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Totally Magical Christmas Lights in London: The 2023 Guide

Totally Magical Christmas Lights in London: The 2023 Guide

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year – isn’t that what they say? And part of that wonder is seeing the London Christmas lights switch on. Here’s your guide to where you can see the best London Xmas lights. 

London never looks as glitzier as it does at Christmas. As the festive season sets in and the lights go up the city transforms into a veritable wonderland. We absolutely love strolling the city at night under a canopy of Christmas lights, Seven Dials through into Covent Garden in particular.  

Throw in a little late night gift shopping and maybe a nice bit of dinner out and you’re on for the kind of night that’s going to get you right in the mood for Christmas. But when do the lights go on and what is there to look out for? Find out here in this bumper guide to a lit-up London.

PS – some of these photos are from previous years – we wouldn’t want to spoil the surprise! 

Where to See the Best Christmas Lights in London 

Oxford Street 

Already on 

Let’s kick things off with a classic. If you’re coming to London and want to see Christmas lights, nowhere is as iconic as Oxford Street and its array of suspended decorations.

This year, as they have been in the past, the lights will be made from special energy-saving bulbs, and as a response to the cost of living, and energy crises, will be turned on for less time than they normally are. The bulbs will also be recycled into next year’s festive celebrations. Win-win. 

Regent Street 

Switch On: 9th November

Regent Street

Regent Street’s lights are a regular favourite of ours. The light display is about the only thing that can make those buildings even grander. 

This year their classic ‘Spirit of Christmas’ angels are back pride of place, gracing late night shoppers into the new year.  

Grab yourself a hot chocolate (or a mulled wine) and take a stroll underneath the lights one evening – it’s a gorgeous way to end a date night – or a lovely hangout with friends. Thank us later.

Carnaby Street 

Switch On: 8th November

Carnaby Street will be bringing the warm and fuzzies to the capital from November 8th, teaming up with the charity Choose Love to spread Christmas cheer.

Choose Love is a charity that delivers humanitarian aid to folks in need all round the world which is about the only thing that might overshadow the splendour of these lights. 

Being massive fans of the Carnaby Street lights (Some of our team think these might be the best Christmas lights in London), we’re super excited to see what they string up this year. 

Bond Street 

Switch On: 9th November

Bond Street Christmas Lights

Design lovers will want to make sure they head to Bond Street this jolly season for a spot of high-end shopping under gleaming decorations. After all, ‘tis the season to splurge on presents for oneself, right?

The designs change often, but a firm favourite throughout the years has been the peacock feathers that represent the 18th-century men who strutted along the street in their fancy gear.

Covent Garden 

Switch On: November 7th

Covent Garden Christmas

Covent Garden is easily one of the most magical Christmas spots in London… and the 115,000 lights that decorate the neighbourhood each year play a hefty role. 

Covent Garden will be illuminated for the 2023 festive season from 8th November – as well as sparkling mirror balls, giant sprigs of mistletoe to smooch under, and a 55ft British Christmas tree. It’s basically one giant ‘grammable opportunity.

There’ll also be plenty of markets, outdoor festive dining, and pop-ups across the jolly season. Oh… and you might just catch some snow while you’re there.

Head over to Covent Garden in the afternoon for a spot of shopping before the sun sets and the lights begin to glitter.

Seven Dials

Switch On: 7th November

Seven Dials is another popular spot for Christmas lights in London. 

Located just around the corner from the main area in Covent Garden, why not combine the two for a magical evening under pretty lights?

Although this year’s display details are yet to be released, previous years have seen trees draped in impressive lights and local shops and restaurants often take part in a festive bonanza complete with late-night shopping hours, free drinks, and heavy discounts.

Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park

From the 17th November – 2nd January 

Winter Wonderland returns this year and we can’t wait. Just in case you’ve been playing scrooge for the past few years, Winter Wonderland is basically a giant Christmas playground complete with an ice bar, fairground rides, and Bavarian-style beer huts (and much, much more). 

In other words, it’s a haven for all things Christmas and, as you would expect, has some of the most impressive Christmas lights in the capital.

From the colourful arch entrance to the lit-up Ferris wheel, there’s plenty of Christmas lights here to admire. It gets hectic as the festive season gets underway though. Make sure you book a ticket in advance. 

Read More: Everything You Need to Know About Hyde Park’s Magical Winter Wonderland

Leicester Square

Switch On: 8th November

Leicester Square Christmas Market

If you’re from London, heading into Leicester Square at Christmas time sounds like the opposite of a treat…

… But if you’re looking for the ultimate Christmas experience in the capital, diving into busy central London is a must-do. Nothing says Christmas like elbowing past last-minute gift buyers and stressed Santas.

From November 8th, the Christmas lights will be on and snowflakes will dangle from the trees above the square’s equally hectic and tourist-trappy Christmas market. It’s hell for the agoraphobic, but it’s oh so fun.

Duke of York Square

Switch On: 18th November 

Chelsea’s Duke of York Square is quite a late bloomer this year, not turning its lights on until Saturday 18th November. Though it’s worth the wait, we promise. 

