London’s Christmas lights are a true spectacle and the majority are switched on in the first 2 or 3 weeks of November, but they stay on until January so there is plenty of opportunity to see them twinkling away and showing off their unique style. Here are just some of many fantastic light displays to visit around the city.
Carnaby Street Lights
Enter Carnaby Street via Liberty London and you’ll see some of the cities coolest and most original shops. You’ll also see a Christmas lights display which has real charm and originality. This year the inspiration for the lights come from the new Victoria and Albert Museums exhibition ‘You Say You Want a Revolution? Records and Rebels 1966-1970’. With such a unique theme and a fantastic, distinctive atmosphere, the Carnaby Street lights always stand out.
Greenwich Lanterns and Lights
Beginning with a school children’s lantern parade and bringing in plenty of brilliant festive cheer in the form of carolling and plenty of market stalls to browse, Greenwich Market Lights are a true family affair. Father Christmas popped along at the switch on and characters from the local Greenwich Playhouse panto also made an appearance. The lights are certainly worth visiting after the Switch On as they create a magical, festive atmosphere throughout December.
Oxford Street Christmas Lights
With so many shoppers passing by, Oxford Streets lights simply cannot disappoint and they very rarely do. This year’s illuminations have a more serious twist too, as hundreds of thousands of tiny stars have been added to the existing glowing orb display. The stars are all waiting to be named and for a £5 donation you can name your star and support a great charity. 1778 snowball-like orbs light the street. This year it was Craig David who pressed the button and made it officially OK to head down Oxford Street and start your Christmas shopping.
Christmas Lights on the Strand
With real history behind it, the Northbank was London’s first area to have electric street lighting and they play on this theme with their Christmas lights. Their Savoy Theatre was the first public building in the world to be fully lit by electricity too and now to honour this history, they opt to have the greenest and most eco-friendly lighting display in the whole of the city. The Strand and Villiers Street are lit by biofuel-powered Christmas lights and the fuel is created from waste oils from local restaurants.
Covent Garden Lights
Among the most famous lighting displays in the whole of the city and also home to London’s largest Christmas tree, the lights at Covent Garden are completely unique. Brought to life by the Royal Opera Chorus and The Royal Ballet, with the Sugar Plum Fairy herself pressing the switch and illuminating the famous piazza. Decorative mistletoe chandeliers dangle amongst the lights and the huge Christmas tree is a festive beacon at the heart of it all. The fun Lego Santa Express is also lit up, as well as making authentic sounds and puffing out smoke.
Wherever you visit in London you will wander around many examples of fantastic Christmas lighting, providing that extra festive cheer which makes exploring the city even more enjoyable.