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Oxford Street Christmas Lights
Photograph: Matt Crossick/PA Wire

In pictures: Christmas lights shining in central London for you to explore

Lockdown won’t cancel Christmas completely

Rosie Hewitson

With Lockdown 2 looming and many of the capital’s seasonal celebrations on hold, this winter might not go down as the most festive London has ever seen, but Christmas isn’t cancelled just yet! 

Many of the city’s biggest and best Christmas light displays go up in early November, meaning ’tis officially the season to be jolly, even if ’tis also the season to stockpile loo roll and have another go at that banana-bread recipe.  

As we all know from our abortive attempts at ‘Couch to 5k’ back in the spring, the lockdown rules do permit you to go outside for some exercise, so in three weeks’ time when you’ve got through the last remaining box set on Netflix, why not get into the Christmas spirit with a nice long stroll around the festive ghost town that is central London to check out all these lovely displays? 

Oxford Street Christmas Lights 2020
Photograph: Courtesy of Oxford Street

Oxford Street

After a challenging year for London, Oxford Street’s Christmas Lights celebrate to the strength and resilience of the city. A heartwarming poem created in collaboration with Selfridges is displayed across the 27 ‘light curtains’ dotted down the street, which are comprised of no fewer than 222,000 individual LEDs. The installation will also pay tribute to heroes across the UK who have shown incredible kindness and support to their fellow citizens during the pandemic. Londoners are invited to nominate their ‘2020 Hero’, with successful nominees seeing their name displayed above Europe’s busiest shopping street for seven days. 

Carnaby Street Christmas Lights 2020
Photograph: David Parry

Carnaby Street 

Carnaby Street never fails to impress with its creative Christmas displays, and this year is no different. Designed in collaboration with the street’s annual Choose Love pop-up, which has raised millions for the charity Help Refugees, 2020’s installation sees neon pink lightboxes span the length of the street, bearing simple slogans that speak to the charity’s message of hope, compassion and solidarity, which we think you’ll agree are particularly relevant this year. 

Bond Street Christmas Lights
Photograph: Nicky J Sims

Bond Street

One of London’s most fashionable shopping streets seeks inspiration from its vibrant history for its light display this year. The dazzling display of white peacock feathers illuminating Bond Street reference the young men of the late eighteenth century who became known as ‘peacocks’ for parading around the area in their ostentatious attire. 

Covent Garden Christmas Tree
Photograph: Courtesy of Covent Garden

Covent Garden

Christmas in Covent Garden will officially kick off on Tuesday November 10, when a huge Christmas tree will appear on the West Piazza. Standing over 60ft tall, the tree was handpicked from a site in Solihull and will be decorated with over 30,000 lights.

Not sparkly enough for you? Find more Christmas lights in London right here.  

And read all about what Christmas 2020 is going to look like in London.

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