If you’re in London around Christmastime, you’ll get to see so many beautiful Christmas lights all around the city… I personally think that London is one of the BEST cities in the world for Christmas decor.

A really fun and free thing to do in London in the winter months is to go around the city spotting and admiring all of the lights and decor. So here’s my ultimate list of  places to spot beautiful Christmas lights in London.

*Post updated for 2021, but we will keep adding any new information.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by CarnabyLondon (@carnabylondon)

Carnaby Street

The area of Carnaby is located between Soho, Regent Street and Oxford Street and is a super popular spot for shopping, eating and drinking. They have fun (free) events and experiences along Carnaby Street, the main street of this little neighborhood, all year round but they truly go ALL OUT for Christmas, with lights, glitter, decor and more, and each year there’s a new theme to it all.

This year (2021) they will do the officially switch on of the lights on the 4th of November, so if you’re around, make it down in the evening for live music, in-store events, free drinks, and more. Of course, the rest of the Christmas season, you can still enjoy all of the decor post-sunset.

Soho | Website | Lights on: 4th November 2021

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Oxford Street

Oxford Street has one of the biggest Christmas light displays in London, and because the world-famous shopping street sees an average of one million visitors a DAY, it’s also one of the most Instagrammed. The lights tend to be changed every couple of years, with a new charity is being advertised and supported with each Christmas that passes.

I recommend visiting just as the sun sets to try to avoid the crowds as much as you can, as the street can get SUPER crowded in December, and sometimes the Oxford Street tube station gets shut! Otherwise, I’ve had many nights out where I get to roam empty Oxford Street at 2am with just me and my (tipsy) friends 😉 I highly recommend it.

Mayfair | Lights on: TBD

 

 

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Regent Street

Regent Street was the first to introduce Christmas lights to London’s West End back in 1954, and they still look incredible. The lights don’t ever seem to change much, but with the highlight being its beautiful angel light displays, I’m totally ok with it. Regent Street and Oxford Street meet each other at Oxford Circus (and Oxford Circus tube station) so you could absolutely see the lights on both streets in one trip. Add Carnaby in there too!

Soho | Website | Lights on: 12th November 2021

 

 

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Bond Street

Bond street is a very swanky, posh shopping area, and their Christmas lights aren’t any different. They’re glamorous and extravagant, with lights shaped like white peacock feathers, a dedication to men in the late 1700’s who were known as ‘peacocks’ for deliberately strutting along the street in their extravagant fashion choices.

The shops on this street have beautiful festive window displays too, from Bulgari’s sequin serpent, to Cartier’s world-famous red ribbon across its storefront (an Instagram favourite).

This year, on each Thursday up until Christmas, you’ll be able to watch a gospel choir singing in the town square, close to the Ralph Lauren shop. 

Mayfair | Website | Lights on: TBD

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Seven Dials

Seven Dials, located in the Covent Garden area, is a collection of seven street converging onto a roundabout adorned with a sundial at the top of an impressive obelisk. This is prime Christmas light spotting as the roundabout and each of the seven streets are strung with a beautiful display of light each year. 

The shops, cafes and restaurants in the area are always in the festive spirit as well, so you’ll be sure to be in the holiday spirit after light-spotting at Seven Dials.

Covent Garden | Website | Lights on: TBD

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Covent Garden

As far as Christmas lights in London going, Covent Garden Piazza is one of the most famous areas. Don’t miss the city’s biggest tree, which sits right in the Piazza at over 55 feet tall and decorated with over 30,000 lights. Then head inside the picture perfect Market Building to see the 45 mistletoe chandeliers that are decked out with over 700 glistening berries, plus about 100,000 pea lights that are lighting up the building every evening.

Covent Garden | Website | Lights on: 9th November 2021

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Marylebone Village

Head to beautiful Marylebone in the western part of central London and stop by Marylebone Village for its boutique shops, swanky restaurants, and cute cafes, and stay for the Christmas decor. You’ll feel like you’re in a quaint English town that’s blown their budget to go all out for their Christmas light display.

Switch-on happens on the 10th of November this year, with a big celebration event that’s completely free to attend.

Marylebone | Website | Lights on: 10th November 2021

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Christmas at Kew

Every year, Kew Gardens sets up a Winter Trail of lights for its visitors and wow, it’s such an incredible experience. The light displays, with over a million bulbs in total, are like works of art, sure to impress even the scroogiest of guests. You’ll feel fully immersed as the festive music plays in the background and you stop along the trail for flavoured marshmallows and mulled wine.

The display will be switched on on the 17th of November this year, running until 9th Jan 2022. Tickets are £21.50 for adults for off peak times and £26.50 for peak, and family tickets are available.

Richmond | Website | Book Tickets | Lights on: 17th November 2021 until 9th January 2022

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Enchanted Woodland at Syon Park

If you make the trip to Kew Gardens, you could also head to nearby Syon Park for their Enchanted Woodland, now in its 15th year. You’ll see the park’s 600-year-old gardens transformed by a display of lights and music, then pass the 16th-century Syon House and end up at the Great Conservatory. Tickets are just £10 and the display is only happening for a few weeks in November.

Brentford | Website | Book Tickets | Lights on: selected dates between 12th-28th of November 2021

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Winterfest at Wembley Park

After taking a year off (understandably) Wembley Park in north London is bringing back its (free) winter lights trail, Winterfest. This year, the theme is “Reunited in Light” and will feature brand-new commissions and art installations as well as London’s largest LED tree, which is always a hit. 

Along with the lights you can also check out the permanent free outdoor photo gallery on the iconic Olympic Way. It’s calle ‘Reunited in Light’ and features 12 UK-based photographers, ranging from recent graduates to award-winning artists. The exhibition’s goal is to remind visitors of the power of pulling together and ‘will display uplifting and vibrant scenes of togetherness, tenderness, and intimacy.’

Wembley | Website | Lights on: 25th November 2021 until 4th January 2022

 

Photo Courtesy of Eltham Palace

Enchanted Eltham Palace

Eltham Palace, located in Greenwich, is a striking Art Deco mansion surrounded by 19 acres of award-winning gardens and is run by the English Heritage foundation. Lucky for us, in the winter, the foundation opens “Enchanted Eltham Palace”, letting us ‘explore the grounds and gardens to discover a magical world of illumination, sound and colour, and see the outside of the Great Hall bathed in light.’

It’s super family-friendly, with cheaper tickets for kids, and while you enjoy the glowing lights you can sip some mulled wine, toast a marshmallow or dip into the award-winning gift shop for some Christmas treats.

Eltham | Website | Book tickets | Lights on: selected dates between 9th-30th of December 2021

 

More tips for what to do in London during the Christmas season:

What to Do in London on Christmas Day
50 Cool Things to Do in London in the Winter (when it’s cooooold)

 

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Jessica Dante

Jessica Dante

Jess is the founder of Love and London, an online travel guide that helps London tourists to visit London like they live there. She's been featured in Refinery29, Forbes, BBC Radio 2, HuffPost, and more. Jess is also a sustainable and ethical travel advocate.

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