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The classic tour is pleased to present our christmas special – a christmas lights experience.

Jump on board our classic open top Routemaster bus, which has been decked out (pardon the pun) in Christmas décor to get you in the festive mood! We will take you on a tour to see London’s most iconic Christmas light attractions including the famous Oxford street, Harrods and Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park. We look forward to seeing you on our Vintage Christmas Lights Tour of London.

Please be aware that due to the nature of London traffic and road closures it may not always be possible to see every landmark advertised on the route. We will always try our best to warn customers if this is the case but it may not always be possible.

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15 Places to See the London Christmas Lights (+Photos & Map)

Julie Last updated: December 31, 2023 England , United Kingdom Leave a Comment

London Christmas Lights

When it comes to Christmas lights, London is one of the brightest cities in the world. From November through early January, the city streets sparkle with brilliant displays of twinkling lights and holiday decorations. If you are planning a visit during this holiday season, seeing the London Christmas lights is one of the best things to do while you are here.

In this guide, we list 15 places to see the London Christmas lights, with photos of each so you know what to expect. At the end of this guide, you can see them all on a map (or skip ahead now).

Note: Our photos were taken in December 2022.

Table of Contents

Best Way to See the London Christmas Lights

In December, the sun sets at 3:50 pm, which gives you plenty of evening hours to see the London Christmas lights.

With the exception of Kew Gardens, everything on our list is located in central London, so you won’t have to go far to see the London Christmas lights. You can get to all of these with very short walks from the Underground and while sightseeing in London.

It would be very challenging to get to all of these in one evening, and it would get somewhat repetitive, so we think it is best to see the London Christmas lights over a 2 to 3 days. At the end of this guide, we list two walking loops that include visits to the best of the London Christmas lights.

But if you are short on time or what to see them all in one night, there are several bus tours of London that take you to the long list of illuminated streets.

Seeing the London Christmas lights is one of best free things to do during the holiday season. Simply walk the streets, gaze up at the brilliant displays, and fill your camera’s memory cards with lots of festive photos.

When Are the London Christmas Lights Turned On and Off?

The London Christmas lights are turned on sometime between early and mid-November (between November 7 and November 17). If you want to see the city fully illuminated, plan your visit for November 18 or later.

The lights are usually on from 3 pm through 11 pm, although this can vary by location.

The London Christmas lights are turned off during the first week of January, usually around January 6 or 7.

London Christmas Lights

1. regent street.

One of the best displays of Christmas lights in London is along Regent Street.

Regent Street Christmas Lights Photo | London Christmas Lights

Regent Street | London Christmas Lights

This is where it all started…the tradition of hanging Christmas lights in London started on Regent Street in 1954. 

With a theme of “The Spirit of Christmas,” a canopy of twinkling spirits run the length of Regent Street, from Langham Place, through Oxford Circus, to Waterloo Place. Add in few red double decker buses and shops decorated for Christmas and you have one of the best places in London to see the Christmas lights. Regent Street was also the cover photo for this article.

2. Piccadilly

Running from Green Park to Piccadilly Circus, illuminated figures of Anteros, the Greek god requited love, sparkle overhead.

Piccadilly Street London Christmas Lights

Piccadilly Street 

Don’t miss another holiday favorite, Fortnum and Mason, which is located on Piccadilly. The outside of this store is decorated as an advent calendar. Each day in December, another window is illuminated, counting down the days until Christmas.

Fortnum and Mason Christmas | London Christmas Lights

Fortnum and Mason

Also on Piccadilly is the Burlington Arcade. This covered walkway is decorated for Christmas and inside, go shopping for jewelry, leather goods, and clothing.

Burlington Arcade Christmas | London Christmas Lights

Burlington Arcade

3. Oxford Street

On Oxford Street, one of the busiest shopping streets in London, hundreds of illuminated stars twinkle overhead. While on Oxford Street, make sure you see the holiday window displays at Selfridges department store.

Oxford Street London Christmas Lights

Oxford Street

4. Grosvenor Square

At Christmas time, Grosvenor Square is transformed into the Ever After Garden. More than 20,000 illuminated white roses carpet the square. Entrance is free and visitors can make a donation to dedicate one of the roses in honor of a lost loved one. The money that is raised is then donated to the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity.

Grosvenor Square Roses | London Christmas Lights

Grosvenor Square

5. South Moulton Street in Mayfair

Running along this pedestrian street are illuminated blue LED arches. It’s definitely a beautiful sight to see, since it’s different than the spirits, stars, and crowns that adorn many of the other streets in London.

Mayfair London Christmas Lights

South Moulton Street

6. New Bond and Old Bond Streets

New Bond Street starts at Oxford Street, running south until it changes to Old Bond Street. This street is home to some of the most high-end shopping stores in London.

Overhead, sparkling crowns and crown jewels illuminate the street. But the best part of a visit to Bond Street is seeing the spectacular window displays, some of the best in the city.

Bond Street Christmas Lights | London Christmas Lights

New Bond Street

Bond Street Lights

Cartier, Dior, and Tiffany spared no expense in decorating the storefronts with elaborate holiday displays. It’s worth a stroll down this swanky street to see the London Christmas lights and holiday decorations, and do a little window shopping.

