This post may contain affiliate links to tours and hotels. These help us earn a small commission at no additional charge to you.
2023 sees the return of traditional festive favourite light displays in London, from the classic light displays to epic new London Christmas light shows illuminating the outskirts of the capital.
From a cavalcade of Christmas lights in Carnaby Street through to Seven Dials twinkly Christmas illuminations, it is great to see the 2023 London Christmas lights in full sparkle. They are one of our favourite festive free things to do in London!
From the bright Christmas lights of Oxford Circus to the classic Christmas illuminations of Chelsea, here is our top Christmas lights in London 2023:
You might like:
- Best Christmas Events in London 2023 >
- Best Christmas Markets in London 2023 >
- Best Christmas Shopping in London 2023 >
- Best Christmas Ice-Skating Rinks in London 2023 >
Table of Contents
Christmas Lights in London 2023
1. Carnaby Christmas Lights; Carnaby Universe – switched on 2nd November 2023
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. The Carnaby Christmas Lights are set to be switched on from Thursday 2nd November 2023.
This year’s Christmas installation on Carnaby Street is called ‘Carnaby Universe’ and shoppers will be immersed in a colourful display of neon colourscapes, lightwaves which create a ‘moving vortex’, along with huge Christmas arches at each end of the street.
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).
From 22nd November, there will be a Choose Love shop stocking supplied and life saving equipment for refugees.
There is a special Christmas shopping and dining event at Carnaby Street on 2nd November between 4pm and 8pm and we think it is worth making a night of it by seeing the lights and then having some dinner / Christmas shopping.
You might like – A Christmas Carol and Charles Dickens Old London Walking Tour >
2. Regent Street Christmas Lights – switched on from 9th November 2023
Hark the herald angel sings, glory to the newborn…etc! Regent Street’s Christmas lights in London switch on from 9th November 2023 and once again feature an awesome array of angels from upon high.
Located near Piccadilly, the Regent Street Christmas Lights are one of the best light displays in central London.
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).
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).
Also new for 2023, the neighbouring Piccadilly streets of Quadrant Arcade, St James’s Market Glasshouse Street, Heddon Street and Swallow Street will also be lit up with their own London Christmas lights.
You might like – London Christmas Lights Walking tour for Kids and Families >
3. Chelsea Christmas Lights – from 18th November 2023
West London’s upmarket Chelsea district is one of London’s best Christmas shopping destinations and will have colourful Christmas lights in 2023 to match.
Chelsea will be lit up in style this Christmas making it a prime choice for Christmas retail therapy.
There is a special day of Christmas events planned for Saturday 18th November to coincide with the big Chelsea Christmas light switch including a visit from Father Christmas and some festive fireworks.
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.
Whilst seeing the Chelsea Christmas lights, check out Chelsea Sloane Square and King’s Road for one of London’s best shopping streets, or the Duke of York Square Food Market, one of our favourite street food markets in London.
YOU MIGHT LIKE: The best Christmas markets in London 2023 >
4. Covent Garden – Christmas lights switched on from 7th November 2023
Covent Garden Christmas village, tree and lights runs from 7th November 2023 to January 2024.
Fact – Christmas in London isn’t Christmas without a visit to the Covent Garden Christmas tree, set in the middle of the pretty piazza.
Covent Garden Market decorations also boast huge mirror balls and massive mistletoes hanging from the ceiling, and are one of the best free things to do in London at Christmas.
If you want a sneak preview of what Christmas in Covent Garden looks like, check out the Wham inspired Christmas movie, Last Christmas, starring Emilia Clarke and Emma Thompson (much of it was filmed in and around Covent Garden and Soho at Christmas).
Head across to Covent Garden from 1st November 2023 onwards to see all their Christmas lights, explore the Christmas stores and then reward yourself with a hot mulled-wine.
For the best views of the Covent Garden Christmas tree, grab a pint of beer (or glass of mulled wine) from the Punch and Judy pub and take a seat (and blanket) on the outdoor balcony.
Many restaurants in Covent Garden are also taking part in a Christmas Sandwich Festival this December – crumbs!
Returning in 2023 will be the small Covent Garden Christmas Village Market (in front of Sushi Samba) with festive themed pop-up food stalls and the magical Wonder Wood, a perfect seasonal selfie spot.
You can also visit the historic Covent Garden Christmas sleigh, that dates back to the 1880s, and pose for photos in the sleigh (although Santa will alas not be around).
Festive Thursdays return to Covent Garden throughout November and December 2023 for late night shopping, Christmas discounts, festive happy hours and live performances.
