Christmas lights are the ultimate way to get into the Christmas spirit. Londoner’s pride themselves on the vast range of displays dotted around the city, so we’ve compiled our top 10 London lights worth a visit this year…
1 Oxford Street
Switch on: 6 November
With over 200 million visitors a year, more than 300 shops and 5 million square feet of retail space, Oxford Street lays claim to being London’s busiest street. If you’re only in the mood to visit one set of Christmas lights, this is the one to go to! Find out more here.
2 Carnaby Street
Switch on: 21 October
Just an 8 minute walk from Oxford Street, why not also enjoy the annually themed display on Carnaby Street? One of London’s quirky corners, the Caranaby Street lights never fail to send out poignant messages to passers-by. This year, they’ve gone for a Queen theme to celebrate the new Bohemian Rhapsody film. More here.
3 Bond Street
Switch on: 8 November
Bond Street’s peacock-themed Christmas lights will be back for 2018, launching with a Quintessentially Christmas Shopping evening across Bond Street, Albemarle Street and Bruton Street from 6pm until 9pm on Thursday 8 November 2018. The illuminated feathers shine brightly, reminding us to take pleasure in life, as peacocks are typically a symbol of beauty. Albemarle Street will celebrate with its own late-night shopping and in-store experiences, as well as a jazz duo playing outside the iconic Brown’s Hotel and Self-Portrait will be celebrating its 5th anniversary with new collections.
4 Covent Garden
Switch on: 13 November
Covent Garden’s 40 magnificent mistletoe chandeliers – ranging in size from 2.5 to 3.5 metres and adorned with almost 700 glistening berries – will be returning for 2018. The historic Market Building will also be home to more than 320 metres of garlands with around 100,000 pea lights suspended within. The Piazza will again host London’s biggest Christmas tree and that super Instagrammable reindeer statue. Switch on night will see performances from The Kingdom Choir and Matilda The Musical. The event will support Crisis. From 5.45pm. More here.
5 A Merry Marylebone Christmas
Switch on: 14 November
Roger Daltrey CBE, from legendary rock band The Who, will be switching on the festive Christmas lights in Marylebone Village on Wednesday 14 November at 6pm. The event will launch A Merry Marylebone Christmas, that will see retailers, hoteliers and cultural landmarks come together to celebrate six weeks of festivities. The fun will take place from 3-7pm with a Santa’s grotto, real reindeer, traditional fairground rides, live music and fireworks. The event will support Teenage Cancer Trust, of which Roger Daltrey is an Honorary Patron.
6 Regent Street
Switch on: 15 November
The Spirit of Christmas lands on Regent Street on 15 November from 5pm-9pm (switch-on show from 5.30pm-6.30pm). The beautiful suspended spirits were inspired by Regent Street’s very first Christmas lights scheme – the first ever Christmas lights to light up central London back in in 1954. The event will see Regent Street made traffic-free and there will be an array of surprise acts – previous guests include the likes of Paloma Faith, Tom Odell and Clean Bandit. The lights will run the length of Regent Street and across Piccadilly into St James’s, finishing at Waterloo Place, with 300,000 sparkling LED lights.
7 Seven Dials
Switch on: 15 November
Seven Dials Christmas lights installation is planted perfectly around the junction, the lights guide the way along the spectacular variety of shops, restaurants, bars and cafes to provide the perfect winter evening. On Thursday 15 November, there’ll be traffic-free streets filled with activity, live music and 20% discounts, as well as offers and promotions in over 60 shops, bars, cafes and restaurants. The light switch on will take place around the central iconic Seven Dials monument. 5-9pm. More here.
8 Duke of York Square
Switch on: 17 November
See Chelsea light-up at Duke of York Square’s magical Christmas lights switch on, taking place on Saturday 17 November. Meet real reindeer and see Father Christmas turn on the lights with a special helper. There’ll also be a Festive Food Market and complimentary horse-and-carriage rides all afternoon, as well as performances from local choirs and carols with the Salvation Army Band. From 2pm. Lights switch on at 5pm. More here.
9 Greenwich Market
Switch on: 21 November
The spectacular Greenwich lantern procession and Greenwich Market Christmas lights switch on takes place on Wednesday 21 November. Four local schools, led by a jazz band from Trinity Laban, will parade their handmade lanterns through the Old Royal Naval College grounds, starting at the ORNC Visitor Centre at 4pm, into Cutty Sark Gardens and then the market for the big Christmas Countdown and switch on at 6pm. Afterwards, there’ll be performances by the Angelina Jandolo Dance Showcase and Greenwich Stagecoach singers, and Santa will welcome visitors in his Greenwich Grotto from 3pm-6pm at 11 Durnford Street. More here.
10 Shepherd Market, Mayfair
Switch on: 6 December
The one and only Dame Joan Collins DBE will turn on Shepherd Market’s the glimmering lights at 6.30pm on 6 December 2018. The Spinettes will grace the stage throughout the evening with hits from the 1940s, classic Christmas tunes and present-day crowd pleasers, and the Chelsea Pensioners will also be selling Christmas cards, gifts and tree decorations. Private members club 5 Hertford Street will tempt you with mince pies and mulled wine, while Le Boudin Blanc will host a show-stopper of a stall with fresh Parisian food, Kitty Fishers’ will serve up their famous pulled pork buns alongside hot apple cider, and The Chesterfield Hotel will showcase treats from their kitchen. More here.
11 Putney Christmas Lights
Switch on: 30 November
Kiko Matthews – the fastest woman to row the Atlantic on her own and unsupported – will be switching on the Positively Putney Christmas lights on 30 November in St Mary’s Church Square. The free family event, supported by Wandsworth Radio, will include a live stage showing performances from local schools, festive street food, local business stalls, craft and gift stalls, and even a brand new Christmas tree forest. 3pm-8pm. More here.