The light switch-on follows a day of festive fun throughout the borough: Sloane Square, Duke of York Square, Pavilion Road, and King’s Road will all be filled with food stalls and plenty of family fun to get involved with throughout the day.

Marylebone Village

Switch On: 9th November 

Celebrate Merry Marylebone from Thursday the 9th of November as the village will host a Christmas light switch on and shopping evening to rival some of the bigger spots in the capital.

The village’s famous overhead wreaths will once again line the streets in 2023, so grab your favourite festive drink and spend the evening dipping in and out of local shops.

Kew Gardens

Switch On: 15th November

Unlike the other spots in this guide, you’ll need to part with some cash to view Kew Gardens’ impressive display. From mid-November until the new year, the country’s favourite botanical garden will transform each evening into a shimmering winter wonderland.

Not only will you be able to admire the pretty lights on display, but Kew Gardens will also become home to sparkling tunnels, reflections on the water, and trees lit up in jewel-tones. 

Keep your eyes peeled from special visits from Father Christmas himself, as well as plenty of sweet treats to scoff – this is the perfect event to bring the whole family to. 

Coal Drops Yard

Switch On: tbc

Situated a stone’s throw from King’s Cross, ultra-cool destination Coal Drops Yard transforms into a cosy nook over the Christmas period. 

Decorated with lights, trees, and festive installations, this is the perfect place to shop for seasonal gifts in central London. Not to mention the insane amount of independent stores to peruse.

Top tip: Head to one of the restaurants nearby (we love the cheesy goodness over at Morty & Bob’s) and opt for a window seat for dinner with a pretty view but there’s plenty to choose from at neighboring Granary Square.


Switch On: tbc

Although Northbank’s Christmas lights are often outshone by the nearby Trafalgar Square, it’s a criminally underrated place to enjoy the festive season in London. 

The lights illuminate the Strand and Villiers Street, and the best bit? You’ll be able to nab plenty of photos without hordes of people ruining your story for the ‘gram. 

The popular spots are great, but sometimes it’s a good idea to ditch them for the more low-key places, especially as the capital can get very busy at this time of year.


Switch On: tbc 

Image Credit: India Roper-Evans

Also home to a cracking Christmas market bursting with brilliant stalls guaranteed to put you in a joyful mood, the Southbank puts on a rather impressive festive show with its lights and installations each year. 

If you’re looking for the ultimate winter walk, this part of London is unbeatable. Wrap up warm and make a pit stop at the market before continuing along the rest of Southbank with a hot chocolate in hand. 

Details haven’t been released yet as to when festivities will return to Southbank this year, but keep checking back here for more updates.


Switch On: 15th November 

Belgravia XMAS
Credit: John Nguyen PA Wire

Belgravia’s charming streets will yet again be lit up from 9th November – the likes of Motcomb Street, Elizabeth Street, Pimlico Road, and Eccleston Yards will be adorned with lights. As well as this, Belgravia has revealed stunning floral installations for the area’s very first Christmas Trail – grab a hot choc and make your way around the festive streets.

Better yet, visitors will be able to marvel at the iconic Gingerbread City on Motcomb Street – an extra-festive exhibition of 5 intricate gingerbread cities… Just don’t try to take a bite!

Make sure to check out Eccleston Yards Christmas Market while you’re in the area, which will be open from 11am until 5pm each day. It’s the perfect place to refuel with a mince pie and a hot drink.

Kenwood House 

Switch On: 1st December 

The fantabulous stately home that is Kenwood House has announced a new Christmas light trail this year. The trail features thirteen brand-new light installations across its sprawling grounds. It’s a stunning place to walk around in the daytime. No doubt it will look pretty amazing with these installations in place. 

Just to sweeten the deal, at various points along the light trail there will be pop-up stands offering winter warming food and drink. Expect to be bursting at the seams from the enormous bratwurst and merry off the mulled wine. 

Eltham Palace 

Switch On: 1st December 

Another great and stately home that’s got it going on for Christmas is Eltham Palace. We absolutely love the grandeur of this art-deco wonderland out of season so the announcement that it’s going to be dripped in Christmas lights has certainly piqued our interest. 

It’s not just the palace’s facade either, light installations will be spread around the grounds. These have been done by an award-winning light design company so you can pretty much guarantee they’ll be good. 

Then throw in the fact they’ve got all the winter classics on the go food and drink-wise, plus they’re dangling the temptation of special winter cocktails down in front of us. See you there…

St Christopher’s Place

Switch On: 14th November

We’re not sure if you can technically describe this one as a light show but it is rather pretty so we’ll include it here anyway. 

This mercurial installation is the one that goes up on the 14th November at St Christopher’s Place. It features hundreds of spinning disks that reflect light about the place sort of like a giant dismantled disco ball. 

The street below is often filled with shoppers and the occasional pop-up selling mulled wine or Christmas food. All in all, we’d say it’s a worthwhile one to check out, even if it is on the small side.

Map and Tips for a London Christmas Lights Tour 

If you’d rather have a guided tour around London’s twinkling lights, we recommend you opt for this one.

It’s a spin around the best of central London’s lights on board a vintage open-top bus. Oxford Street, Regent’s Street and other gorgeous spots are on the cards with a friendly guide who will help bring the city to life with a little info. 

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