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Top 10 Christmas lights in London (2021 guide)

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2021 sees the return of traditional festive favourite light displays in London, from the classic central London light displays to epic new Christmas light shows illuminating the outskirts of the capital.

From a cavalcade of Christmas lights and love in Carnaby Street through to Seven Dial’s sparkly but subtle Christmas illuminations, it is great to see London Christmas lights return to full beam this year after the chaos of Covid-19.

We’ve been out exploring the capital in the run up to the most wonderful time of the year, photographing Christmas lights in London as they are switched on (many begin in November 2021 but some not until early December) so here we shed some ‘light ‘(ahem) on the top 10 Christmas lights in London 2021:

1. Carnaby Christmas Lights – from November 4, 2021

The first of London’s Christmas lights to switch on in 2021, the Carnaby Street colourful Christmas lights return as big and bold as ever. With a theme of love and kindness this year, Carnaby Street Christmas Lights are once again trying to raise money for good causes and this year, their Christmas lights are in collaboration with the Choose Love charity, raising funds for refugees (donations are always appreciated).

Carnaby Christmas Lights in London. Copyright CK Travels

Several special events are planned at Carnaby Street this year in the run up to Christmas and we think it is worth making a night of it by seeing the lights and then doing a bit of Christmas shopping (there are still heaps of good fashion and clothing stores in the area), before having a bite to eat or drink in Kingly Court (three floors of bars and restaurants with cuisines from all over the world, centred around a courtyard – you’re welcome).


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2. Regent Street Christmas Lights – from November 18, 2021

Hark the herald angel sings, glory to the newborn…etc! Regent Street’s Christmas lights in London in 2021 once again feature an awesome array of angels from upon high.

To get the best photos and viewpoints, take your pics from the central reservation by the four-way pedestrian crossing (try not to get hit by a tuk-tuk as they hurtle along Regent Street looking for their next victim…sorry, I mean fare).

Regent Street Christmas Lights  2021

Alternatively hop aboard one of the iconic red London buses that run along Regent Street regularly and try to bag a front row spot on the top deck. It is even better late at night or the early hours of the morning on a night bus, as there is little to no traffic and it feels like you have the lights all to yourself (ish).


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3. Chelsea Christmas Lights – from November 20, 2021

West London’s upmarket Chelsea district is one of London’s best Christmas shopping destinations and they have colourful Christmas lights to match.

Chelsea Christmas Lights London

Chelsea will be lit up in style this Christmas making it a prime choice for Christmas retail therapy. From November 20th 2021, the main Chelsea area around Duke of York Square and Sloane Street will be adorned with twinkling Christmas trees and star lights. Likely to be a hit with Instagrammers and the occasional Sloane Ranger, check out the Chelsea Christmas lights this year.

Chelsea Christmas Lights London

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4. Covent Garden Christmas Lights from November 9, 2021

A fun, festive Fact – Christmas in London (probably) isn’t the same without a trip to the usual tourist trap that is Covent Garden. Although it isn’t high on our list at other times of the year, Covent Garden becomes a winter wonderland at Christmas, with a postcard perfect Christmas tree (sorry, should that be Christmas card perfect?), lit up in all its glory, centred in the pretty piazza.

Covent Garden Market decorations also boast huge mirror balls and massive mistletoes hanging from the ceiling (you feel like you are in The Borrowers, looking up at massive objects).

Head across to Covent Garden from 9 November 2021 onwards to see all their Christmas lights, explore the Christmas stores and then reward yourself with a hot mulled-wine.


5. Seven Dials Christmas Lights 2021

Seven Dials near Covent Garden knows how to do a classy Christmas – their annual Christmas light displays are always a smaller affair but the setting is usually serene, with sparkling fairy lights ( all white) adorning the trees in and around the main square and focal point, the seven sided sundial (hence how the area gots it name).

