Christmas Lights in London: My Personal Favourites
As much as I am not very keen on the cold weather, I must say that Christmas is my favourite season in London. London is of course beautiful all year round, however the capital really shows off during Christmas time. The lights surrounding the city are captivating and they bring so much joy even to those who don't necessarily believe in Christmas. By now, Oxford Street lights are switched on, and in the coming days, the rest of them will grace the busy streets of the capital. I have been lucky to have enjoyed most of my favourite lights away from the madding crowd during the pandemic, and on my early morning walks to work. And now that we are back to normal and I no longer work and live in Central London, I thought I'd write about my favourite Christmas Lights just in case some of you are planning to visit London during this time.
- It's no doubt that Regent Street has the the most beautiful Christmas Lights in London. The long street connecting Piccadilly Circus and Oxford Circus is adorned by the "Spirits of Christmas" which are lit up around the second week of November.
2. Oxford Street
- Always the first one to be lit up, Oxford Street officially welcomes Christmas in London, in my opinion that is. It's my least favourite street in London because of the crazy amount of people visiting the area (mainly for shopping), but I would definitely visit for the lights.
- When I lived and worked in Central London, I thoroughly enjoyed my early morning walks along Carnaby Street, more so during Christmas time when the street is adorned with beautiful light displays and unique decorations. Last year's "Kaleidoscope" theme was my favourite because of the fluttering butterflies.
4. Covent Garden
- You will find London's biggest Christmas tree in the heart of Covent Garden. Apparently, the hand-picked Christmas tree will be even bigger this year, so I cannot wait to see it when it's up and lights are switched on. But apart from the iconic Christmas tree, I also love their giant Christmas baubles and mirror balls.
5. Coventry Street
- The last six Christmases, I looked forward to the Christms lights in Coventry Street. They may not be as magnificent as the rest of the Christmas Lights on my list, but this was local to us, hence it was and still is very special to me.
6. Bond Street
- For the last three years at least, Bond Street was adorned with peacock details. This year, I read that we will be treated with display inspired by the The Crown Jewels. I cannot wait to see the display when it's finally lit.
7. Seven Dials
- Also in Covent Garden, you will find the Christmas lights in Seven Dials. The theme is the last few years has been festive woodlands.
8. Fortnum and Mason
- Fortnum's advent calendar Christmas display will always be my favourite. But it's not only the giant advent calendar that I look forward to each year, but also the shop windows that are adorned with moving ornaments. They are simply magnificent to watch.
- Just off Oxford Street (on Mayfair side) is South Molton Street where the blue-lit triangular archways are found.
10. Annabel's- 46 Berkeley Square
- Annabel's facade is always spectacular, with their theme changing every season. But it is at Christmas time when the most extravagant facade in London is probably at its best. The last few years that I have been visiting the building, I have seen a giant gingerbread house, candy canes, swans, ballerinas, Santa Claus and even the Three Kings. And yes, last year they teamed up with Swarovski, and apparently the facade was dusted with crystals, but why not?
11. St James's
- The Christmas tree in St James's may not be as big as the one in Covent Garden, but it is my favourite because it is simple yet elegant. I always look forward to seeing this tree lit up every year because it brings me so much joy.
12. New Bond Street
- Most, if not all shops in London adorn their windows with Christmas ornaments, however it is the Cartier flagship store in New Bond Street that people (mostly influencers) are obsessed with, and I don't blame them because it is truly dazzling.
- Maybe I should have written a "Walking Christmas Light Tour" instead on second thought as most of the locations on my list are close to one another and are within walking distance form each other. Anyway, a few steps away from Cartier is the Burlington Arcade. They, too put on a spectacular Christmas display, and for some reason I often feel cosy walking through the arcade not just at Christmas, but all throughout the winter.
There are of course many other beautiful Christmas displays in London, however I am not so keen on walking around in the winter, hence I focused on the areas that are within 15- minutes walk from where we used to live. It just so happened that we lived conveniently near Piccadilly Circus for over six years, that's why I was motivated to see the lights.
Apparently, we will be seeing some changes in this year's displays and also, the lights will be turned on for a shorter period of time this year to save energy.