You might like – top things to do in Covent Garden >
London Christmas lights 2023 tours you might like
- London Christmas Lights Tour by open top bus with Get Your Guide or Viator
- Christmas Lights Walking Tour in London
- Christmas Lights Bike Tour of London
- Christmas Party Tour – Silent Disco Walking Tours
5. Seven Dials Christmas Lights– switched on from 7th November 2023
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.
In previous years to coincide with the Seven Dials Christmas lights, they have held a Seven Dials Winter Festival giving Londoners access to entertainment pop-ups and exclusive discounts – this is still TBC for 2023.
Nearby Seven Dials Market, a top London street food court also spruces itself up with Christmas lights in November and December and is a top Christmas venue.
6. Oxford Street Starlight Christmas Lights – switch on 2nd November 2023
Likely the most famous Christmas lights in London in 2023 (and the most anticipated), the Oxford Street Starlight Christmas lights in 2023 are bound to be a showstopper and bring traffic to a stop (well, them and the traffic lights).
The Oxford Street Christmas Lights see over 100,000 stars lit up along London’s busiest thoroughfare – these super stars can also be sponsored by anyone in return for a donation to the children’s charity Starlight.
Christmas continues on Oxford Street and the festive light display will be up in full force from 2nd November 2023 – this coincides with the switching on of the Carnaby Street Christmas Lights on the same evening so make a Christmas light night of it!
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, filling the London skies with stars – nice!
YOU MIGHT LIKE: Things to do near Oxford Circus station >
London Travel Planning Facebook Group by CK Travels
Need help with your London travel itinerary or have any questions about your upcoming trip? Join our brand new online community! Click here to join our London Travel Planning and Tips Facebook group
7. Trafalgar Square Christmas Lights and Christmas Tree – from 7th November 2023
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 7th December 2023 and free to visit, accessible 24 hours a day in December.
It is adorned with hundreds of lit bulbs (plus the occasional pigeon), and is also a prime spot to see London’s Christmas lights sparkle in the nearby side streets.
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.
No word yet on whether there will be a Trafalgar Square Christmas Market in 2023 but if so, it usually runs from 7th December until early January.
Try this – London Christmas Lights Open Top Bus Tour >
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 (along with a Christmas market and pop-up street food stalls).
Running daily from 4.20pm until 10pm from the 15th November 2023 to 7th January 2024, old favourite light displays will be joined by new installations (who doesn’t love a Christmas light tunnel?). The Temperate House will also be festooned with winter colours.
2023 London Christmas at Kew Gardens prices start from:
Non-member; Adult; Off Peak £22.50/ Peak £29.00.
Kew Members get a discount to Kew at Christmas; Adult: Off Peak £19.50/ Peak £24.00.
Looking for a perfect London Christmas present in 2023?
9. Hyde Park Winter Wonderland – from 17th November 2023
Ok, so not strictly Christmas lights in the traditional sense, we’ve rounded out our top 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 17th November 2023 to 1st January 2024.
Fun Christmas events and things to do at Winter Wonderland London this year include ice-sculpting workshops, Ice Mountain, a real ice slide and the UK’s largest open-air ice rink.
New shows at Winter Wonderland for 2023 include Justin Fletcher’s Singalong Christmas, Zipp’s Christmas Circus and a stunt show from Cirque Berserk, Tornado. You’ll find us in Bar Ice, literally the coolest bar in London.
The main difference at Winter Wonderland this year compared to previous years is that the event is now ticketed and only a handful of early, off-peak sessions are free (weekday entry before 2pm is free).
2023 Winter Wonderland tickets for admission start from £5 for standard admission or £7 peak admission at weekends.
10. Marylebone Village Christmas lights 2023 — from 9th November, 2023
Marylebone Village in central London (near Oxford Street) is promising a Merry Marylebone Christmas in 2023 with a big switch on event that retains a village vibe.
The Merry Marylebone Village Christmas lights will be switched on at 6pm on 9th November 2023 with live events and music including Father Christmas’s grotto, a ferris wheel plus hands-on Christmas workshops.
The Marylebone Village Christmas Lights in 2023 will have a sustainable ethos, made from recycled bottles – plastic fantastic!
11. Bond Street Christmas Lights – from November 2023 (exact dates still TBC)
Running in parallel to Piccadilly, London’s Bond Street is perhaps best known as THE best place in central London for luxury shopping and Christmas lights.
Bond Street is famous for designer goods, exclusive boutique stores, high end jewellers and art galleries, many of whom put on their own opulent Christmas window displays.
