Every year each area in London tries to outdo all the rest with its Christmas lights. It’s not enough to have the brightest bulbs and the shiniest displays, but a huge party to celebrate the turning on of the illuminations too.
These events make for a great opportunity to get into the festive spirit with hot chocolate and maybe even some mulled wine. So, gather a group of friends and family together and hire a coach to take you to the capital to experience the merriment for yourselves.
Oxford Street - November 6th
London’s premier shopping street will be among the first to switch on its Christmas lights this year, with the opportunity to buy some presents at the same time. Many of the 300 shops and restaurants will be hosting entertainment and special events, all adding to the magic of the occasion.
Carnaby Street - November 8th
Christmas seems to have come early to Carnaby Street, as neon lights have already been illuminated over the famous thoroughfare. But these aren’t the Christmas decorations, as they’re the lyrics to Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody to mark the release of the new film. So, the switch-on party will add to these and there’ll be discounts and festivities to look forward to too.
Covent Garden - November 13th
Covent Garden is a magical place at any time of the year, but the addition of 700 shining berries and 100,000 pea lights takes it to a whole new level. There will be a huge Christmas tree set up in the piazza and garlands and chandeliers throughout the historic market. There’s always a great show to accompany the switch-on, which last year was performed by Kylie Minogue, so this year is sure not to disappoint.
Regent Street - November 15th
In recent years, the majestic form of angels hanging across Regent Street have become quite iconic. See the white forms with wings outspread come to life as they are illuminated in all their classical glory. A celebrity will do the honours, although who it will be is yet to be revealed. Expect associated events and a party atmosphere as the street begins traffic-free for the evening.
The Shard - from December 3rd
While there won’t be an official switching-on ceremony of the Christmas light installation at the top of The Shard, it’s worth stopping by to see the 30-minute show if you’re in London in December. The highest 20 storeys will host the lights, which will provide entertainment between 4pm and 1am each night.
Photo credit: iStock/heyengel