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Where to Find the Best Christmas Lights in London [2023]

Winter is a magical time to visit the UK capital, and no more so than when the best Christmas lights in London are in full swing! The whole city is lit up like one big festive party, and it’s an awesome sight to witness during late November or December.

Whether you’re planning a Christmas shopping trip to London, are staying in the city for the celebrations on 25th or are heading there for a New Year to remember, you must include at least some of the London Christmas lights on your itinerary.

This post will introduce you to illuminated London at Christmas. We’ll take you through the city’s finest December sights and tell you which tours of the London lights are the best ones to take. 

Don’t head to London in December or even during the second half of November or the start of January until you’ve read this guide. London in winter is totally enchanting – and even more so when the city’s all lit up for Christmas!

Read on so you too can see this amazing spectacle during your late autumn or winter visit to London!

🎄 17 of the best Christmas lights in London 

Oxford Street Christmas lights

  • Closest tube: Oxford Circus
  • Dates: 3rd November 2023 – 5th January 2024

Oxford Street is London’s shopping central, so where better to start your tour of the city’s brilliant Christmas lights?

It’s at the centre of the London Christmas lights switch on each year, which for 2023 is TBC. The entire street is illuminated by a spectrum of dazzling lights above. Stores also go all-out to impress every potential customer who might be passing by. 

Oxford Street Christmas lights.

Regent Street Christmas lights

  • Closest tube: Oxford Circus or Piccadilly Circus
  • Dates: 8th of November 2023 – 3rd January 2024

Regent Street is not to be outdone by its neighbours, so expect a stunning display of London Xmas lights on this major thoroughfare. Like Oxford Street, shops also go all-out to beat their rivals in the best Christmas lighting stakes. 

Regents Street Christmas Lights.
Regent Street have arguably the best Christmas Lights in London

Carnaby Street Christmas lights

  • Closest tube: Oxford Circus or Piccadilly Circus
  • Dates: 7th November 2023

Carnaby Street has been famous since the 1960s for its boho vibe – and the Christmas lights display here reflects that perfectly.

For 2021, there were colourful butterflies fluttering above the pedestrianised street, so we can only guess at this year’s theme. Flower power, perhaps? 

Carnaby Street Christmas Lights.

Piccadilly and St James’s Christmas lights

  • Closest tube: Piccadilly Circus
  • Dates: TBC

The area around St James’s and Piccadilly is a pretty upmarket one, what with The Ritz hotel and Fortnum and Mason’s department store found here.

So expect dazzling displays while you dip in and out of shops, or stop for refreshments or a late afternoon tea. It’s within easy reach of many of the other best lights in London too. 

London Christmas lights 4
Fortnum and Mason’s in store decorations
Fortnum and Mason Christmas Decorations
There is a small Fortnum and Mason in St Pancras International too which was nicely decorated

New Bond Street Christmas lights

  • Closest tube: Bond Street
  • Dates: TBC

As a street lined with designer stores, New Bond Street doesn’t mess about when it comes to central London Christmas lights. Keep an eye on the shop windows, which are dressed to impress in all their designer finery. 

Bond Street Christmas Lights.
Burlington Arcade  Christmas Lights.
Burlington Arcade Christmas Lights

Mayfair and Belgravia Christmas lights

  • Closest tube: Piccadilly Circus
  • Dates: 16th November 2023

The Mayfair and Belgravia Christmas lights around the South Molton Street area are always spot-on. Expect upmarket glitterati here, reflecting the well-heeled clientele who shop at this area’s ultra fashionable boutiques. For a stylish Christmas light show in London, head here. 

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Picture of a family on Regent Street in London at Christmas.

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Leicester Square Christmas lights

  • Closest tube: Leicester Square
  • Dates: 9th November 2023 – 8th January 2024

Leicester Square spreads joy to the world – well London at least – when it comes to fine festive displays. The space makes these some of the best central London lights to see between bar-hopping, after dinner in Chinatown or before watching a movie. 

Christmas market in Leicester Square.
Christmas market in Leicester Square

Covent Garden Christmas lights

  • Closest tube: Covent Garden
  • Dates: 9th of November 2023

You can always count on Covent Garden for entertainment in many forms – and it’s no different when it comes to Xmas lights in London. Step into the market and you’ll see it transformed by thousands of twinkling lights and a huge tree. 

Covent Garden Christmas Lights
Covent Garden Christmas lights.

Seven Dials Christmas lights

  • Closest tube: Covent Garden or Leicester Square
  • Dates: TBC

The quirky Seven Dials shopping area between Covent Garden and Soho sees the cobbled lanes lit up by some of the prettiest winter lights in London. It’s a little off the beaten tourist track too. 

