Christmas in London is a magical time. There are lights and events and special things happening around every corner, which is why it’s sometimes difficult to navigate and it can feel like you’re missing out. Something I hate to miss but always seem to forget about it, is the switching on of the Christmas lights! There are so many Christmas light switch on events in London (official names sound much better than that!), I have searched high and low among all the usual London lists and compiled them into one easy blog post for you. Here are all the areas and events in London where you can watch Christmas Lights being switched on!
I’ve included the dates and also linked the ones I could so you can get all the information. Some of them are more Christmas events so you can take your time and explore throughout November and December!
20th November – 5th January 2020
Tickets from £18.00 per person
A trail that involves toasted marshmallows and mulled wine, there are food traders with so many tasty dishes that I would want to go for the food alone. Luckily there is also a rather impressive display of singing Holly Bushes, a tunnel of Light and also a fire garden. The whole evening sounds magical and perfect for families as they also have family rides such as a Victorian carousel, helter skelter and more!
15th November – 1st December 2019
Tickets from £10.00
Only on Fridays, Saturday and Sundays for three weekends this November, Syon Park has an illuminated Enchanted Woodland that is completely outside. It takes around an hour to walk around and is suitable for all ages as you can take the walk at your own pace. I also love that all proceeds from The Enchanted Woodland are reinvested into the gardens and The Great Conservatory.
14th November, 5-9pm with the switch-on happening at 6:30pm
The Seven Dials are hosting an evening of Christmas shopping filled with free activities, festive live music and other Christmas treats! Make sure you’re by the Seven Dials Sundial Pillar monument at 6:30pm to watch the lights switch on. You can click on the link above to register for your free ticket to ensure you get all the discounts and complimentary drinks!
8th November – 5th January 2020
Not a switch-on as such but you can’t miss out on visiting Southbank this winter. There is so much happening at Southbank this Christmas, they seem to have everything from family shows to little markets. Soundpit is perfect for children and there is also a circus, as well as the usual Winter Market next to the Thames.
This one isn’t exactly Christmas lights, it’s a multi-sensory light installation designed by Squidsoup. It’s an experience and if you’re looking for pretty lights and an immersive experience, this is what you’re looking for! It looks pretty cool and will be open from 28th November.
6pm on Thursday 7th November
I love this area of London, it is so much fun! The Christmas lights this year are in collaboration with Project 0 who are an ocean conservation charity. There is an ocean theme for the lights this year and it’s all been made from recycled materials!
This one is slightly different as there isn’t a special lights switch-on as far as I know, it’s a beautiful pub in London that always looks amazing around Christmas time. It’s in Kensington so if you’re nearby, have a look and go in for a drink! They really do go all out for Christmas in London.
This one is extra special as it’s actually the 200th anniversary of the creation of Regent Street! On the 14th November, there will be the switch on plus a shopping event with restaurants and bars taking part from 4-9pm. Regent Street is going to be pedestrianised so you can enjoy the switch-on which will be taking place from 5:30-6:30pm.
5:30pm 12th November
Imagine Covent Garden filled with over 115,000 lights with 30,000 alone on the tree! The lights will be turned on at 5:30pm on 12th November. There are also going to be 40 mistletoe chandeliers and over 320 metres of garlands. London’s biggest hand-picked Christmas tree will be in the piazza outside.
Just off Bond Street, this less crowded street is one to visit in November / December time. There isn’t a switching on ceremony as far as I can find online, but worth a visit to see the beautiful lights. Especially if you’re near Bond Street anyway as there are so many beautiful shops and gorgeous restaurants to visit here.
15th November at 6:00pm
All through December, Leadenhall market looks like a fun place to visit. There are going to be choirs and evening entertainment on the 15th as they unveil their Christmas tree at 6pm. There is also going to a virtual advent calendar as well as craft workshops and much more happening across the month.
Thursday 5th December
Although they are yet to announce on their website, the Shepherd Market Christmas party is always a fun event to attend. I’ll update with more information but keep an eye on their website as apparently it’s going to take place on 5th December.
This one is perfect for families as there’ll be a Father Christmas and grotto, children’s choirs from local schools and also mulled wine! All the proceeds from the event will go to The Teenage Cancer Trust so it’s a really lovely way to spend an evening.
Something exciting is happening this year for the first time in six years, Oxford Street are getting new Christmas lights! They are going to be light curtains instead of the giant baubles. Capital Xtra are involved with the evening so there will be lots going on, if you’re free I’d make sure to head to this one especially for the shopping!
5th December at 6:00pm
A Christmas tree with a lovely story behind it, it’s a gift from the people of Norway to London to thank the British people for their support in World War II. The tradition started in 1947 and has happened every year since with the Christmas tree coming down on the Twelfth Night of Christmas where it is then recycled into mulch. Be there at 6pm to watch the lights turn on!
The first event of it’s kind, David Gandy will be there and there will also be music by The Weaver Brothers, late night shopping and more! There are tickets on EventBrite but they are free. The evening event is taking place from 7pm-9pm and the lights will be up on Savile Row until 6th January.
Seen from all over London, The Shard is going to reflect all the colours of the sky in a show that takes place every half hour from 4pm- 1am each evening. The colourful lights show will last 30 minutes and is going to continue until New Year’s Eve, when a special one-off lights show will take place.
Ones that don’t require their own section include Bond Street as well as Piccadilly and St James’s. Basically walk around the centre of London and you’ll find so many pretty streets filled with beautiful decorations as there are so many Christmas Lights in London to see. If you are coming to London for the festive season, keep an eye on my blog as I’ll be sharing a lot of Christmas content in the next few weeks! I love writing about London so for more of my guides, have a look at my guide to London in Autumn and Halloween in London! Follow me on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram for more daily updates!
I post once a week covering topics such as solo travel, working and living abroad and also creating Gabriella’s Guides to places I have been. I cover topics under the following categories such as Planning and Packing, The Travel Diary, Travel Inspiration, Photo Diaries, Gabriella’s Guides and Working Abroad.