Disclosure – this is a sponsored post
For the last few years we’ve spent a day in London looking at all the beautiful Christmas lights. We love a day in London, it can be an inexpensive day out, if you know where to look! We knew we wanted to visit the main streets of central London so planned our day out carefully, taking the Underground from where we live into Kings Cross and walking. We did try taking the bus a few times, we even saw a special Christmas Lights tour bus, but it was super busy, so we ended up walking everywhere.
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The best places to see Christmas lights in London
Regent Street – did you know that Regent Street was the first central London location to boast Christmas lights? They were first switched on back in 1954. This year sees the street lit up with ‘The Spirit of Christmas’, each of the sixteen individual Spirits is a three-dimensional sculpture, hand-crafted in London using cutting edge techniques. The Spirits’ impressive 17-metre wing spans are studded with LED pea lights which really twinkle. The displays are switched on from early evening on a timer everyday for a more sustainable display.
Oxford Street – using the same display as last year, thousands of dazzling stars have been hung up between the shops. In order to save energy, the stars will shine for a slightly shorter period each day this year. The lights are also made of LED lightbulbs made from recycled polymer, which are 75 percent more efficient than standard lightbulbs.
Covent Garden – for the first time in almost a decade, Covent Garden has introduced a brand new Christmas installation inspired by traditional golden bells. There are over 40 gigantic bells with bows, 12 giant baubles and 8 spinning mirror balls, all displayed in the iconic Market Building.
You can take a selfie on the Covent Garden Swing Seat; take a photo on the traditionally decorated Christmas sleigh (a reconditioned 1884 carriage hand-painted by British artist James Gemmill); shop at ‘The Story Knit Store’, a pop up store stocked with 500 pre-loved jumpers, donated by vintage retailer Beyond Retro.
St Pancras International – the station features a 12 metre tall masterpiece which is a literary wonderland inspired by the enchanting realms created by authors. The tree features a winding staircase and 270 shelves adorned with over 3,800 hand-painted books, including timeless classics like Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” and C.S. Lewis’ “The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe.
There are also eight cosy nooks where you can sit and select a five-minute excerpt from an audiobook, exclusively provided by Penguin Books. You can choose from a selection of sixteen different audios, featuring authors like Charles Dickens, Beatrix Potter, Zadie Smith, and more.
Liberty London – the iconic London store often utilises it’s amazing building for wonderful installations. This Christmas there is a huge globe hanging. I haven’t managed to find out anything about it but it is well-worth a visit, especially as you can then visit the haberdashery.
KOYN – this contemporary Japanese dining destination and izakaya inspired by the natured-spirited roots and duality of Mount Fuji, has the prettiest mini outside. Decorated with festive greenery and wrapped presents it is well worth a visit.
Annabel’s – a private members club in Mayfair features a hot air balloon which stretches over and beyond the building’s three floors. The entrance to Annabel’s has been incorporated so those lucky enough to enter the private member’s club do so by climbing aboard the hot air balloon.
Fortnum & Mason – their traditional Christmas decorations include decking its facade on Piccadilly to look like an Advent Calendar, each window bearing a numbered day. Each of their ground floor windows features amazing paper installations, one of which mirrors the building with a miniature version of the building.
Of course these are the main lights in central London but there are wonderful Christmas lights all over London too. You can probably tell by our photos that London is busy right now but the atmosphere is just perfect for a festive day out.