Seven Dials Christmas Lights.

South Bank Christmas lights

  • Closest tube: Waterloo
  • Dates: TBC

South Bank is also one to add to your Christmas lights in London hit-list. The Christmas market here starts on the same day as the big switch-on (we expect early November for 2023), so you can get two for the price of one. 

What better way to start the festive season than to wander among the stalls, mulled wine in hand, while witnessing one of the city’s most magical light displays? Expect a few illuminated arty installations too. 

London Eye Christmas lights

  • Closest tube: Waterloo
  • Dates: TBC

If you’re looking for Insta images among the Christmas lights of central London, don’t miss the London Eye. Colourful 2021 themes included snowy and starry skies plus Santa Claus. 

Read Complete Guide to the London Eye

The Shard Christmas lights

  • Closest tube: London Bridge
  • Dates: TBC

Don’t miss seeing one of London’s landmark buildings all lit up in colour. Not somewhere you might think of when visiting lights around London, but don’t miss it if you’re in the locale. 

Tower Bridge Christmas lights

  • Closest tube: Tower Hill
  • Dates: TBC

If you can get in, go to the Coppa Club near the Tower of London as the igloos here are just so cool! This eatery is famous for its riverside igloos, and they’re even more spectacular in winter. 

Coppa Club Igloos in London.
Coppa Club Igloos in the summer

Chelsea Christmas lights

  • Closest tube: Sloane Square
  • Dates: TBC

Include Sloane Square on your London Christmas lights walking route to see the smart end of town. All the shops and restaurants take part, so expect stunning window displays and the scent of mulled wine in the air. 

Marylebone Christmas lights

  • Closest tube: Baker Street
  • Dates: TBC

To experience what feels more like a Christmas village in London, head to Baker Street tube then Marylebone High Street. This is a community event in aid of a mental health charity, and local eateries and shops join in by offering special festive deals.

King’s Cross Christmas lights

  • Closest tube: King’s Cross
  • Dates: TBC

It’s not all about Harry Potter in this part of London. Head to Coal Drops Yard for a mighty light display in London – just where you might not expect it. You can also shop and dine here, and there’s a Christmas market as well as the usual retail outlets. 

London Christmas lights 3

Kew Gardens Christmas lights

  • Closest tube: Kew Gardens
  • Dates: 15th November 2023 – 7th January 2024

Kew Gardens is pretty enchanting at any time of year, but especially during  late autumn, advent, Christmas and New Year. The lit-up Palm House and illuminated trees give the best west London Xmas lights a winter wonderland feel. 

⭐️ 13 of the best Christmas lights in London tours

One of the simplest and best ways to see the Christmas lights in London is to take an open top bus tour. This way you get to view the lights from up high. An alternative is to take a walking tour of the lights and festive markets.

If you want to book a London Christmas lights 2023 tour, here are our recommendations with a brief description of each. Or find out more about all of the top Christmas tours in London in this post

Christmas lights by night on an open-top bus

  • Duration: 105 minutes
  • Destination: Central London
  • Meeting time: Varies
  • Meeting point: London Eye
  • What’s included: Transport, tour guide, audio guide
  • What’s not included: Meals, drinks, hotel pick-up, tips

On this open-top bus tour lasting an hour-and-three-quarters, see the lights and sights of the London Eye, Big Ben,  Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, Paul’s Cathedral and Tower Bridge.

The best Christmas lights in London include the famous Christmas tree that is erected in Trafalgar Square each year.
The Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square is a gift from the people of Norway each year

Vintage bus Christmas lights tour

  • Duration: 75 minutes
  • Destination: Central London
  • Meeting time: Varies
  • Meeting point: Grand Hotel, Northumberland Avenue
  • What’s included: Vintage transport, tour guide
  • What’s not included: Meals, drinks, hotel pick-up, tips

A 1960s Routemaster will whisk you around the city for an hour-and-a-quarter. This London lights tour includes Harrods, Oxford Street and other key sites.  

Tootbus London Christmas lights tour

  • Duration: 45 minutes
  • Destination: Central London
  • Meeting time: Varies
  • Meeting point: Varies
  • What’s included: Transport, tour guide, Santa hat, Christmas playlist
  • What’s not included: Meals, drinks, hotel pick-up, tips

A Tootbus comes complete with a Santa hat and a Christmas playlist. Illuminated places to see include Trafalgar Square, Regent Street and Piccadilly Circus.