Cartier London Christmas Lights

7. Carnaby Street

Carnaby Street is a trendy pedestrian shopping street in Soho, just a few blocks east of Regent Street.

The lights that illuminate this street have a different theme each year. In 2022, the theme was “Carnaby Celebrates,” with lights used from the past 25 years as well as installations celebrating the Rolling Stones and Queen.

Carnaby Street Lights | London Christmas Lights

Carnaby Street

Carnaby Street

8. Trafalgar Square

Every year, a tree is gifted from Norway to Britain, a tradition that has been going on since 1947. It is usually a 50-year-old Norway spruce that is adorned with over 500 white lights. The tree stands in Trafalgar Square from the first Thursday in December through early January.

Trafalgar Square Christmas Lights | London Christmas Lights

Trafalgar Square at Christmas

Also in Trafalgar Square is a Christmas market, where you can do some shopping, see more Christmas lights, and listen to carolers.

9. Churchill Arms

Churchill Arms is one of the oldest pubs in London, dating back to 1750. It gets its name because Winston Churchill’s grandparents were regular visitors here.

The exterior of Churchill Arms is decorated 365 days of the year with flowers, making it also one of the most photographed pubs in London.

In December, thousands of lights are strung along the outside of Churchill Arms and the inside gets a covering of lights as well, plus some Christmas decorations here and there.

Churchill Arms at Christmas | London Christmas Lights

Inside Churchill Arms

The Churchill Arms is one of the most festive pubs to have a pint of beer. If you’re hungry, Thai food is on the menu. 

The exterior Christmas lights do not come on until 6 pm (at least during our visit in 2022), even though it is dark by 4 pm. Keep this in mind when planning your visit.

Churchill Arms Christmas

Churchill Arms at 3:45 pm (go later in the day to see the lights turned on!).

10. Elizabeth Street, Belgravia

Belgravia is a neighborhood that sits to the west of Buckingham Palace and to the south of Hyde Park. This area is quieter than places like Oxford Street and Covent Garden and has more of a residential vibe.

Elizabeth Street London

Elizabeth Street

We strolled along Elizabeth Street and the highlight was a visit to Peggy Porschein Belgravia, which serves decadent holiday-themed cupcakes.

Christmas Cupcakes

Christmas cupcakes at Peggy Porschein Belgravia

11. South Bank & the London Eye

During the Christmas holiday season, the London Eye is illuminated with a variety of colors.

One of the best places to see and photograph the London Eye is from the west end of Westminster Bridge, near the Westminster tube station.

London Eye Christmas | London Christmas Lights

London Eye from Westminster Bridge

There is also a Christmas market on South Bank, just a few steps from the London Eye, which has an array of colorful Christmas lights on the trees. The photo below was taken from Belvedere Road, looking back to the London Eye.

London Eye Christmas Lights

London Eye from Belvedere Road

12. Seven Dials

Seven Dials, located in the West End of London, is another shopping area in London. At Seven Dials, seven streets converge on a roundabout. Standing within this roundabout is a pillar with six sundials.

This area is covered in Christmas lights, not just the roundabout, but also the seven streets that lead off of the circle.

Seven Dials Christmas Lights

Seven Dials

13. Neal’s Yard

Neal’s Yard is an alleyway that is located in the Seven Dials neighborhood of London. This is a colorful place to visit all year but in December, the Christmas lights make it even more festive.

Neals Yard Lights

Neal’s Yard

One of our favorite shops in London is just off of Neal’s Yard. Neal’s Yard Dairy sells amazing British and Irish cheeses.

14. Covent Garden

Covent Garden is one of London’s most popular shopping locations. With hundreds of Christmas lights, holiday decorations, street performers, and a Christmas tree that gets bigger and more brilliantly lit year after year, this is one of the most festive places in London.

See the lights, go shopping, take a break and have mulled wine or hot cider, or dine at one of the restaurants or outdoor cafes. Covent Garden is a must-see while in London.

Covent Garden at Christmas

  • Covent Garden

15. Kew Gardens

Kew Gardens is an enormous botanical garden that sits west of central London.

If you have a few days on your itinerary, it’s worth the visit to see one of the best displays of London Christmas lights. Installations change from year to year, but various parts of the gardens are illuminated in a dazzling display of Christmas lights and it takes several hours to see everything. Learn more on the official website.

Kew Gardens at Christmas

Kew Gardens at Christmas | Charles Bowman/shutterstock.com

London Christmas Lights: On a Map

How to Use This Map: Click the icons on the map to get more information about each point of interest. Click the star next to the title of the map to add this map to your Google Maps account. To view it on your phone or computer, open Google Maps, click the menu button, go to “Your Places,” click Maps, and you will see this map on your list.

