above the City of London

Chris Waywell
Written by
Chris Waywell
Deputy Editor, Time Out London

A free Northern Lights-inspired illuminated spectacular si opening this weekend in the Square Mile. 

The ‘Borealis’ display, by artist Dan Acher, will recreate the Aurora Borealis over the City of London, projecting from Guildhall Yard. It’s running from December 11 to 22, with free tickets available online. 

‘Borealis’ is in turn part of ‘Winter Lights’, a citywide celebration of illumination, and part of Mayor Sadiq’s domestic tourism drive, Let’s Do London. 

Ever After Garden - Grosvenor Square
‘Ever After Garden’, Grosvenor Square. Photograph: David Parry

Other lit attractions will include an animal-themed winter-light display at the Tower of London and the free Canary Wharf Winter Lights Spectacular, which features 20 new light commissions by artists from across the globe, plus an ice rink and outdoor food market. 

Thousands of illuminated white roses will be placed in Grosvenor Square as part of an ‘Ever After Garden’ display by fashion designer Anya Hindmarch, while the ongoing ‘Illuminated River’ brings light and colour to nine of London’s bridges and is set to be the longest public art project in the world. Finally, a commission by Hetain Patel will use the Piccadilly Lights to explore immigration and identity.

Image: Doug Southall / Pepper Pictures

Mayor Sadiq Khan said: ‘The “Borealis” spectacular will bring the magic of the Northern Lights to our city, London’s landmark bridges, buildings and trees will be illuminated along the South Bank, and our world-famous Christmas lights, ice rinks and markets will ensure our city is gloriously decked out for Londoners and visitors to enjoy.’

‘Borealis’ runs Dec 11-22, 5.30pm-10pm daily at Guildhall Yard. Get free tickets here.

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