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The best Christmas lights in London

Christmas is a very special time in London as the city twinkles under millions of festive lights. This of course, doesn’t happen overnight. One by one, each area switches on its Christmas displays with an event featuring seasonal activities. Help to build anticipation for the big day and see London at its finest with the best switching-on ceremonies.

Oxford Street

With 750,000 LED bulbs, Oxford Street is sure to live up to its reputation for one of the best lighting displays when it is flooded with seasonal cheer on 7 November. The switch-on will be enacted by chart-topping singer Rita Ora at 5pm, when the gold and silver orbs will be brought to life.

These will be accompanied by delicate snowflakes, which are part of the NSPCC’s Light Up Christmas for Children campaign. Some one million people are expected to turn out for the extravaganza, which will include talks and workshops in many of the retailers on this famous shopping street.

Covent Garden

If you’re looking for an opportunity to kiss under the mistletoe, then they don’t come much better than this year’s Christmas lights in Covent Garden. The charming area, with its continental-style piazza and market buildings is taking the evergreen plant, with its distinctive white berries, as its inspiration.

More than 40 mistletoe chandeliers will be lit on 14 November in one of the most tasteful displays imaginable. Inside the historic market itself, 10,000 pea lights will be suspended as if by magic. Celebrations begin at 5.30pm and local businesses, including Charlotte Tilbury, Molton Brown and Penhaligon’s, will be hosting special events.


Barbara Windsor will be the star attraction at the Marylebone switch-on, as she lights up the high street at 6pm on 15 November. The plush area is particularly atmospheric at this time of year and there is a real village feel to the festivities, which include performances and activities.

As well as the independent boutiques and upscale restaurants that Marylebone is known for, there will be a wide selection of stalls in attendance. Enjoy some steaming churros or a chilli dog as you take in the spectacle, or purchase some extra special gifts for your loved ones.

Regent Street

Hoping to invoke the spirit of Christmas, Regent Street will be using the first ever Christmas lights to go up in central London in 1954 as its inspiration for the glittering display. It is an idea that resulted in a stunning sight last year and will be enhanced further with additional colours and touches for 2017.

Organisers remain tight-lipped about the celebrity line-up and entertainment, but you’re assured a fine party on 16 November. One thing is certain, however, and that’s the late night shopping and flagship stores will ensure you don’t leave empty handed.

 Image credit: Bikeworldtravel via iStock

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