Our Favorite London Christmas Lights

That’s a long list of Christmas lights. If you need help narrowing it down, here are our five favorite London Christmas lights displays:

  • Regent Street
  • New & Old Bond Streets (more for the window displays than the Christmas lights)
  • Churchill Arms
  • South Moulton Street (Mayfair)

Walking Tours of the London Christmas Lights

Trying to fit all of these Christmas lights into one day is very ambitious and would get to be repetitive. As an alternative, we have two walking loops that include most of the places listed above. Both of these are a loop, so you can start at any point, depending on your plans before or after seeing the Christmas lights.

You can see each of these walking loops on our map above.

Walking Loop #1: Piccadilly, Bond Street, Oxford & Regent Street

This walking loop is 3.2 km/2 miles and takes about 40 minutes, without stops.

Starting at Piccadilly Circus (closest Underground station: Piccadilly Circus), walk west down Piccadilly (towards Green Park), visiting the Burlington Arcade and Fortnum and Mason on the way. Turn right onto Old Bond Street and as you walk up Old and New Bond Streets, enjoy the views of the festive storefronts of Cartier, Dior, and Tiffany. From New Bond Street, turn left onto Brook Street and then turn right onto South Moulton Street, to see the illuminated blue archways and lights. This will take you to Oxford Street. Turn right, walk to Oxford Circus, turn right on Regent Street, and take this back to Piccadilly Circus. 

Optional: Before walking up South Moulton Street, you can take Brook Street two blocks to see the lights at Grosvenor Square. 34 Mayfair, a restaurant that is beautifully decorated for Christmas, is located near Grosvenor Square.

Walking Loop #2: Leicester Square, Trafalgar Square, Covent Garden & Seven Dials

This walking loop is 0.6 km/1 mile and takes 30 minutes, without stops.

Starting at Leicester Square (there is a Christmas market here), walk south to Trafalgar Square. In Trafalgar Square, see the Christmas tree, visit the Christmas market, and you have the option to visit The National Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery. From Trafalgar Square, walk east along the Strand, turn left onto Bedford Street, and walk to Covent Garden. After spending some time at Covent Garden, walk north on James Street, continue straight onto Neal Street, and turn left onto Short’s Gardens, and then turn right to enter Neal’s Yard. Once finished at Neal’s Yard, walk west down Short’s Gardens to Seven Dials. From Seven Dials, walk down Monmouth Street, turn right on Cranbourn Street, and take this back to Leicester Square.

From Leicester Square, have dinner at the Leicester Christmas market, watch an evening show at one of the nearby theaters, or have drinks and appetizers at 8 at the Londoner (great cocktails and Japanese food with rooftop views of London). 

If you have any questions about the London Christmas lights or if you want to share your experience, let us know in the comment section below.

More Information for Your Trip to London

LONDON AT CHRISTMAS: For an overview of what to do, here are 15 things to do in London at Christmas. We also have a guide on the  best Christmas markets. Learn how to put it all together in our London Christmas Itinerary.

BEST OF LONDON: For a list of the top experiences in London, read our article Best Things to Do in London . Tour Westminster Abbey in photos and plan your visit in our Guide to Westminster Abbey. And learn how to plan a day trip to Windsor Castle from London.

LONDON ITINERARY: In our article 5 Days in London , we include detailed daily itineraries for exploring London. You can do all five days or follow just a day or two, if you have less time in the city.

WHERE TO STAY: Take the guesswork out of where to stay in our article Best Places to Stay in London.

LONDON TRAVEL ADVICE: Here are 12 important things to know if it will be your first time in London.

ITINERARIES WITH LONDON: London and Paris can be combined into a wonderful 7 or 10 day trip. With 10 days, you can also visit London, Amsterdam, and Paris.

EUROPE ITINERARIES: If you have 10 days for a trip to Europe, check out our 10 Days in Europe Itinerary , which lists 10 itineraries for your next trip to Europe. If you have less time, we also have an article that lists 25 different ways to spend one week in Europe.

London Christmas Lights

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Covent Garden Christmas lights

Christmas lights in London

See the city at its most sparkly with London’s 2023 Christmas lights at full beam

Alice Saville

Even if you think Christmas is a load of consumerist claptrap, you can’t deny that London looks a whole lot better when it’s hung with strings of glistening lights and glittering Christmas trees decorating every corner. And London is never in short supply of some thoroughly excellent festive light displays. From the classic angels that beam over Regent’s Street to the snazzy, themed displays over Carnaby Street , a trip to one of these gleaming streets will flutter the heart of even the most Scrooge-like of souls . Whether you want to explore the annual favourites that pepper the centre of town, or travel out to some of London’s lesser-known displays, you’ll find all the best London illuminations in this list. 

RECOMMENDED: sign up to our excellent, free London newsletter . It's full of great suggestions.  

What dates do the Christmas lights go on in London?

London starts to fill up with Christmas light displays in early November each year, with Oxford Street's decorations leading the charge, followed by countless local displays across the city as December hits full swing. Recommended:

❄️ Find out about the  most Christmassy events  in the city.  🎄 Check out   London's very best Christmas markets .  🌟 See our full festive guide to Christmas in London .

