Draped in decorations and shining with festive cheer, London looks best at Christmas.
Glittering lights in a misty city like London are a must when Christmas rolls around. Most of the major central light displays are switched on in November so there’s plenty of time to explore, but be sure to catch a good range – each installation has its own magical character.
Covent Garden Lights
Home to London’s largest Christmas tree and boasting some of the most charming light installations in the city, Covent Garden’s offerings were switched on this year by none other than Kylie Minogue. Endearing cobbled streets and winding allies are transformed into a winter wonderland complete with mistletoe chandeliers and adorable Rudolph figurines.
Carnaby Street Lights
Not a London lane to shy away from the spotlight, Carnaby Street will be offering a typically original and ostentatious light display this year, kicking things off with one of its famous shopping parties (20% off for festive shoppers at most vendors in the area). Expect bright colours, loud music and great deals.
London arcades: Burlington, Princes and Piccadilly
Exquisitely beautiful and brilliantly British, the arched arcades that link parallel streets around Piccadilly and Mayfair are easy on the eye, to say the least. Rows and rows of elevated fairy lights, garlands of holly, wreaths and festive berries are hung each year along such famous central London passages as Burlington, Princes and Piccadilly Arcades. The routes are flanked with luxury boutiques and glass fronted concessions selling scented oils, cashmere scarves and fine jewellery, so snap up some gifts as you make your way through.
Oxford Street Christmas Lights
With the heaviest footfall in London for Christmas shopping, the Oxford Street lights cannot afford to disappoint – and they rarely do. 2017 will see the famous thoroughfare play host to 1,778 decorations (and 750,000 LED lightbulbs) inspired by falling snowflakes. Rita Ora performed the switch-on honours in the second week of November, meaning Christmas business in central London could officially commence.
Christmas at Kew Gardens
If it’s a proper light display you’re looking for, Christmas at Kew Gardens is an experience like no other – for adults and children alike. The gardens are adorned with over one million sparkling lights, turning the green houses and trees into a spectacular, twinkling wonderland. Take the little ones to visit Father Christmas and his elves at the North Pole village, and try one of the vintage fairground rides before warming up together around the fire with some hot chocolates and toasted marshmallows.
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