One of the best things about London at this time of year is the Christmas lights. The various different parts of the city offer slightly different experiences when it comes to festive illumination. If you’re there for the ceremonial switching-on, then the effect might be that little bit more magical!
Oxford Street Christmas lights
The lights are turned on in Oxford Street on Thursday, the 2nd of November. We’re going to see a return of an old favourite: a series of five-pointed stars that will dangle over the heads of shoppers. A lot of effort has been expended to make the lights here eco-friendly, with recycled plastics being used extensively.
Covent Garden Christmas lights
In Covent Garden, the switch-on happens on Tuesday, the 7th of November. At the centre of it all is an enormous, eighteen-foot Christmas tree, decorated with some thirty thousand lights. The Market Building, meanwhile, is set to be decked out with enormous bells.
You can enjoy the lights in Carnaby Street from Wednesday the 8th of November. Last year saw a ‘best of’ medley of some of the street’s most famous light installations – but this year, things are going back to something like normal – or, as normal as it gets on Carnaby Street. The organisers have partnered with Choose Love, which is a refugee charity. If you want to make a donation while you’re in the vicinity, then you’ll be supporting a good cause!
Regent Street sees its lights activated on Thursday, the 9th of November. It’s among the most prestigious shopping locations in the city, and it comes with an iconic set of Christmas lights. A succession of gigantic glowing angels parade across the street, in what must be one of the most recognisable displays anywhere in the city.
Kew Gardens takes Christmas lights very seriously indeed. The spectacle is amongst the most eye-popping in the entire city – though demand is invariably high, so it makes sense to book early. Of course, as well as the lights themselves, you’ll get the broader Christmas at Kew experience, complete with a chance to get a look at Father Christmas himself. The lights are on from the 15th of November.
Mayfair and Belgravia
Belgravia will also be lit up on the 15th of November, and Mayfair will follow on the 16th. In the latter case, we’ll be seeing the pedestrianised sections lit up with a series of twinkling blue archways. They’ll run along the length of Mount Street, with more than sixty thousand separate lights making up the entire display. When it comes to showiness, as you might expect, Mayfair is not to be outdone!
Christmas lights are a great way to bring in the season, and get yourself in the mood for Christmas celebrations. But of course, you don’t need to venture into the city to get a flavour of festive illumination: you can also make your home fit for the season with a few Christmas lights of your own.
Christmas lights are a truly magical and indispensable part of the build-up to Christmas. They’re all worth a visit for various reasons – but if you have kids to entertain, the appeal might be particularly strong. Paying a visit to the lights might take just a few hours, but the memories will last a lifetime!