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The best Christmas lights in London 2023

Savile Row Christmas lights

Savile Row Christmas lights

Home to historic tailors galore, Savile Row is a famously dapper street. So it's lovely to see it pay tribute to centuries of sewing heritage with this year's new lights, which show glowing golden shears cutting through silvery swathes of fabric. 

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london christmas lights tour

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London's ORIGINAL and only FULLY THEMED Christmas tours return once again for the 2023 holiday season. Christmas in London is always a special treat. As evening falls, the capital is magically transformed into a winter wonderland. Shoppers crowd up the old streets under a canopy of holiday lights while carolers take to the squares and market corners, filling the air with songs of happy golden days of yore ....

What's Included?

  • London's Original Christmas Tours: Fully guided and much more than just the lights
  • Not Just A Drive: Only tours to include the stories and traditions behind a London Christmas
  • See the best of the London Christmas lights and decorations
  • Soothing background Christmas music plays to get into the spirit of the season
  • FREE collection and return to your central London hotel (Private Tours Only) & Winter Wonderland
  • Exclusive to London Magical Tours: Driver/Guide or Tour Team (Tour Guide plus additional Chauffeur)
  • Two Tour Options for 2023: Private and Scheduled Group Tours Available

Learn more about the London Magical Tours Difference

  • Private Magical London Tour (3 hours)
  • Scheduled London Christmas Lights Bus Tour (2.5 hours)

GENERAL INFORMATION

A London Magical Tours exclusive, our Christmas themed tours are the only sightseeing experience to focus purely on the best of the holiday season in one of the world's greatest cities. 2023 sees visitors choose from two Christmas Tour offerings - a Private Tour and a Scheduled Small Group Tour running from Winter Wonderland Hyde Park on select dates:

PRIVATE TOUR

The Magical Christmas London Tour (3 hours). From £116.50pp 14th November 2023 - 6th January 2024. Includes free hotel collection and return. The complete holiday experience, a private tour to learn and discover the best of Christmas in London. See the beautiful Christmas lights and decorations, with extended stops made to go outside of the vehicle with your personal tour guide to learn all about the Christmas stories, with plenty of opportunities for photographs. This tour enters many off-the-beaten-path traditional Victorian side streets, with opportunities for escorted visits to Hamleys Toy Store, Harrods Christmas World and much more, providing a personal Christmas London experience to suit all ages. Click here for details on the Private Magical London Tour (3 hours)

SHARED SCHEDULED BUS TOUR

The London Christmas Lights Tour (2 hours 30 mins). From £89pp Next Available: Saturdays in December 2023 from Winter Wonderland Hyde Park - SOLD OUT. Don't mind sharing with other travelers? For limited dates from December you can join one of our scheduled tours to discover the best of the central London Christmas lights and holiday decorations. Groups are limited in number for a semi-personal experience. Includes collection and return to Winter Wonderland Hyde Park. Click here for Scheduled Group Tour dates and times.

LONDON CHRISTMAS TOURS BLOG

Visit the London Magical Tours blog to read comments and feedback from last years tours together with the latest Christmas videos and tour updates throughout the holiday season: London Christmas Tours Blog Updates London Christmas Tours Reviews from previous years

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Click here to see pricing for the Private Magical Christmas London Tour (3 hours) Click here to see pricing for the Scheduled Bus London Christmas Lights Tours (2.5 hours).

There are no hidden extras: prices include your private tour guide, your chauffeur, private vehicle, parking fees, collection and return to your central Manhattan hotel or Grand Central Station, and all taxes. We do not charge additional fees for card payments. Lunch/Entrance fees not included. Internet prices include a discount for online bookings. Prices are according to your party size. For example, the cost of the Half Day London Tour is $449 for a party of 5, which works out at $89.80 per person. At less than $90 pp, private tours are amazing value, offering a personal experience for less than the cost of bus tours

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London's Christmas Lights 2023: Where, When And How To See Them This Year

Laura Reynolds

Looks like this article is a bit old. Be aware that information may have changed since it was published.

London Christmas lights 2023 guide: glowing golden angels above traffic on Regent Street

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, as festive light displays switch on all over town . If you want to bask in the glow of the holiday season in London, here's the lowdown on when, where and how to see the best Christmas lights this year.

Where are London's Christmas lights and what do they look like?

There are Christmas lights across London, both central and further afield, with each area, district or high street taking responsibility for their own illuminations. The West End Christmas lights are the most illustrious, drawing huge crowds each year to Regent Street and Oxford Street, and were all switched on in November for Christmas 2023.

Oxford Street Christmas lights 2023

London Christmas lights 2023 guide: light-up stars criss-crossing above Oxford Street

After going through a couple of changes in recent years ( LED screens in 2019, messages of thanks to key workers in 2020), the 2023 Oxford Street Christmas lights are the same as those which debuted in 2021 — and are some of our favourite to date. Rows upon rows of golden stars — more than 5,000 in total — dangle above shoppers' heads, forming an astral curtain the length of the street, officially known as 'A Sky Full Of Stars'. Those stars can be sponsored in the name of a friend or family member, in support of children's charity Starlight , and there's a special 'Starlight Faerie' sculpture located at the junction of South Molton Street and Oxford Street as part of the campaign.