One of the best known London Christmas light displays along Bond Street is the Cartier Christmas display. Each year, the luxury store dresses itself like a huge Christmas present, complete with Christmas bow.
Given there is a red London phone-box right outside too, this makes it one of the most Instagrammable locations in London.
All the major international luxury brands can be found here from Prada to Gucci, Tiffanys & Co to Alexander McQueen, Rolex and more.
There are several other smaller London Christmas light displays in 2023 including:
12. Leadenhall Market – from mid November 2023 (exact dates TBC)
Leadenhall Market is one of London’s most historic markets (originally built in the 14th century) and an equally beautiful place to visit at Christmas (or any time of the year really) – the interiors are stunning and intricately painted.
Walk along the covered, cobbled streets and lanes in Leadenhall Market, browse the stalls or simply grab a winter warming mulled wine at one of the old bars here and marvel at the architecture, imagining all that has happened here over the last several hundred years.
13. London West End Christmas Lights (Leicester Square, Piccadilly and St Martin’s Lane) – from 9 November 2023
So after a theatre trip or late night tipple in central London, be sure to check out these London Christmas lights.
Combine the lights with a visit to the Leicester Square Christmas Market which runs until January 7th 2024.
14. London Eye
Every year towards Christmas, the London Eye on South Bank becomes a festive ferris wheel, lit up in the colours of Christmas.
As well as a fun festive thing to do in London, the London Eye usually has a starring role in the annual London New Year’s Eve fireworks, seen globally by millions of people on TV.
15. Kings Cross / Coal Drops Yard – 2023 dates TBC
Once one of the more dreary and notorious parts of London, King’s Cross has transformed itself in recent years – some serious redevelopment money has been poured into the neighbourhood making it one of the most desirable districts in central London.
King’s Cross is an ideal place for Christmas shopping with some fun Christmas pop ups and inventive Christmas trees in the past.
Most years, Coal Drops Yard installs a curling rink at Christmas, a cut above the usual ice skating rinks you see everywhere else.
You might like – Things to do in Kings Cross, London >
You might like – The best 20+ best immersive experiences in London >
16. Belgravia Christmas Lights – switched on from 15th November 2023
A very classy Christmas light display, Belgravia blossoms into full Christmas mode from 15th November with bright white lights and a pop up market.
Close to Victoria Station, Belgravia’s big Christmas light switch on will see a pop up Christmas Market in Eccleston Yards, plus Christmas choral classics from the London Gay Men’s Choir.
You might like – Things to do in Belgravia, London >
17. Greenwich Christmas Market Lights – from 15th November 2023
We’ve always been a big fan of Greenwich Market, so much so that we include it in our best London markets list. At any time of year, Greenwich Market is a good place to eat, drink and be merry but particularly so at Christmas.
The main Christmas lights in Greenwich will be switched on between 4pm and 6pm on 15th November 2023, accompanied by a Greenwich lantern parade through the streets!
On previous Christmas visits, we’ve also seen / heard the local St John’s brass-band playing carol songs and raising money for charity.
We would recommend going a little earlier in the day if possible so you can explore Greenwich by daytime then enjoy the Christmas lights at night along with all the other festive fun.
Afterwards, treat yourself to a pint or mulled wine in one of these top pubs in Greenwich >
18. Savile Row Christmas Lights – new for 2023
Although we aren’t saying this new London Christmas light display is a ‘cut’ above the rest, you may want to check out the illuminated golden shears that are now hanging above Savile Row, London’s famous tailoring street.
Lit up from 16 November, the Savile Row Christmas Lights run from the corner of Burlington Gardens to the edge of Clifford Street.
19. 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?!.
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.
Other Christmas in London posts you might like
- Christmas events in London 2023 guide
- The best Christmas markets in London 2023 guide
- The best Christmas ice skating rinks in London 2023 guide
- The best Christmas shopping in London 2023 guide
Other London posts you might like
- Things to do near London Bridge station
- Things to do near Liverpool Street Station
- Things to do near Victoria Station in London
- The 10 best markets in London to visit
- Top things to do in Chiswick
- Sky Garden London, 2020 – a guide & how to get free tickets
- Leadenhall Market in London guide
- Things to do in Notting Hill, west London
- God’s Own Junkyard – London’s neon nirvana
- South Bank walk – the best walk in London (with map)
- Things to do in the historic Square Mile London
- Top things to do in Greenwich, London
Did you enjoy our best Christmas lights in London 2023 blog post? Let us know in the comments or by sharing it on social media.