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2022 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.
The photos in this article are from last year (2021), and we will be updating them with new 2022 London Christmas lights as soon as they get switched on. Here is our top 10 Christmas lights in London 2022:
1. Carnaby Christmas Lights – from 8 November 2022
The first of London’s Christmas lights to switch on in 2022, 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).
A special event is planned at Carnaby Street on 8 November from 5 pm to 9pm 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 offering 20% off), 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 2022 – dates TBC
Hark the herald angel sings, glory to the newborn…etc! Regent Street’s Christmas lights in London in 2022 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).
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 – dates TBC
West London’s upmarket Chelsea district is one of London’s best Christmas shopping destinations and they have colourful Christmas lights to match.
Chelsea will be lit up in style this Christmas making it a prime choice for Christmas retail therapy. From November 2022, 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.
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4. Covent Garden Christmas Lights – 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. 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 November 2022 onwards to see all their Christmas lights, explore the Christmas stores and then reward yourself with a hot mulled-wine.
London Christmas lights tours you might like
- London Christmas Lights Tour by open top bus with Get Your Guide or Viator
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5. Seven Dials Christmas Lights – dates TBC
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).
To coincide with the Seven Dials Christmas lights in 2022, 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 – 2nd November 2022 onwards
Likely the most famous Christmas lights in London in 2022 (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 on 2nd November 2022. 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.
7. Trafalgar Square Christmas Lights and Christmas Tree – 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 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 2022 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 16 November 2022
Cool as a Kew-cumber left out overnight, Kew Gardens Christmas lights return in 2022/ 23 (along with a Christmas market and pop-up street food stalls).
Lighting up Kew Gardens daily from 4pm until 10pm from 16th November 2022 to 8th January 2023, 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.
9. Lightopia at Crystal Palace – from 17th November 2022
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?!.
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.
10. Hyde Park Winter Wonderland – from 18 November 2022
Ok, so not strictly Christmas lights in the traditional sense, we’ve rounded out our top 10 Christmas lights in London 2022 list with the return of Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park which is bigger and better than ever before.
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.
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