In order to save energy, the Oxford Street Christmas lights are only on between 3pm-11pm daily for 2023, as they were last year (as opposed to all night in previous years). See them until early January 2024.

Regent Street Christmas lights 2023

London Christmas lights 2023 guide: buses driving underneath glowing angels on Regent Street

Regent Street's heavenly festive illuminations are aglow again for 2023; the 44 'Spirit of Christmas' angels spread their wings over the busy shopping street once more, running from Langham Place in the north down beyond Piccadilly, into St James's. For the first time ever, there are installations along Glasshouse Street, Swallow Street and the Quadrant Arcade too.

They're made from 300,000 LED lights, with 64 canopies forming a twinkling 'net' over the West End. We've got a soft spot for the Regent Street lights, especially as they look decent even when viewed in broad daylight — and you get a great close-up view from a bus .

If it's a photo for the 'Gram you're after... well, far be it from us to suggest any mad, bad, or dangerous behaviour, but if you did find yourself in a safe spot (traffic island or central reservation) in the centre of the street, look up and shoot away. But also, check for traffic, please.

Like nearby Oxford Street, they're also on 3pm-11pm daily. See them until 7 January 2024.

Covent Garden Christmas lights 2023

London Christmas lights 2023 guide: giant golden bells and red baubles suspended from the ceiling of the Covent Garden Market Hall building

It's all change at Covent Garden this year, as brand new Christmas decorations have gone up inside the Market Hall building. The oversized mistletoe of previous years has gone, with 40 oversized bells taking their place, along with 12 giant red baubles. The disco balls remain, eight of them spinning constantly to add to the lighting effect, and there's a decorative Santa's sleigh at the western end, free to sit in for a festive photograph.

The 60ft Christmas tree is back too, planted in a comically oversized pot in the piazza at the western end of the market building and drenched in tiny red and white lights. The lights are on daily 11am-11pm until 7 January 2024.

Carnaby Christmas lights 2023

London Christmas lights 2023 guide: colourful and glittery lights over Carnaby Street, seen from above

Nowhere commits to a Christmas theme quite like Carnaby, switching up its overhead decorations with a brand new theme each year. For 2023, they've gone hard on sparkles, with a glittering and neon 'moving vortex' running the length of the street.

Begin outside Liberty, and gaze south down Carnaby Street for the best view of this year's psychedelic Christmas installation , put together in collaboration with refugee charity Choose Love . The lights and decorations run the length of Carnaby Street, all the way down to the junction with Beak Street. Swivel your eyes left and right down the side streets for further illuminated treats.

Bond Street Christmas lights 2023

London Christmas lights 2023 guide: an illuminated crown above a junction on Bond Street

Last year's new, Royal-inspired, jewel-themed decorations are back on Bond Street for 2023. They were originally designed to celebrate Christmas in the year of the Platinum Jubilee, but seem even more apt now in coronation year.

Four huge crowns reign supreme over four of the main junctions along Old Bond Street and New Bond Street — including right outside department store Fenwick. Between these, lights in the shape of platinum, gold, diamond and pearl necklaces are strung across Old and New Bond Street, with a tiara-inspired gateway at each end of the street. The lights are on 3pm-11pm daily.

Plenty of the shops in the area go hard for Christmas too, with some seriously impressive festive displays, including the Ralph Lauren Giving Tree, in aid of The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity. Cartier, Tiffany, Chanel and Dior are usually worth a look too, and if you've got a few minutes to spare, stroll around the corner to Annabel's in Berkeley Square, which has a giant illuminated hot air balloon facade for Christmas 2023. And if you've walked that far, you might as well continue to Grosvenor Square for a peek at the Ever After Garden (3pm-9pm daily, until 19 December) 2023.

Savile Row Christmas lights 2023

London Christmas lights 2023 guide: a mock-up of the new Savile Row lights, of shears cutting a ribbon of 'fabric' light

World-famous tailoring street Savile Row nods to its heritage with its Christmas lights, brand new for 2023. Look up to see giant shears cutting through swathes of illuminated 'fabric', with the words 'Savile Row Christmas' emblazoned across. Find them at the south end of Savile Row, running from Clifford Street to Burlington Gardens — it's only a minor diversion from Regent Street, or Bond Street in the other.

Trafalgar Square Christmas lights 2023

London Christmas lights 2023 guide: the Trafalgar Square Christmas tree lit up at night

In Trafalgar Square, it's more of a Christmas tree situation than a Christmas lights one. The Trafalgar Square tree has its own sometimes-maligned lights though — they're always switched on from the first Thursday in December — that's 7 December 2023. Before you get too critical of the cucumber-esque illuminations, bear in mind they're strung that way in a nod to Norwegian tradition, the country which has kindly gifted us a tree for the past 75 years.

Belgravia Christmas lights 2023

London Christmas lights 2023 guide:People walking beneath glowing stars

Elizabeth Street, Eccleston Yards, Pimlico Road, Halkin Arcade and Motcomb Street have all been given a festive makeover in Belgravia , including glowing stars suspended overhead, glowing angel wings where you can pose for a photo, fairy-lit archways and more.

