Nothing quite heralds the arrival of the festive season like the switching on of London’s famous Christmas lights. London is a remarkable place to be year-round, but there’s something incredibly magical about the annual Christmas light period.
Little light bulbs glowing, Michael Buble songs blaring throughout the city’s speakers and the warmth of festivity that spread throughout simply cannot be beaten.
Whether you're attending the switching on of the lights themselves, shopping around town for Christmas gifts, or you are just out and about with your friends – it’s well worth the effort to stop and take some time to check out these wondrous lights.
Here’s our guide to some of the city’s hotspots for Christmas lights; where to see them and when they are getting switched on.
Seven Dials Christmas Lights
On Thursday the 15th of November 2018 the Seven Dials Christmas lights will be turned on. Take your time and stroll along the quaint cobbled streets, have a look at the variety of different shops and stop to enjoy a meal at the menagerie of world-class restaurants whilst marvelling at the incredible Christmas light display.
The switch-on itself will take place at 6.30 in the evening and simply shouldn’t be missed. From 5 pm until 9 pm the roads are closed and the area is traffic-free too, which makes the experience all the more awe-inspiring, as well as safe for the little ones.
Traditional Christmas gifts will be on display and come with some really great discounts; you can pick up some free mulled wine, complimentary food or simply enjoy the entertainment provided by the wonderful choir that really amplifies the Christmas cheer.
There’s also a ton of free workshops and classes to take part in too.
Kingston Christmas Lights
One of the City’s most prominent light switching is happening on Thursday the 15th of November at Kingston. The traditional Christmas market that opens on the same day makes the event even more memorable.
The whole of the town centre is set to turn into a winter wonderland with a wonderful Christmas spirit. The market stalls are all charmingly set up in small wooden cabins that encapsulate the feeling of the festive season. Get involved in this family-friendly event and enjoy craft workshops, mulled wine and traditional Christmas fare.
Sloan Square, Chelsea Christmas Lights
As you can imagine, the festive season in Chelsea is quite an elaborate affair and the festivities are centred from Sloane Square right across to the Duke of York Square.
At 2 pm on Saturday the 17th of November, the carol singers and other entertainers will start to get the cheer going as the groups of people begin to arrive for the main event. The kiddies can look forward to a Father Christmas and actual reindeer in the Duke of York Square.
The main switching on event takes place at 5 pm in Sloane Square and simply shouldn’t be missed.
Royal Exchange Christmas Lights
The Royal Exchange has created quite a stir around its 25ft Christmas tree and lighting event over the last couple of years and we can look forward to this treat on Wednesday the 21st of November this year.
The luxury shopping centre offers hot chocolate, mulled wine and mince pies to attendees, along with some excellent carolling and other special entertainments. The event begins at 6 pm with the lights getting switched on at 6:45 pm.
The Shard Christmas Lights
As has become standard over the last few years, The Shard will illuminate the top twenty floors of the building throughout December. The lights will be turned on from the 3rd of December from 4 pm to 1 am every night and they illuminate London’s night skies in a spectacular manner.
Christmas is one of the best times to visit London and get your fill of festive cheer so fill up your cup and head on down to some of the best lighting events throughout the city this year.