Seeing the Christmas lights switched on is a great way to get into the festive spirit.
Now that it’s November we can officially talk about Christmas – yes, that’s the rules – and it’s a good job really, as the capital is about to get dolled up for the festive season. With so many different areas, London has not one, but multiple Christmas light switch-ons and each one comes with a party. It’s a really nice way to get into the spirit, so check out our guide and head to the one nearest to your serviced apartment in the coming weeks.
Oxford Street – November 6th
Things kick off in the heart of London with the switching on of the famous lights in Oxford Street. The thoroughfare will go traffic-free to host the event from 12 noon to 7pm and there will be a food market, discounted shopping and music from the likes of Craig David and The Vamps. The lights themselves will be a classy assortment of shimmering gold and silver baubles, accompanied by stars from the NSPCC’s Little Stars campaign.
The switch-on show will begin at 6.15pm, but get there early to soak up the atmosphere and admire the decorative window displays.
Carnaby Street and surrounds – November 10th
It’s the swinging sixties in Carnaby Street and 12 other thoroughfares around it, as London’s quirkiest Christmas lights get lit. Not able to fade into the background, Carnaby has enlisted the help of the Victoria and Albert Museum, using its latest exhibition as inspiration. Drawing on You Say You Want a Revolution? Records and Rebels 1966-70 means bright colours and iconic images from the era in question.
Enjoy discounts at the local boutiques, delicious food and entertainment from 5pm, with the lights going on at 6pm.
Bond Street – November 10th
Nothing says Christmas quite like peacocks, or at least that’s the case in Bond Street, as its unique lights return for another year. The stunning feather designs arc over the luxury shopping street, leading to a fanned out plumage at the end. It’s a great opportunity to pick up some high-end Christmas presents, especially as Fenwick of Bond Street puts on a special shopping event to mark the occasion. Live entertainment and food stalls will also help to lift the mood.
Bond Street’s lights will be lit at 5pm.
Covent Garden – November 15th
The stunning surroundings of Covent Garden make for the perfect backdrop to an elegant Christmas lights display. From 80,000 twinkling pea lights to a 6.7-metre silver reindeer, the festive period is particularly special in this part of London. Kids will also love the Lego installation, which returns to Covent Garden for another year. The Sugar Plum Fairy herself will switch the lights on, as The Royal Ballet and Royal Opera Chorus help to get the festivities underway.
Be in place by 5.30pm to see the area transformed from darkness into a winter wonderland.
Regent Street – November 17th
Among the biggest and best displays in the whole of London is the one on Regent Street, which has a brand new set of lights for 2016. The shopping street has been lit up over the festive period each year since 1954 and it is this heritage that designers have returned to for inspiration. With more than 300,000 lights and 16 illuminated spirits brightening the area, this is one switch-on that’s likely to be particularly dramatic.
The street will be pedestrian-only to allow visitors to enjoy the entertainment and the lights switched on at 6pm.