Christmas lights in London

See the city at its most sparkly when London switches on its Christmas lights for 2018
By Ellie Walker-Arnott, Alexandra Sims and Katie McCabe |

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
Things to do

Oxford Street Christmas Lights

icon-location-pin Oxford Street, Soho

You know Christmas is coming when Oxford Street is transformed by sparkly, glowing lights - 1,778 to be exact. This year, the usual white lights inspired by falling snowflakes, will be accompanied by new purple baubles and the switch on -expected to attract over one million Christmas-lovers - will include pop-up performances from UK artists in selected stores down the street.

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
Things to do

Covent Garden Christmas

icon-location-pin Covent Garden Piazza, Covent Garden

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
Jeff Moore
Things to do, Festivals

Regent Street Christmas Lights

icon-location-pin Regent Street, Soho

The grand shopping sweep gets its usual festive makeover with garlands of lights down the length of the road. Once again, the display is a throwback to Regent Street's first set of Christmas lights, which went up in 1954. Watch the spirit-like shapes spring into life on Thu Nov 15 between 5.30pm-6.30pm. 

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

Christmas at Kew Gardens

icon-location-pin Kew Gardens, 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, Quirky events

London Zoo Light Trail

icon-location-pin London Zoo, Regent's Park

Lights, not animals are the main attraction at this festive do at ZSL London Zoo. While our furry friends snooze, thousands upon thousands of sparkling lights will ping into action, illuminating a one-mile path. 

Chiswick House, After Dark
© James Wicks
Things to do, Late openings

After Dark

icon-location-pin Chiswick House and Gardens, Chiswick

If you’re looking for an antidote to London’s traditional Christmas lights, head to Chiswick House & Gardens where designer Nick Gray is messing with the rule book for After Dark. This new celebration of illumination is scrapping baubles and Santa in favour of a super-slick light display that responds to the eighteenth-century grounds. Look out for food trucks and watering holes where you can warm your cockles after the 45-minute trail.

AT_marylebonechristmaslights_2010press (3).jpg
Things to do

Marylebone Christmas Lights

icon-location-pin Marylebone High St, Marylebone

This Christmas lights switch-on ceremony on one of London's most atmospheric high streets is not to be missed. Alongside the lights, there are stalls to browse, a snazzy tombola and rocker Roger Daltrey to push the button.

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

The Enchanted Woodland

icon-location-pin Syon Park, 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 walk can be completed in half an hour by those with a brisk pace, but it’s better to allow longer for photo-taking, admiring the installations and playing with the interactive lights along the way. It always sells out, so book in advance.

Things to do, Markets and fairs

Christmas at Leadenhall Market

icon-location-pin Leadenhall Market, Aldgate

Come for the sparkle, stay for the snow and let the mulled wine flow in this vast Victorian market (better known to Harry Potter fans as ‘Diagon Alley’). A 20-foot tree will take centre stage, and the light display will be switched on in style by the Lord Mayor of London at 6:30pm on Friday November 16. 

GYG London Widget

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