Harrods Christmas lights 2023

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Jon Herbert l London (@jon_herbert_)

High-end department store Harrods is a popular place at Christmas, not least because of the soft golden lights which cover the front of the Knightsbridge building. Well worth taking a look if you're in the area — but tricky to photograph without putting yourself in jeopardy of passing traffic!

How to see London's Christmas lights

London Christmas lights 2023 guide: Christmas lights over a road, with a red phonebox in the foreground

Visit London's Christmas lights on foot

The best and cheapest way to see London's Christmas lights is by walking. Many of the West End lights are fairly close together geographically, and you could fit several into one epic evening of sightseeing (in comfy shoes).

Map of London's Christmas lights

We've pinpointed some of London's best Christmas light displays on this map, to help you plan a festive route (you can find more Christmas light locations in our guide to switch-on events ):

Some of them — such as Covent Garden and Carnaby — are only visible on foot, as they're located in pedestrianised areas with no bus route in sight. Otherwise...

See London's Christmas lights by bus

Angel Christmas lights over Regent Street

To see the Christmas lights without wearing out your shoe leather, simply hop on a TfL bus and watch the illuminations glide past the window.

Bus is, of course, the cheaper option, and we've put together a guide to seeing the Oxford Street, Regent Street, and other major lights by bus , making full use of the hopper fare. TfL's Oxford Circus bus map is also helpful, and the key to success is to beg, borrow or steal yourself a seat at the front on the top deck to watch the angels and stars flying above you.

Note: A bus ride isn't an option for seeing the Covent Garden or Carnaby lights and decorations, as they're tucked away in pedestrianised areas, and the bus only briefly passes the top of Bond Street so you won't get a full look at those on the bus.

Alternatively, companies including Golden Tours and Toot Bus offer bus tours to see the Christmas lights. Naturally, they're pricier than taking a TfL bus, but you are guaranteed a seat, and the route is carefully planned for maximum sparkle.

Take a London Christmas lights bike tour

Several tour companies offer cycling tours of London's bike routes, including The London Bicycle Tour Company . Begin in Kennington, where you're supplied with bike, lights, helmet (optional, but be sensible here) and Santa hat. Then, in a group, wend your way up towards the West End at a leisurely pace, using quieter roads and cycle lanes. The tour leader's bike is equipped with a boombox which plays festive songs along the route.

Of course, there's nothing to stop you riding your own bike, or hiring one, and seeing the Christmas lights that way. Just bear in mind that the West End streets get very busy and may not be suitable for inexperienced cyclists, particularly in the dark.

When to see London's Christmas lights

London Christmas lights 2023 guide: a glowing angel over Regent Street at dusk.

When are London's Christmas lights switched on?

The majority of London's biggest Christmas light displays are now illuminated and running for 2023 (here's our guide to when the remainder get switched on ). They'll be on nightly until early January.

When's the best time to see the West End Christmas lights?

In terms of times of day, the lights go on late afternoon when it gets dark, so anytime in the evening is an option — although of course, in the run-up to Christmas, there's rarely a 'quiet' time to visit Oxford Street, Regent Street or Covent Garden... or anywhere in London, actually.

In terms of day, weekdays are likely to be slightly less busy than weekends. Also, the further away from Christmas (ie. earlier) you can go, the less busy it's likely to be.

When do London's Christmas lights end?

The other option for crowd-swerving is to wait until early January, as most displays tend to stay lit for the first few nights of the New Year. We know that the Regent Street and Covent Garden lights will be on until 7 January 2024. Others haven't confirmed an end date, but will be a similar time.

Do London's Christmas lights get switched off at night?

If you're not keen on crowds, but don't mind a late night, you may be thinking that the early hours of the morning are the best time to see the Christmas lights — but as we've said above, many displays won't be on all night this year, to avoid wasting energy. 11pm seems to be the cut-off time in most areas, though check with individual organisers before making a special trip.

Are London's Christmas lights energy efficient?

With climate issues at the forefront of everyone's minds this Christmas, the West End has taken steps to make the Christmas light displays as energy efficient as possible.

All West End lights (that's Oxford Street, Regent Street, St James's, Bond Street, South Molton Street and more) use LED technology, which reduces energy consumption by 75% compared to regular lights.

The new Oxford Street star lights are 100% recyclable,  made from recycled polymer and produced using 100% solar/photovoltaic energy, and will be reused in future Oxford Street Christmas displays. Similarly, the new Bond Street lights use energy-efficient LEDs, and are made from recycled materials.

If this has got you all festive, check out London's Christmas markets and fairs , or get your skates on at London's winter ice rinks .

Last Updated 27 November 2023

Continued below.

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London Christmas Lights Tour

london christmas lights tour

Tour Information

London christmas lights tour highlights.

  • Oxford Street
  • New Bond Street
  • Regent’s Street
  • Carnaby Street
  • Piccadilly Circus
  • Leicester Square
  • Covent Garden
  • And a few other surprises along the way.

