The best Christmas lights in London
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.
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’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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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