Christmas lights in London

See the city at its most sparkly when London switches on its Christmas lights for 2018
Covent Garden Market Hall with mistletoes decorations at Christmas.
Tedz Duran
By Time Out London Things To Do and Ellie Walker-Arnott |

There’s something magical about London getting its annual festive facelift, when tiny lightbulbs start glowing, speakers start blaring Wham's 'Last Christmas' on repeat and celebrities turn up in their droves to get in on the festive switch-on proceedings.

Whether you’re planning to go ice skating, pop into one of the many Christmas markets and fairs or do a spot of shopping at one of London’s best Christmas shops, taking a break to stare in awe at the city’s twinkling lights is must. Dig out your woolliest scarves and get ready to see the city at its shiniest.

This page will be updated as soon as Christmas lights 2018 information is released.

RECOMMENDED: See our full festive guide to Christmas in London

The best Christmas lights in London

Oxford Street Christmas lights

Oxford Street Christmas Lights

You know Christmas is coming when Oxford Street is transformed by sparkly, glowing lights. Last year, the shopping hub was home to 1,778 decorations (and 750,000 LED lightbulbs) inspired by falling snowflakes. The switch on usually attracts over one million Christmas-lovers and the odd famous face.

Carnaby Carnival Christmas

Carnaby Christmas Lights

The oh-so-fashionable Carnaby Street typically blasts on their ostentatious Christmas lights with one of its famous shopping parties. Carnaby's Christmas decorations are usually among the most distinctive in town; 2017’s were carnival themed. 

covent garden lights

Covent Garden Christmas

Covent Garden’s cobbled piazza and market buildings are especially irresistible at Christmas. There was a mistletoe theme in 2017, with over 40 mistletoe chandeliers hanging over the area's streets and in the pretty market buildings. 

Regent Street Christmas Lights
© BBA Photography/

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 was a throwback to Regent Street's first set of Christmas lights, which went up in 1954, and the decorations in 2017 formed one part of a wider display that ran all the way from Oxford Circus to Waterloo Place via Piccadilly and St James's. Central London's set to sparkle.

<p>Christmas at Kew</p>
Things to do, Walks and tours

Christmas at Kew Gardens

icon-location-pin Kew

Kew's incredible gardens get another magnificent seasonal makeover in 2018, as Christmas at Kew brings illuminations to light up the buildings and plants. The mile-long, twinkling trail promises to be bigger than ever this year. Feast your eyes on over a million sparkling pea-lights, thousands of laser beams and tree canopies flooded with festive colour.   New for this year is a moonlit Laser Garden hidden in the woods and a festive flotilla of hundreds of glowing boats bobbing on the lake. They'll sit along side the usual fire garden and glorious Palm House Pond lights, which dance along to Christmas classics. Santa and his elves will also be in attendance, while grown-ups can take advantage of the festive shopping, seasonal snacks and warming mulled wine.  Find more festive fun with our guide to Christmas in London

Things to do, Event spaces

Seven Dials Christmas Lights

icon-location-pin Covent Garden

The Seven Dials Christmas lights are being switched on between 5-9pm, and once you're at the display you can also enjoy a special shopping discount, workshops, promotions and more. 

<p>The Enchanted Woodland at Syon Park</p>
Things to do, Walks and tours

The Enchanted Woodland

icon-location-pin Brentford End

For its thirteenth year, Syon Park's Enchanted Woodland will see the 600-year-old gardens transformed by a light display, with its Great Conservatory completely illuminated in the centre of the historic arboretum. The glittering trail can be completed in half an hour by those with a brisk pace, but better to allow longer for taking photos, admiring the installations and playing with the interactive lights along the way. It's almost always a sell-out, so book in advance. Find more festive fun with our guide to Christmas in London