Christmas Eve London illuminations bus tour

  • Duration: 105 minutes
  • Destination: Central London
  • Meeting time: Varies
  • Meeting point: London Victoria bus stop 1
  • What’s included: Transport, tour guide, Christmas gift
  • What’s not included: Meals, drinks, hotel pick-up, tips

This tour even includes a Christmas gift. You’ll also see Big Ben, Piccadilly Circus, the Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London, Trafalgar Square, the London Eye, the City and St Paul’s Cathedral. 

Christmas Lights and Festive Sights walking tour

  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Destination: Central London
  • Meeting time: To be agreed
  • Meeting point: To be agreed
  • What’s included: Local tour guide, mulled wine or hot chocolate
  • What’s not included: Meals, tickets, transport, tips

This private walking tour of London can be tailored to fit where you want to see. 

It lasts for three hours, and you can enjoy Christmas shop window displays and some of the best Christmas markets in the city. 

Christmas lights tour by black London cab

  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Destination: Central London
  • Meeting time: To be agreed
  • Meeting point: Hotel pick-up
  • What’s included: Local driver & tour guide, water & biscuits
  • What’s not included: Meals & tips

A licensed London taxi driver and registered tourist guide will drive you around the capital for two-and-a-half hours in a black cab. You can go wherever you like, and there will be photo stops en route. 

Santa in Harrod's Christmas windows in London.
Harrod’s windows are always worth a look too!

London Christmas lights tour by taxi

  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Destination: Central London
  • Meeting time: To be agreed
  • Meeting point: Hotel pick-up
  • What’s included: Local driver & tour guide, water & snacks
  • What’s not included: Meals & tips

This three hour tour is also hosted by a real London cab driver, and includes free mince pies, biscuits and water. Your driver is again a registered tour guide. 

Private London Christmas sites walking tour

  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Destination: Central London
  • Meeting time: To be agreed
  • Meeting point: Hotel pick-up
  • What’s included: Local tour guide
  • What’s not included: Meals, transport, entry fees & tips

Take a private walking tour with an expert guide to see the lights at Covent Garden, Leicester Square Christmas Market, Borough Market, Tower Bridge, Waterloo Bridge and Hyde Park.

Charles Dickens and A Christmas Carol walking tour

  • Duration: 2 to 3 hours
  • Destination: Old London
  • Meeting time: To be agreed
  • Meeting point: Hotel pick-up
  • What’s included: Local tour guide
  • What’s not included: Meals, transport, entry fees & tips

Literary and historic London is the focus here, visiting locations featured in Charles Dickens’ Christmas Carol. Though that’s the theme, you will see plenty of festive lights between those destinations. 

London Christmas lights and markets tour

  • Duration: 2.5 hours
  • Destination: Central London
  • Meeting time: Varies
  • Meeting point: Covent Garden Tube Station
  • What’s included: Local tour guide, mulled wine or cider or soft drink
  • What’s not included: Meals, extra drinks & purchases, tips

This walking tour will show you London’s Christmas markets, the Christmas tree with 40,000 lights, Trafalgar Square and a tucked-away spot lit by Victorian-style street lamps. 

Personalised London walking tour with a local 

  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Destination: London 
  • Meeting time: To be agreed
  • Meeting point: Hotel pick-up
  • What’s included: Local tour guide, mulled wine or hot chocolate
  • What’s not included: Food, drinks, transport, entry fees & tips

A local guide will be chosen specifically for you with this walking tour, and it will be structured according to what you want to see. So it doesn’t have to be only about Christmas lights, though you can’t miss them during late November and December!

Christmas markets walking tour of London

  • Duration: 4 to 5 hours
  • Destination: London Christmas markets
  • Meeting time: Varies
  • Meeting point: London Bridge Station
  • What’s included: Local tour guide
  • What’s not included: Food, drinks, transport, purchases & tips

Go to all the Christmas markets with this walking tour of London You’ll visit Christmas markets on the South Bank, in Covent Garden and in Greenwich. There will be plenty of time for shopping with this four to five hour tour. 

Christmas dinner party river cruise

  • Duration: 4 hours
  • Destination: River Thames
  • Meeting time: Varies
  • Meeting point: Westminster Pier, Victoria Embankment
  • What’s included: River cruise, 3 course meal, drinks, DJ & dancing
  • What’s not included: Extra drinks

As this cruise on the Thames takes place at night, there are plenty of lights to see along the way! The four hour boat trip includes a four course meal, wine, a DJ and dancing too. 

Which Christmas lights in London will you see?

Will it be Oxford Street in London at Christmas time, an open-top bus tour of the key sights or a trip out to a little London ‘village’?

Whichever you choose, Christmas light displays in London are among the world’s finest, so don’t miss out when you’re visiting the city in winter!

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