With Christmas around the corner, London comes to life in the brightest way possible, with some of the best light displays around. If you’re visiting the city, don’t miss out on checking out some of the most inventive and memorable light installations around the capital.
You’ll find colourful showcases all over London, from nearby the Grand Park London Kensington, to further afield. Read on to find out where to see the best lights in the city, and what else you can enjoy near them.
Christmas at Kew Gardens
Located in Richmond, Kew Gardens is one of London’s most memorable and scenic attractions throughout the year, but when it comes to Christmas, it’s also one of the best places to catch the city’s stunning light displays and a memorable alternative to typical festive lights.
This season, the garden’s outdoor space will be transformed into a magical light trail after dark, where you can see glittering trees covered in spirals of lights along their branches, as well as dazzling archways and vines of light hanging from above.
You’ll also be able to catch a spectacular laser light show, with colourful projections across the historic Temperate House building, and see the garden lake lit up in style.
With plenty to see and experience across Kew Gardens during winter, it’s worth enjoying the great value Park Grand Kensington accommodation available now, to have a little festive break in the city.
If you need to catch up on your Christmas shopping, head down to the busy stretch of Oxford Street, where you can find all of your favourite High Street brands, as well as some of the most impressive light displays in London.
A short distance by Tube from the Grand Park London Kensington, Oxford Street is renowned for having some of the most stylish light displays in the capital during the festive season. This year, the street’s famous lights will be enjoying a style update, with 27 new LED light curtains, designed to showcase a shimmering kaleidoscope of colour.
Made up of 200,000 bulbs, it’s the perfect sight to accompany you, while you stock up on outfits for the winter party season and great gifts for your friends and family.
While it might be close by to Oxford Street, the iconic Carnaby Street has always enjoyed a unique sense of style, once renowned for being the birthplace of the city’s style scene in the 1960s. This refreshing and individual spirit is always reflecting in its festive lights, and this winter, you’ll see a novel take in the street’s displays.
While still full of customary colour and fun, this year’s lights at Carnaby Street take their cue from the ocean and feature a timely message of environmental awareness and sustainability. Every street in the area has been designed to represent a different facet of the ocean world, taking you on a stunning underwater adventure, as you walk around.
Created in partnership with the ocean conservation charity, Project 0, the street’s display is made entirely from recycled and repurposed plastics, and feature a variety of oceanic motifs. Look up to see giant, illuminated coral reefs, leaping dolphins, cute seahorses and an impressive bubble-blowing whale, and keep an eye out for the mermaid.
The timeless style of Covent Garden’s Piazza is a great place to relax or enjoy a drink or snack, before heading off for dinner at the Park Grand London Kensington Restaurant later in the day. This Christmas, it features beautiful and elegant lights in keeping with the atmospheric charm of the popular London destination. If you’re near the West End for a seasonal show, take the time to admire the lights here beforehand, for an extra dose of festive sparkle.
The iconic giant Christmas tree, in the heart of the Piazza, is always a sight to behold, while the illuminated reindeer and other festive motifs add a wonderful touch.
Each year, the world-famous Trafalgar Square welcomes in the festive season with its annual tradition – a Norwegian Christmas tree. Gifted by Norway every year since 1947, the tree is traditionally lit with vertical lights, instead of the typical garland wrapped around.
While it sometimes raises a few eyebrows because of its more unique look, it’s definitely one of London’s most memorable light displays, and always worth checking out. Trafalgar Square can always be a hectic part of the city, so treat yourself to a delicious Indian Afternoon Tea Park Grand, for the perfect way to unwind afterwards.
While it doesn’t have a specific festive light display, every winter, the Shard has stood out amongst the city skyline with something special. This year, the top 20 storeys will be lit up in a colourful display that you’ll see towering above from all across London.
This year’s display has been designed by local school children and will feature three different sequences of colour and light that play through the dark, providing a lovely hint of excitement to brighten up the long nights.
Taking place at Wembley Park for the first time, Winterfest is set to be one of London’s most ambitious light displays this year, featuring a huge variety of captivating, enchanting and memorable light installations.
One of the most eagerly anticipated features at Winterfest is the Sonic Runway – a huge hit at Nevada’s Burning Man festival, this features rings of light and colour, that shift and change with music, for a stunning effect. You’ll also see the city’s tallest LED Christmas tree, called the Hopeful Tree. Featuring a magical collection of 100,000 lights, walk through and experience the hypnotic feature. You’ll also find the Illumaphonium – a mesmerising collection of light installations that come alive with music as you touch them.
Free to enter, this multi-sensory extravaganza of light, colour, music and more is the perfect place to dive into the season, with plenty to enjoy after dark, and a great place to head to with the whole family.