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Christmas lights in London

See the city at its most sparkly once London switches on its Christmas lights for 2020

By Alexandra Sims and Katie McCabe
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London is positively sparkling thanks to its festive facelift in the build-up to Christmas, as the city gets decked out with enough LEDs to give even Las Vegas a run for its money. Whether you’re making an excursion to one of capital’s many Christmas markets and fairs, planning to slip and slide like Torville and Dean at one of London's many ice rinks, or even doing a spot of shopping at one of London’s best Christmas shops, make sure you take a detour to one of the truly spectacular illuminations lighting up our city. Don’t expect the usual big switch-on events this socially distanced season, but do expect light trails and illuminations in the sky to help get into the spirit of London’s weirdest Christmas yet. Even if it’s different this year, it’s still sure to be lit. And we all deserve a bit of sparkle in our lives after the year we’ve had!

We’ll be updating this page with info on London’s Christmas lights 2020 as soon as details are announced.

RECOMMENDED: See our full festive guide to Christmas in London

The best Christmas lights in London

Oxford Street
Oxford Street
Photograph: Courtesy of Oxford Street

1. Oxford Street Christmas Lights

3 out of 5 stars
Things to do Multiple venues

Things have been a little quiet on the Christmas lights front this year, but the Oxford Street sparklers will be making a return in November, with a few tweaks. This year, the area will be lit with 27 LED ‘light curtains’ which will be draped down the length of the street and made up of a total of 222,000 lights. The installations will work in unison to showcase a poem dedicated to the city of London. 

Sadly, due to safety restrictions, there will be no big crowded celebrity switch-on. As a small compensation, the lights will be arriving on the street earlier than usual in 2020. 

For more info, visit the Oxford Street website.

Covent Garden Christmas tree 2014
Covent Garden Christmas tree 2014
Photograph: Covent Garden

2. Covent Garden Christmas

4 out of 5 stars
Things to do Covent Garden Piazza, Covent Garden

Even in the hellscape that is 2020, Covent Garden’s cobbled piazza and market buildings will still be looking irresistible this winter. Get ready for another huge 60ft hand-picked Christmas tree glowing with 30,000 festive lights and 115,000 lights sparkling across the Piazza and its adjoining streets. The lights will be glowing from November 10, but unlike previous years there will not be a public switch on in 2020. 

Watch the 2017 Covent Garden’s Christmas light switch-on below. 

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3. Christmas at Kew Gardens

4 out of 5 stars
Things to do Walks and tours Kew Gardens, Kew

Kew's incredible botanical gardens will be undergoing another magnificent seasonal makeover in 2020, as Christmas at Kew lights up the space’s iconic buildings and the weird and wonderful specimens that call it home.

This year the twinkling trail take a brand new route through the Rose Garden, with additional time slots and multiple entrances to help you stay safe while enjoying the enchanting displays. Discover a glittering tunnel of bells, giant illuminated seed heads and majestic trees wrapped in light on your way to the dazzling treetop waterfall, where beams of light interplay in a breath-taking aerial dance.

The iconic Temperate House will be a beautiful spectrum of Christmas colour, with dynamic laser projections enveloping the glasshouse, while old favourites from previous years will also be making a triumphant return. Stroll through the Tunnel of Light and its thousands of pea-lights, warm yourself by the fire garden and gawp at the jets of light dancing above the Palm House Pond to a memorable track of festive classics.

Street food vendors will be peddling festive treats to enjoy under the stars, or you can book a delicious traditional Christmas dinner at Kew’s Botanical restaurant.

Find more festive fun with our guide to Christmas in London

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