Seven Dials Christmas Lights 2021

To coincide with the Seven Dials Christmas lights in 2021, they’ll be holding a Seven Dials Winter Festival giving Londoners access to entertainment pop-ups, exclusive discounts, fun masterclasses plus best of all, a free drink from the Prosecco Cart based in nearby Earlham Street – this sounds like our kind of place – we’ll meet you at the champers cart!



6. Oxford Street Christmas Lights 2021

Likely the most famous Christmas lights in London in 2021 (and the most anticipated), the Oxford Street Christmas lights are bound to be a showstopper and bring traffic to a stop (well, them and the traffic lights).

Christmas continues on Oxford Street and the festive light display will be up in full force by early November 2021. As an indicator of what to expect, they’ll likely consume the full length of Oxford Street and last year, almost 30 Christmas light boxes spring up with personalised and rotating messages (think of a TV screen but made of LED lights) talking of Love, Hope and festive messages of thanks to the key workers.

Oxford Street Christmas Lights 2021

7. Trafalgar Square Christmas Lights and Christmas Tree – from December 2, 2021

We’ve always known the nice people of Norway were generous but did you know that every year since 1947, we’ve been gifted a Scandinavian fir Christmas tree from the Norwegians as a sign of gratitude for our help in World War II? Takk!

Likely the most famous Christmas tree in the UK, this iconic and illuminated Christmas tree dominates the skyline of Westminster, lifted into place in the centre of Trafalgar Square. The Trafalgar Square Christmas tree is back once again from 2 December 2021 and free to visit, accessible 24 hours a day in December (it is amazing the amount of drunk people who congregate there in the early hours to rock back and forth and marvel at the lights – a quintessential British experience).


8. Christmas Lights at Kew Gardens – from 17 November, 2021

Cool as a Kew-cumber left out overnight, Kew Gardens Christmas lights return in 2021/ 22 (along with a Christmas market and pop-up street food stalls).

Credit: Hannah Robinson

Lighting up Kew Gardens daily from 4pm until 10pm from Wednesday 17 November 2021 until Sunday 9 January 2022, old festive favourite light displays will be joined by new illuminated installations (who doesn’t love a Christmas light tunnel?) and the recently restored Temperate House will be a kaleidoscope of Christmas colours and winter blooms.

Book your Christmas at Kew Gardens ticket >

Credit: Hannah Robinson

9. Lightopia at Crystal Palace – from November 19, 2021

Brand new this year for 2021 / 22, North London’s newest night-time Christmas lightshow is Lightopia at Crystal Palace. We hope and pray that the Crystal Palace dinosaurs will be given festive hats with illuminated candy canes – if not, why not?!.

Lightopia at Crystal Palace 2021 Christmas lights

Set to power up from November 19 2021 (until January 2nd 2022), expect to see lush lanterns, Christmas capers and festive food stalls. Other Lightopia events also take place in other locations including Alton Towers in Staffordshire and Heaton Park in Manchester.

Book your Lightopia ticket >

Lightopia at Crystal Palace 2021 Christmas lights

10. Hyde Park Winter Wonderland – from 19 November, 2021

Ok, so not strictly Christmas lights in the traditional sense, we’ve rounded out our top 10 Christmas lights in London 2021 list with the return of Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park. After a year off due to Covid-19 and lockdown restrictions, Hyde Park Winter Wonderland returns bigger and better than ever before.

London Winter Wonderland Hyde Park photos

The main difference this year compared to last time (2019) is that Winter Wonderland in London is now ticketed / paid for admission and only a handful of early, off-peak sessions are free.

Tickets for admission begin at £5 although there are package deals online where you get in gratis if you pre-book a £20 food and drink voucher pp – however, if you are interested primarily in the Hyde Park Christmas lights, you’ll likely be able to get the best view from Marble Arch mound, which has popped up this year in a controversial fashion (it is free however so a good spot to see the bright Christmas lights of London, but you will need to book online in advance to secure a spot).

Book your tickets to Winter Wonderland >


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