Want to know where to see the best Christmas lights in London for 2019? We’ve rounded up the best streets in the British capital that will be illuminated by incredible light displays for the festive season. If London’s gleaming lights won’t get you in the Christmas spirit, we don’t know what will. From the iconic Carnaby Street Christmas lights, to the elegant angels soaring above Regent’s Street, these are the best places to see Christmas lights in the British capital, plus we’ve included all the dates so you know when to catch them shining bright...
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Every year, Carnaby Street wins Christmas with its alternative and boundary-breaking light displays. For 2019, the theme is all about saving our oceans - one of the most significant missions for our world today. Carnaby has partnered with Project 0, an ocean rescue movement to encourage people to #PassOnPlastic and help save what’s left of our beautiful oceans. You have to get yourself down to the trendy shopping street to see the beautiful light display that has recreated an under-the-sea experience, absolutely bursting with colour.
Walk below 200 illuminated vampire squid, bright pink coral, a 5-metre long whale and giant jellyfish, all made out of recycled materials, repurposed fishing nets and over 1,500 recycled plastic bottles. These are the most atmospheric Christmas lights in the city and we love them even more for the cause. The lights were switched on Thursday 7th November at 6pm and you can come down to Carnaby and enjoy the incredible lights until 5th January 2020. Totally Instagrammable and what better way to see in the New Year with a resolution to make an effort to pass on plastic?
Nearest tube station: Oxford Circus
If you want to get into the festive spirit in London, Covent Garden is probably the best place to head. Soak up the hustle and bustle of the West End amidst some incredible glowing light displays. The switch on in 2019 will take place on Tuesday 12th November where over 115,000 lights will be illuminating through Covent Garden’s Piazza and the surrounding streets. The best thing is, you can walk from the Carnaby Christmas Lights to Covent Garden in just a few minutes so you can see both light displays in one evening.
This year’s Christmas lights in Covent Garden will be complemented with a humongous Christmas tree in the Piazza which boasts 30,000 lights alone. The switch on of the lights will be hosted by some VIP guests, even more of a reason to head down. As well as incredible lights, the whole area will be brimming the decorations like giant baubles hanging in the air and giant light-up reindeer sculpture. A true Christmas heaven in a small pocket of London.
Nearest tube station: Covent Garden or Leicester Square
Every December, you have to talk a walk down London’s Regent Street to soak up the Christmas atmosphere with what we think are the most elegant lights in the city. The elaborate garlands than hang over this famous luxury shopping street are simply stunning where beautiful illuminated angels float above you in all their glory while you shop, eat and explore the beautiful area. The golden angels can be found down the whole length of the road with the big switch on taking place on Thursday 14th November. Be there to see it all happen! The opulent architecture on Regent’s Street helps to make the whole place look even more majestic.
Nearest tube station: Piccadilly Circus or Regent’s Street
Christmas at Kew is unlike anywhere else in Europe, so if you’re after an extravaganza of festive lights then there’s no better place to head than Kew Gardens, a botanical garden than transforms into a winter wonderland for the Christmas season. Featuring a magical trail of Christmas lights that you have to follow, Kew Gardens is more like a winter attraction. Walk through the Tunnel of Light, admire the flickering Fire Garden, head through dazzling archways and glittering trees and be taken to another world with colourful laser light displays.
Along the trail, there are opportunities to stop for mulled wine or hot chocolate to get you feeling cosy. This is the only light display in our list that you have to pay an entry fee for - but it’s so worth it if you’re looking for a magical Christmas experience. Entry to Christmas at Kew is £18 for adults and runs from 20th November - 5th January 2020.
Nearest tube station: Kew Gardens
Oxford Street is on everyone’s bucket list BUT during the festive season a trip to London’s iconic shopping street is even more worthwhile. The highly awaited Oxford Street Christmas lights return for 2019 with a brand new look (and we’re seriously digging it). Replacing the traditional twinkling baubles of last year, will be something more unique, innovative and technological in their place (you are in London after all, a modern city that never sleeps).
Oxford Street will see 27 shiny energy-efficient LED screens - or as they call it ‘curtains’ - hanging high in the sky as busy passers-by stop in awe to take a proper look. The screens will be projecting all sorts of Christmas magic, but you won’t know exactly what until you get a look at them for yourself. We’re intrigued already. Futuristic cool and better for the planet - what’s not to love? These lights are 90% more energy efficient than traditional Christmas lights and the big switch on takes place on Thursday 21st November.
Nearest tube station: Oxford Circus
Marylebone High Street
Marylebone is a little pocket of London that’s a highly sought after place to live with more of a small town feel. We particularly love the Christmas lights in Marylebone Village because they’re homely, heartwarming and delightful to look at. With beautiful hanging light displays and twinking decorations all around the area, this is the perfect place if you’re looking for a more traditional village Christmas light display. Plus, Marylebone is home to several independent shops, cafes, bars and restaurants that you can check out afterwards.
Not just that, but there are school choirs, a Santa’s grotto, hot food stalls, a snow machine and ferris wheel all taking place on the day of the light switch on, on 13th November. It will be truly atmospheric and the perfect way to kick in the festive season. Lead singer of the Kaiser Chiefs, Ricky Wilson will be switching on the lights - pretty epic.
Nearest tube station: Marylebone or Baker Street
For an incredible Christmas light display and lantern parade, get yourself to Greenwich in south London. This beautiful neighbourhood in London is famous for being rich in history, culture and green-space but it also knows how to boss Christmas with its annual Christmas market and festive light displays. On November 20th, the Greenwich lights will be switched on along with a lantern procession where children from five local schools will parade through the streets with their handmade lanterns.
We don’t know what to expect from the Christmas lights yet but if they’re anything like previous years, you’re in for a treat. The sparkling Christmas lights can be found in Greenwich Market, an attraction in itself where you can feast on Christmas food and hot drinks. Plus, did you know that we have a hostel in Greenwich? .