London’s best Christmas switch ons and light trails

Here are the best Christmas light displays in London from 2023, and when London’s big switch ons take place.

1 The Spirit of Christmas, Regent Street and St James’s

The angelic Spirit of Christmas returns to create a glittery canopy of angels above the central London streets.Regent Street has long been famous for its spectacular festive lights display, being the first central London destination to introduce Christmas lights in 1954. There’s no switch on event, and in an acknowledgement that Christmas lights are pretty, but also a strain on the planet, these lights will only be on for the evenings.

Date: TBC but usually from early November to January. 


2 Covent Garden

Gosh Covent Garden does Christmas well. It even has snow. This year there will be a new festive installation – the first change up in about a decade. Inspired by traditional golden bells, it will feature 40 gigantic bells with bows, 12 giant baubles and eight spinning mirror balls. The ginormous Christmas tree should make a comeback this year too. As always, there will be bucketloads of festivities and Christmas spirit, and a throng of shoppers and diners taking advantage of all the buzzy happenings. 

Date: November 7 – January, 2024

Switch on: November 7

Tickets: Free


3 Carnaby Christmas Lights

Always a glitzy display, this year Carnaby Universe will immerse visitors in a “dynamic and vibrant” display of neon colour and light waves that create a “moving vortex” along the shopping and dining strip. For the switch on, Carnaby will host a dining and shopping party, so register to take advantage of the offers and promotions. 

Date: November 2 – January, 2024

Switch on: Tuesday, November 2; 4pm-8pm

Tickets: Free, but register for a ticket


4 Belgravia, London

Dazzling white lights brighten up the already charming Motcomb Street and Elizabeth Street from November 15. For the switch on, many of the area’s vendors will have specials and happenings, and find mince pies, mulled wine and hot chocolate on Elizabeth Street, Pimlico Road and Motcomb Street. Also enjoy choral sets by the London Gay Men’s Chorus

Date: November 15 – January, 2024

Switch on: November 15


5 Winter Light at Southbank

As part of Southbank Centre’s festive extravaganza, Winter Festival, the cultural hub will once again illuminate the site’s iconic buildings and the Riverside Walk with a free open-air exhibition Winter Light. Each sculpture and installation uses light, colour and experimental film to touch on thought-provoking topics, from nature and technology to modern cities and spirituality.

Date: October 28 – January 7, 2024

Address: Queen’s Walk, South Bank, SE1

Tickets: Free


6 Christmas at Kew, Richmond

Christmas at Kew’s world-class trail illuminates the UNESCO World Heritage site with more than one million lights. Individual installations colourfully remind people of the vital role plants and the natural world play in our lives. There’s displays lighting up the Temperate and Palm Houses, a 15-metre dome siting on top of a reflective water pool, and installations set to classic festive tunes.

Date: November 15 – January 7, 2024

Address: Kew, Richmond, TW9 3AE

Time: 4.20pm-10pm

Tickets: From £22.50


7 Leadenhall Market, City

Leadenhall Market lights up it’s Victorian splendour with its giant Christmas tree, decorations and garlands. The London Youth Choir kick celebrations off with a couple of carols and this is followed up with a sing-a-long, firework fountains and a festive speech by the Lord Mayor of London. After the ceremony, people are welcome to stay for a few drinking or a spot of festive shopping, and to bask in the loveliness of the Christmas tree and festive light tunnel.  Date: Thursday, November 16

Switch on: From 5.15pm

Address: Gracechurch Street, EC3V 1LT

Tickets: Free


8 Oxford Street

A display to look up for, Oxford Street’s festive lights are always a delight, running the 1.5 miles of shopping heaven (or hell). This year, the strip partners up with children’s charity Starlight to present Feel the Magic which aims to sprinkle a little bit of wonder and delight on your central London visit. 

Date: November 2 – January, 2024

Switch on: November 2

Tickets: Free

9 Marylebone Village

Marylebone Village’s annual Christmas celebrations sees its shops, cafes, bars and restaurants open late offering special menus and discounts. Live music, charming decorations and festive workshops, including the opportunity to make your own wreath, put you in the festive mood.

Date: November 9 – January, 2024

Switch on: Thursday, November 9, 3pm-8pm

Tickets: Free


10 Greenwich Market’s Lantern Parade

Greenwich Market’s joyous lantern procession and Christmas Lights switch on is a charmed event. School children parade their colourful handmade lanterns through Cutty Sark Gardens and the ORNC grounds before heading into the Market.

Date: November 15; 4pm-6pm

Address: Greenwich Market, Greenwich SE10 9HZ

Tickets: Free


11 Illuminature at London Wetland Centre, Barnes

*** 2023 event unconfirmed*** Discover giant light sculptures of wetland wildlife and magical, playful installations such as light tunnels and responsive lily pads on this magical, after-dark trail. The illuminated walk includes huge, beautifully-lit models of floating swans, a family of otters, a flock of flamingos and Winifred the owl, all set among the reed beds, lagoons and gazing marsh of WWT London Wetland Centre.

Date: TBC

Address: Queen Elizabeth Walk, SW13 9WT

Tickets: TBC


12 Chelsea’s Christmas Lights

The Chelsea Christmas Lights switch on sees much fanfare accompany the flicking of the switch. The King’s Road will be part-pedestrianised with a Christmas market and from 11am, Santa’s reindeer will welcome visitors, and there will be face painting for the kids.  Get amongst the revelry with Christmassy mulled wine or a glass of festive fizz.

Date: November 18 – January, 2024

Switch on: Saturday, November 18

Tickets: Free


13 Winterfest, Wembley Park

Last year, Wembley Park’s Winterfest switch on saw London’s tallest LED tree light up and artwork by Brent artist Yoni Alter in spectacular fashion. There was also light, fire and street performances. Event details are yet to be released, but organisers say festivities will kick off mid-November

Date: Late November – January 2024

Switch on: TBC

Tickets: Free


Courtesy of Enfield Independent | What’s On