The winter days might be a little dark and gloomy, but London has plenty of twinkling brightness to make up for it, in the form of some of the best Christmas light displays around. From the ultra-chic minimalist to full on colourful, glorious creations, it’s always worth taking a tour of the city’s incredible festive offerings during the holiday period.
If you’re staying at the Lancaster Gate Hotel, you’ll find lots of great displays close by, but there are also some wonderful set-ups to check out a little further afield across the capital. So to help you find the brightest lights around the city, read on.
For guests at the Lancaster Gate Hotel, you can find one of the most magical displays of Christmas lights close by, at Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland extravaganza.
Decked out in thousands of brightly coloured lights across the area, Winter Wonderland features a huge array of Christmas markets, funfair rides, an ice rink and many other attractions, making it a great place to visit with the family. While you require tickets to ride or use the various attractions within, entry to Winter Wonderland is free in itself.
If you’re looking for a bright and enjoyable display of lights to walk around, treat yourself to a weekend in the city and indulge in the festive treats on offer around the park. With great value budget accommodation in London, it’s easy to enjoy a surprisingly affordable and special Christmas in the city.
Oxford Street has always had some of the best Christmas lights displays in the capital, along with a fantastic switch-on event to kick them off in style. This year’s offering has been upgraded with a brand new look, inspired by the Northern Lights, for a suitably wintery display.
Featuring twenty-seven curtains made up out of hundreds and thousands of LED lights, the street will be illuminated by a vast, shimmering show of abstract colours. It’s the perfect sight to take in while you’re doing your Christmas shopping down the length of the busy shopping street. If you need a little extra fuel beforehand, start the day with a satisfying brunch London, before you hit the shops.
Kew Gardens’ festive illuminations are always a sight worth seeing, as the beautiful gardens are transformed into an enchanting and brightly lit space. This year, the Gardens will be filled with over a million lights across the area, including the transformation of the Temperate House – the largest original Victorian glass house in the world – into a hypnotic laser show.
You’ll also be able to see colourful light displays from a variety of artists, captivating projections across the lake, and fiery shows in their Fire Garden. With a wealth of unique attractions on offer, it’s a fantastic place to visit if you really want to see something truly stunning and memorable.
Located in Richmond in south-west London, be prepared to spend approximately an hour travelling down to Kew Gardens. To plan the perfect end to the evening, make sure you book in reservations for restaurants in Lancaster, to finish the night with a delicious festive meal.
For something a little more elegant and refined, make your way towards the bustling streets of Covent Garden, for a wonderful display of festive cheer. As well as the area’s traditional Christmas tree, which always looks exceptional, this year it will also be accompanied by a beautiful set of mistletoe chandeliers, illuminating the pathways from above.
In classic white lights, this will be a dazzling and charming show of brightness that will make even the toughest Scrooge smile. Whether you’re planning on shopping in the area or heading to a nearby theatre show in the West End, take the time to pause and enjoy the lights, with a delicious hot drink from one of the nearby cafés.
Carnaby Street is one of the busiest shopping districts during Christmas in London and always has an impressive display during this time of the year. In 2019, the street’s organisers have decided to take things a little further, and pay tribute to some of the most pressing global concerns of the year, by highlighting the impact of the climate crisis in their Christmas lights display.
While the lights will naturally be a feast of colour and brightness, make sure you look closer, to take in the deeper message. Carnaby Street have teamed up with ocean conservation charity, Project Zero, and have a suitably oceanic theme, with stunning sea creatures, kelp and coral, as well as a five-metre long whale and illuminated squid.
While the lights might not seem the obvious choice for the Christmas season, they carry an important message. All of the displays will have been made up of recycled and repurposed plastic and fishing nets, while the restaurants along the street have also pledged to eliminate single-use plastics and reduce waste.
Held at Wembley Park, Winterfest is an immersive light festival that brings together a serious feast of light and colour, into a dazzling, multi-sensory display.
You’ll find art installations, an interactive trail of light and sound, and London’s tallest LED Christmas tree, the Hopeful Tree. Made up of 100,000 lights and standing an immense 25 metres tall, you can step inside the dream-like space of the tree itself, while surrounded by glittering, colourful light all around you.
The festival will also feature the Sonic Runway, a highlight from the iconic Burning Man festival. Made up of concentric rings that shine with a kaleidoscopic pattern of colour and light as music moves down the path, this is definitely one of the city’s most unmissable attractions this season.
Winterfest will be on until January, giving you lots of time to soak up the magical lights, even after the post-Christmas blues threaten to set in. With plenty of live music, food and other attractions, it’s a great place for a free day out during Christmas.