As the tallest building in London, The Shard has a reputation to keep. It’s become one the UK’s best known landmarks in the years since its official opening in 2013, and in a few weeks it’ll once again switch on its festive lights to mark the start of Christmas.

From 1st December, the building will become a huge Christmas beacon with a (not yet revealed) light design on its spire, telling Londoners that yes, it is indeed that time of year again. The lights, which The Shard has done yearly since 2014, are lit up every day for the festive period, and last from around 4 pm until 1 am.

Each year, the lights have a different theme, and this year is no exception. As you might expect, this year the lights will be themed around the pandemic, specifically the idea of reuniting with loved ones. Last year was also tied to COVID and was designed as a message of support to the NHS and other key workers, and this year the message will be extended to other emergency workers like the fire brigade and and ambulance services.



This year the lights will be themed around reuniting with loved ones...

The light display has been described as the “most viewed Christmas lights in the UK”, given the building’s height and London’s eight million strong population. But it’s not just Christmas that The Shard celebrates: the spire is also used as a countdown for the new year on December 31st as part of the wider London NYE celebrations. If you’d prefer to be closer to the action, The Shard will also be hosting a New Year’s party, complete with DJs and a plentiful supply of Champagne. Prices begin at £249 for general admission if you book early, and go up to £2,999 for a VIP table for 10. Suffice to say, it’s a pretty exclusive NYE event.

The spire is also used as a countdown for the new year on December 31st...

The Shard also gets festive in a number of other ways in December, with the interior of the skyscraper usually being adorned with Christmas decorations- though this year things will be a little different. For the winter period, The Shard will have an experience called ‘Aurora’, which is themed around a “Nordic wonderland inspired by the Northern Lights and snowy wilderness of Scandinavia.” The theme will feature from the ground floor all the way up to the open air terrace at the top of the building.

For the winter period, The Shard will have an experience called 'Aurora'...

As the tallest building in the UK, The Shard is already an alluring attraction with its sweeping views of the city and many bars and restaurants, and experiencing it with these winter events gives a new perspective to things if you’ve already taken yourself up it. Of course, even if you don’t (or can’t ) go to The Shard’s events themselves, everyone can take in the spire’s Christmas lights throughout December, making the long evenings a bit brighter.


Want to receive more great articles like this every day? Join our daily email now