The Handbook
The Handbook

Christmas might be feeling a little different this year but you can still enjoy a little festive cheer by exploring the best of London’s Christmas light scene.

Although we won’t be seeing queues of people crowding around for the big celebrity light switch-on (who really enjoys it anyway?), you can delight in some of the best festive lights in the world. Of course, be wary that we are currently in lockdown so only visit if you’re nearby or out on your daily stroll, but here’s where to go for the best Christmas displays.

Credit: Dave Parry/PA Wire

Carnaby Street

If you’re partial to pink on your Insta grid, head down to Carnaby Street this festive season and take in their positive pink neon light display. This year, the famous street has partnered with Choose Love, the charity that helps refugees, supporting displaced and vulnerable communities, and will be adorned with a series of lightboxes with positive words written across. The message being a tribute to the strength and courage of Londoners and the whole of the UK, and an encouragement to be kind and hopeful for a stronger future.  

If you live a little further afield and can’t make it down, explore their online virtual tour here.

Catch them from 2nd November

Credit: Dave Parry/PA Wire

Oxford Street

Things may be different this year but one thing’s for sure and that’s the arrival of Oxford Street’s  LED curtains, which will be running the length of the street throughout November and December, in the run up to the big day. Twenty-seven LED light curtains will be hung, brimming with over 222,000 lights and they even launched two weeks earlier than planned in the hope to help with social distancing measures. Catch the twinkling lights while Oxford Street is quieter than usual, it’ll make for the perfect Insta op guaranteed.  

Catch them from 2nd November

Covent Garden

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a visit to see Covent Garden’s whopping great 60ft festive tree, and although this year is looking a little different, it’s still a must-visit for locals (and when we finally emerge out of lockdown too). 

After 300 hours of work (what saints!), the tree was switched on to spread the message of hope for the nation last week and hopes to spark some much needed joy. This year’s ‘switch on’ may not have been led by Kylie Minogue but the piazza is still lit up by the 60ft tree, glistening with 30,000 lights, as well as 115,000 lights dotted throughout the famous piazza. 

Catch them from 10th November

Marylebone Village 

Head over to Marylebone Village for the festive season and fall in love with its quirks, beauty and lights. Head over to their social media channels to keep up to date on everything going on, including online shopping and special discounts and gifts perfect for Christmas. 

Filled with boutiques, bars and bookshops, it’s a little easier to manage when the Christmas shopping commences. 

Catch them from 4th November

Regent Street

This weekend saw Regent Street light up for the festive season, bringing their fabulously famous ‘Spirit of Christmas’ to the city once more. Above the streets of Regent Street and St James’s expect 45 handcrafted spirits lighting up the streets. If you’re centrally located, spend an evening this week walking along and uncovering its beauty once more, or for those living further afield, join in the festive fun via the Regent Street and St James’s social channels. 

Catch them from 14th November

Chelsea

Chelsea’s festive season also started a little earlier this year, arriving onto the scene on 2nd November, bringing with it all of the festive cheer and hope we all need to get us through the end of this strange year. The display covers Sloane Square, Duke of York Square, King’s Road and Pavilion Road. The lights on King’s Road this year are inspired by King Charles II reign. 

Catch them from 2nd November

Seven Dials

Our favourite London pocket, Seven Dials is yet to announce when their festive lights will be adorning the famous cobblestone streets, but we can guarantee that come December the streets will be bustling with the sounds of our favourite boutiques, hidden bars and cosy hotels once more. 

Light installation commencing this week!

Royal Exchange 2019

Royal Exchange

Christmas commences 2nd December at the Royal Exchange. This year there will be four glistening trees inside the courtyard in a royal red and gold theme, creating a traditionally festive atmosphere within the iconic architectural backdrop.

It’s an excellent space for Christmas shopping without the crowds of the west end, and thanks to the large open space of the building and smaller boutiques it’s easy to shop safely.

Lights will be going up 2nd December 

Trafalgar Square 

The highlight of Trafalgar Square’s Christmas experience is the towering 20 meter plus tree lit up in the centre of the square. The tree has been gifted to the city each year by Norway since 1947 and despite the current Coronavirus pandemic, the tradition continues this year. Exact dates of the switch on are yet to be determined but we’ll update when we know more.

Dates TBC

Leadenhall Market

Leadenhall Market is rich in history, dating back to the 14th century, originally a meat, poultry and game market. Fast forward to now and it’s filled with some of the best boutiques, dining spots and luxury lifestyle stores on offer in the city.

It’s filled with some of the best boutiques, dining spots and luxury lifestyle stores on offer in the city.

The Christmas season is yet to be announced at Leadenhall Market, but if last year’s bauble toppling tree is anything to go by, we cannot wait to snap up a picture for the ‘gram come December. 

Dates TBC

Mount Street

One of the city’s swankiest shopping destinations, Mount Street’s Christmas lights never disappoint to wow tourists, passersby and Londoners time and time again. Dates for their Christmas reveal are yet to be announced but if previous years are anything to go by, we can rest assured we’re in good hands. Also, incredibly eager to see who’ll be styling The Connaught’s hotel Christmas tree too, previous years include Tracey Emin and Damien Hirst. 

Dates TBC


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