Gizzy05

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If you're feeling festive, then these tours are the ones for you! Take in all of London's Christmas spirit with Free Tours By Foot.

Welcome to London’s first pay-what-you-like Christmas Tour!

This tour will take you down some of the cities’ most iconic streets to see world-famous Christmas lights and holiday displays.

Beginning on Oxford Street, your guide will lead you underneath sparkling lights, hanging wreaths, past stunning Christmas trees and romantic mistletoe.

You’ll learn some of Britain’s holiday traditions, as well as how and why they became so popular.

Find out what a Pantomime is, why the Puritans hated Christmas, and why we have Prince Albert to thank for our obsession with holiday lights!

Join us as we walk through Bavarian Christmas markets, traverse the cobbled streets of the beautifully decorated Covent Garden, and stop for a mulled wine (at your own expense!).

Then a trip to Carnaby Street, which never fails to stun with its imaginative take on illuminations followed by a journey across the dazzling Regent Street and onto a little secret corner of fabulous.

Take in all that our city has to offer this Christmas with Free Tours By Foot!

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Locations visited…

  • Covent Garden And a few other surprises on the way.

Tour information

Reservations: REQUIRED.  Click here to reserve .

Where: The tour departs outside the entrance of Bond Street Tube beside the Disney Store on Oxford Street. Meet your guide at the junction of Oxford Street and Marylebone Lane.

Duration: Approximately 2 hours.

When: Every day but Tuesdays from 23rd Nov - 24th Dec. View our full Calendar

Cost: This tour is free to take, and you get to decide what, if anything, the tour was worth when it's done. A name-your-own-price tour is a tour for anyone's budget.

And much, much more

North america, united kingdom & ireland, middle east & india, asia & oceania.

Let yourself be carried by the magic and romance of London at Christmas time. Sit back relax and enjoy the festive lights from the open top deck of the bus.

  • Non-stop sightseeing bus tour
  • Live guided in English
  • London's most iconic lights
  • Key facts about London through the audio guide

Routes & Service

Live guides, audio guide, flexible tickets, select your tickets.

Please select your tickets

london christmas lights tour

This Is The Ultimate Festive Walking Tour Of London’s Christmas Lights

Christmas may be over but London is still aglow with twinkly lights and festive displays; this walking tour is the very best way to see (most of) them before they come down!

Katie Forge

Let me set the scene for you: you have absolutely no idea what day it is, you haven’t left the house in almost a week, you’re gradually morphing into a Quality Street, and you’re considering a new career in property because you managed to put three houses on Mayfair during a game of Monopoly last night. That’s right folks, it’s the crimbo limbo .

Now, as much as I whole-heartedly support hibernating in pajamas until the new year ; we all know that getting some fresh air and getting some steps in is good for us. And what better way to do both of those things than with a festive walking tour of our lovely capital city ? Christmas may be over but London is still glowing, glistening and giving out some well-needed end-of-year cheer. So, we’ve mapped out the ultimate festive walking tour of London to help you dash your way around the best and the brightest Christmas lights in the city before they’re taken down. You can thank us later…

Start your walking tour at London’s most Christmassy pub

the exterior of the churrchill arms festooned in christmas trees and lights all lit up at night

Your journey will begin at the iconic Churchill Arms in Kensington . Here you can admire the magically festive display that adorns its entire exterior (which features a whopping 80 Christmas trees , FYI), and grab a glass of liquid courage to help you brave the cold.

Make your way to Kensington High Street and down Gloucester Road, until you reach Da Mario

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Da Mario Kensington (@da_mario_kensington)

This beloved, family-owned spot is actually Princess Diana ‘s old local Italian restaurant , and is always vibrantly lit-up for the festive season.

Continue through South Kensington and past the Natural History Museum

The exterior of the Natural History Museum, one of the best museums in the UK

Although the museum is sadly no longer home to one of London’s best ice rinks ; it’s still well worth a mention. As far as I’m concerned, if one gets the opportunity to gawp at the Natural History Museum ; one should always take that opportunity.

Continue all the way up Brompton Road until you reach Fortnum & Mason

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Fortnum & Mason (@fortnums)

Fortnum & Mason’s annual advent calendar and Christmas window display truly never disappoints.

Head to Mayfair via New Bond Street

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Lola le Pink Figaro (@lepinkfigaro)

Here’s where you can marvel at London’s most impressive Christmas shopfronts courtesy of Cartier, Chanel and Dior (just to name a few). Oh, and don’t miss this opportunity to do some well-deserved window shopping. Or real shopping. No judgment here.

Take a quick detour to Annabel’s

london christmas lights tour

This much-loved spot on Berkeley Square unveils a sensational new design every year. This year’s uplifting display features an impressive hot air balloon that stretches over and beyond the building’s three floors. Well worth a little detour, in my humble opinion.

