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Top 10 Christmas Lights in London (2023 guide)

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2023 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 in Carnaby Street through to Seven Dials sparkly but subtle Christmas illuminations, it is great to see London Christmas lights return to full beam in 2023. They are one of our favourite free things to do in London!

The photos in this article are from previous years, and we will be updating them with new 2023 London Christmas lights as soon as they get switched on. Here is our top 10 Christmas lights in London 2023:

1. Carnaby Christmas Lights – 2023 dates TBC

The first of London’s Christmas lights to switch on in 2023, the Carnaby Street colourful Christmas lights return as big and bold as ever.

This year’s installation is called ‘Carnaby Celebrates’ and is a display of all the best decorations they’ve had over the past 25 years including floating planets, Rolling Stones tongues and a giant snowman!

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
2021’s display – new photo to come!

Usually a special shopping and dining event is planned at Carnaby Street in early November and we think it is worth making a night of it by seeing the lights and then having some dinner / Christmas shopping. There are still heaps of good fashion and clothing stores in the area offering 20% off.

Check out our things to do in Soho guide >

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2. Regent Street Christmas Lights – 2023 dates TBC

Hark the herald angel sings, glory to the newborn…etc! Regent Street’s Christmas lights in London in 2023 once again feature an awesome array of angels from upon high.

To get the best photos and viewpoints for the Regent Street lights in Christmas 2023, 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, we 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 all the Christmas lights all to yourself (ish).

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3. Chelsea Christmas Lights – 2023 dates TBC

West London’s upmarket Chelsea district is one of London’s best Christmas shopping destinations and they will likely have colourful Christmas lights in 2023 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 2023, 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 – 2023 dates TBC

A fun, festive Fact – Christmas in London (probably) isn’t the same without a trip to the usual tourist trap that is Covent Garden.

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 Christmas decorations in 2023 will also likely 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 November 2023 onwards to see all their Christmas lights, explore the Christmas stores and then reward yourself with a hot mulled-wine.

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5. Seven Dials Christmas Lights – 2023 dates TBC

Seven Dials near Covent Garden will know how to do a classy Christmas in 2023. 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.

Seven Dials Christmas Lights 2021

To coincide with the Seven Dials Christmas lights in 2023, 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 – 2023 dates TBC

Likely the most famous Christmas lights in London in 2023 (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 from November 2023 (exact date to be confirmed).

As an indicator of what to expect in Christmas 2023, they’ll likely consume the full length of Oxford Street and have several superb light displays.

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Oxford Street Christmas Lights 2021

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7. Trafalgar Square Christmas Lights and Christmas Tree – 2023 dates TBC

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 London (if not 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 December 2023 and free to visit, accessible 24 hours a day in December. FACT – 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.

You might like – The best Christmas shopping in London 2023 guide >

8. Christmas Lights at Kew Gardens – from 15th November 2023

Cool as a Kew-cumber left out overnight, Kew Gardens Christmas lights return in 2023/ 24 (along with a Christmas market and pop-up street food stalls).

Credit: Hannah Robinson

Lighting up Kew Gardens daily from 4pm until 10pm from 15th November 2023 to 7th January 2024, 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 2023 ticket >

Credit: Hannah Robinson

Looking for a perfect London Christmas present in 2023?

Try the Go City Pass London – choose from over 70 London attractions for one fixed price >

9. Lightopia at Crystal Palace – Cancelled for 2023

Brand new this year for 2022 / 23, 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 16th November 2022 to 8th January 2023, 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 – 2023 dates TBC

Ok, so not strictly Christmas lights in the traditional sense, we’ve rounded out our top 10 Christmas lights in London 2023 list with the return of Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park which is bigger and better than ever before.

The Hyde Park Winter Wonderland Christmas lights will run from November 2023 to early January 2024.

London Winter Wonderland Hyde Park photos

The main difference 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 free admission if you spend £25 on any attraction, ride or game in advance online.

Book your tickets to Winter Wonderland >

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