Festive Lights, Christmas, Action!
No city comes alive quite like London during the festive season. As we’re now well into the month of December, the UK’s capital city will be attracting visitors from all over the world for its Christmas decor and fun, with great festive lights!
If you’re in London this time of year, it’s impossible to miss its illuminating festivity – as the city takes its promise to Santa, very seriously. But just in case, we’ve rounded up the best places to see the Christmas festive lights just after the sun sets, and the real Christmassy magic begins.
We also left you a great article on the best places to stay in London as well, if you’re outside London and would love to celebrate Christmas in the great capital of the UK.
In the UK, Christmas is practically synonymous with shopping on Oxford Street, while flaunting your red cup from Starbucks (just in case the perfect Insta opportunity pops up).
Unbeknown to many, Oxford Street is actually among the world’s biggest high streets – as it offers 1.5 miles of unrivalled shopping, with more than 90 flagship stores (from fashion and beauty to tech and homeware).
So, while you’re picking up your last-minute gifts, don’t forget to hang around till late afternoon, when the sun goes down in wintery London, and the festive lights across the street, light up the childish spirit in your heart!
This year, Oxford Street’s festive lights switched on, on November 2nd; and visitors haven’t been shy to say just how much they’re enjoying them.
Commonly dismissed as “just another touristy part of Central London” – Covent Garden offers a bubble of class, architectural beauty, and foodie paradise.
During the Christmas season, the area welcomes a spirit of its own with its gigantic, mistletoe-shaped decorations and rows of boutique restaurants and cafes that practically glow in the dark.
The area’s famous “Apple Market” also comes to life as a Christmas Market this time of year, where it is festooned with thousands of twinkling lights, luminous wreaths, and gorgeous chandeliers. As such, Covent Garden becomes even more of an Instagrammable haven during the festive season – and should be at the top of your list when you’re in the city!
Located just behind Oxford Street and Regent Street, is this pedestrianised shopping and dining area, that’s home to numerous fashion and lifestyle retailers, as well as rows and rows of pubs and restaurants.
Carnaby has actually become iconic for its Christmas installations over the years, as it’s hosted the most magnificent creations – including oversized fairy lights, colourful rainbows, giant snowmen, 60s inflatables, and an underwater seascape (to name just a few).
This year, Carnaby continues to surprise and delight visitors with an installation called “Carnaby Celebrates”. This brings together a medley of the best illuminations the street has hosted over the years, as well as giant neon lyrics from Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”, glittering Rolling Stones’ tongues, huge robins, and a dazzling globe surrounded by floating planets.
It’s no wonder that this part of the capital city is renowned for being the most eclectic and vivaciously buzzing during Christmas time. (Try not to blink, otherwise, you’ll miss some of the gleaming action!).
Marylebone switched their Christmas lights on, on November 10th this year; and as ever, visitors flocked to this charming street, and rejoiced in the spirit of the holidays.
Perfect for families and those who want a more immersive experience, Marylebone hosts a set of stunning and traditional Christmas lights, as well as a Santa’s Grotto (which comes alive after dark!), wreath-making workshops, and a snow machine.
If you’re in the area around Christmas time, don’t forget to grab a bite to eat from one of Marylebone’s delicious restaurants or pop-ups; and enjoy your food with the company of live music – while sitting beneath the lights. It’s like being in your own Christmas fairytale… but better.
This year, Bond Street has opted for a change from its traditional peacock feathers (which it’s been sporting for the last eight Christmases) in honour of Her Majesty, the Queen.
Located in Mayfair and known for its high-end and luxury stores, Bond Street is unmissable during Christmas time. However, 2022’s lights honour an iconic moment in royal history; and remind us of the UK’s love for the monarchy.
Bond Street’s new Christmas display features four enormous crowns at key junctions of the street. These make use of 93,652 LEDs and are inspired by the Imperial Crown.
Visitors will also enjoy the shimmering lights and shapes mirroring the platinum, gold, and pearl necklaces at Bond Street’s crossings (in honour of Her Majesty). And on the grand gateways at the north and south of Bond Street, is a stunning light-strewn area with gold, silver, and luminous pearl lights, adorning them to a tiara-like effect. It’s royal, magical, and Christmas at its classiest.
For more updates on what London and other iconic cities are getting up to during Christmas, and to book a stay at one of these sought-after locations, keep your eyes on the short-term rental listings on the Luke Stays website – where we offer the best rates.
Enjoy the festive lights, and let them guide you to a healthy and prosperous new year!