From there, head up to Regent Street

a nighttime shot of the 'spirit of christmas' christmas lights suspended over regent street, with cars, busses, and taxis whizzing by underneath

It’s an oldie but a goodie. Who can resist the annual event of trying to awkwardly position yourself in front of the camera to make it look like you have angel wings? Our videographer, Phoebe, certainly couldn’t, that’s for sure…

And then on to Oxford Street

the christmas lights criss-crossing over oxford street

Another Christmas-in-London stalwart; the Oxford Street stars are as synonymous with London as angry commuters and big red buses. Be warned, though: Oxford Street during the post-Christmas sales is not for the faint-hearted.

One street over (past Liberty’s, if you can resist popping in) is Carnaby Street

View this post on Instagram A post shared by My Way In London (@mywayinlondon)

The Carnaby Street lights are always a personal favourite of mine and this year they’re – quite literally – out of this world. There’s a plethora of pubs, restaurants and coffee shops for a mid-walk pit-stop here so you can gaze at the lights whilst refueling and rehydrating for the remainder of the festive walk. What more could you ask for?

Make your way through Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Christmas in Leicester Square (@leicestersqxmas)

Top tip: make your way through both of these as quickly as possible because you do not want to get caught up in the rush and chaos here. Trust us.

Now on to the Trafalgar Square Christmas tree …

A picture of the Trafalgar Square Tree in Trafalgar Square, Central London

Each year, the lovely people of Norway donate a tree to London as a thank-you for helping them out in World War II, and have done since 1947, which is rather nice of them. Each year, Londoners love to poke fun at said tree with phrases like “world’s tallest cucumber” often bandied about. But look, lots of effort is required to bring the tree to Trafalgar Square and get it lit, so it’s well worth a visit if you’re in town.

From there, take a wander across the river (and revel in the gorgeous view of the city) to the Southbank

The sun setting in front of the London Eye on the South Bank

Here you can reward your high step count with a cup of something warm and cosy, and some delicious street food too.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Secret London (@secret.london)

So, there you have it – our ultimate festive walking tour of London’s Christmas lights . We know, we know: so many lights, so little time – but we hope this helps. Most of the city’s lights and displays will be shining until next weekend ( January 6-7 ), so make the most of them while you can, as soon enough they’ll be gone for another year!

london christmas lights tour

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  • From London: Christmas Tours 2023 >

Christmas Lights Bus Tour London 2024

Christmas Lights Bus Tour London 2024

Our Christmas Lights bus tour of London takes you around London’s most breathtaking landmarks spectacularly lit up at night. You’ll travel in an open-top bus, with multiple departure times from 4pm until 9pm. Discover sites as you’ve never seen them before, including Trafalgar Square, Regent Street, Big Ben and more. This is a guided tour, with a professional tour guide on board an open-top bus who’ll give you the fascinating history of London’s historic buildings. The tour lasts 1hr 30m and is sure to put you into the festive spirit.

Our Christmas lights bus tour of London is available from November until  January.

highlights:

  • Discover the beauty of London at Christmas time on an open-top bus tour
  • See the famous Christmas lights on Regent Street and all over London
  • See London’s popular festive spot of Southbank with its pretty Christmas market
  • Admire London’s famous landmarks lit up. Highlights include Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly Circus, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, London Eye and more…
  • Take in the beautiful Christmas shop window displays, including along Regent Street
  • Learn more about the sites, historical buildings, and London at Christmas time with an expert guide

Regent Street:

london christmas lights tour

The Angel Christmas Light on Regent Street

Every year London’s famous shopping streets are transformed at Christmas time, with hundreds of thousands of light bulbs turning the streets into a breathtaking luminary spectacle. Each year focuses on a different theme, and is sure to delight with dazzling designs and wonderous sets.

Trafalgar Square:

Every year since 1947, the city of Oslo in Norway has gifted the United Kingdom a Christmas tree, in honour of Britain’s support of Norway during World War II. What is known as the Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree is over 20 metres high and is dressed in a traditional Norweigan style, with 500 white lights. The lighting of the Christmas tree takes place annually on the first Thursday in December and is accompanied by carol singing.

Departure points:

There are 3 departure points to choose from. You will see the same Christmas lights on both routes. The only difference is the pickup point.

  • Departure/Return point : London Eye, Belvedere Road, Tourist bus, London, SE1. You can see a route map here
  • Departure/Return point : Bus Stop 1, Bulleid Way, 123-151 Buckingham Palace Rd, Victoria, London, SW1W 9SR.
  • Departure/Return Point: Green Park Station, Piccadilly, Tourist Bus Stop, London W1J 9DZ.

You can see a route map, including the departure & return points here >>>

more details:

  • The tour lasts about 1 hour 30 minutes
  • You cannot hop on and hop off on this tour
  • Cancel your reservation within 24 hours of the departure time and get a refund in full.
  • The tour departs every half hour, from 4pm until 9pm from  November  until January
  • This is a guided tour in English.
  • Seating on the bus is on a first come, first served basis. Downstairs seating is also available if preferred.
  • Food and drinks are not permitted on the bus other than bottled water.
  • There are Christmas Light bus tours of London 2024 available on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
  • Children aged 0 – 4 years travel free of charge but will not occupy a seat. If you require a seat for an infant, please purchase a child seat for them.

Tour Booking

Terms and conditions, you might also be interested.

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