Heading to London this Christmas? Check out our guide to London's Christmas lights
Nothing signifies the approach of Christmas more than London getting its annual facelift, when tiny lightbulbs start glowing and London transforms overnight. Here's our guide to when London's 2018 festive lights are switched on in some of the capital's biggest shopping destinations including Oxford Street, Regent Street, Marylebone and Carnaby.
Date: 6th November 2018
You know Christmas is coming when Oxford Street is transformed by sparkly, glowing lights. This year, the shopping hub will be home to 1,778 decorations (and 750,000 LED lightbulbs) inspired by falling snowflakes, plus the addition of new purple baubles.It’s the fifty-ninth year the road has been decorated for the festive period and the switch on (November 6) is expected to attract over one million Christmas-lovers and the odd famous face. This year their re-inventing their launch, treating Londoners to pop up performances from UK artists such as Kara Marni, Ray BLK, Isaac Waddington and many more.
Date: 8th November
With special events, exclusive 20% discount happening on over 80 brands in Carnaby as well as one-night-only offers, discounts in local bars and restaurants as well as the all-important “switch-on” this light ceremony is not to be missed.
This year's installations take the theme of Carnaby Christmas Carnival; with 30 neon coconut trees, 27 giant party poppers, 8 incredible tropical flowers, 8 feathery parrots, 2 colourful toucans, 2 neon flamingos and 1 pair of parakeets, signifying the release of a pair of parakeets by legend Jimi Hendrix in the 60s on Carnaby Street.
Head down from 5pm for an exciting set from DJ Norman Jay MBE.
Date: 13th November
With over 40 magnificent mistletoe chandeliers - each ranging from 2.5 to 3.5 metres in size, adorned with almost 700 glistening berries. Over 320 metres of garlands unite the chandeliers, with around 100,000 pea lights suspended within the historic Market Building. Outside, the world-famous Piazza will once again host London’s biggest hand-picked Christmas tree and the return of our magnificent reindeer statue on the East Piazza!
Date: 14th November
This Christmas lights switch-on ceremony on one of London's most atmospheric high streets is not to be missed. Alongside the lights, there are stalls to browse, live bands playing and fun fair rides for all to enjoy.
The 2018 switch-on takes place on Wed Nov 14. Activities will run from 3pm-7pm, with the lights coming on at 6pm.
Date: 15th November
Home to the largest light’s installation in the capital, Regent Street is best known for its awe-inspiring ‘The Spirit of Christmas’ lights. These stunning suspended spirits were inspired by Regent Street’s very first Christmas lights scheme, which were the first ever central London Christmas lights in 1954.
From 5pm – 9pm on Thursday 15th November, head down to Regent Street and enjoy the traffic-free Street to mark the switch-on moment. Soak up the atmosphere and await the dramatic switch-on show, taking place from 5.30pm.
Date: 18th November
With promises of a real-life reindeer and Father Christmas switch on the lights Slone Square is the place to be. Entertainment starting from around 2pm leading up to the spectacular lights switch-on at 5pm. As well as the return of Santa’s grotto, don’t miss our dazzling ballet dancers, sensational stilt walkers, gorgeously festive vintage singers and more.
Date: 22nd November
This Christmas, Kew Gardens will once again transform into a magical after dark explosion of festive colour, as visitors embark on an illuminated trail inspired by the Gardens themselves, for the much-anticipated Christmas at Kew 2018.
Now a firm favourite in the London festive calendar, this year’s trail will offer an utterly new experience of art, light and sound from a roster of incredible international artists.
You will need to purchase tickets for this event: Click here
The Shard Christmas Lights
Date: from 3rd December
Once again, the top 20 floors of The Shard will be illuminated throughout December. The theme this year is reflection. There's no specific switching on ceremony, but eyes to the skies from 4pm-1am every night from 3 December to see the 30 minute show in action.