London is magical at any time of the year, but Christmas brings an extra sparkle and charm to the capital. On almost every street you’ll see fabulous displays of lights and festive decorations that will get you into the festive spirit. It’s a wonderful setting for all the shopping that can’t be avoided at this time of year, or just take a stroll after dark to soak up all the Christmas-ness. Here’s our thoughts on London’s best displays (most street displays remain up to 6th January):
Oxford Street The theme of this year’s display is falling snowflakes with 1,778 baubles and 750,000 LED energy-efficient bulbs that stretch along the entire length of one of London’s busiest and most famous shopping destinations – wow! photo by Paul Hudson
Regent Street The theme for this year’s display is taken from the new film, Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, which was filmed in London. Take some time out from shopping at the street major stores to marvel at these illuminations over the festive season.Photo by Charles D P Miller
Bond Street The twinkling Christmas lights along fashionable Bond Street are always a stylish spectacle. This year’s display is dedicated to young men of the late 1700s, who became known as ‘Peacocks’, as they would promenade along the street in grand attire. The lights reflect this with glorious white peacocks included as part of the illuminations.Photo by Charles D P Miller
Covent Garden The centrepiece of this year’s display is a giant silver reindeer. The 22-foot (6.7 metres) tall and sparkly reindeer includes 150,000 pea lights to light up the Piazza and your shopping. Or, see a live reindeer, Cracker and Tinkerbell, on 20th and 21st December between 12 noon and 4pm.Photo by Charles D P Miller
Trafalgar Square Since 1947, Trafalgar Square receives a gift of a majestic Christmas from the people of Oslo to thank Britain for its support and friendship during World War Two. The enormous tree is a popular attraction (especially on New Year’s Eve), and each evening leading up to Christmas a different choir gathers there to sing carols and raise money for a range of different charities. Passers-by are always welcome to join in the festive cheer. The Christmas tree is illuminated from noon until midnight until the Twelfth Night of Christmas in early January.Photo by MrT HK
Kensington Palace Celebrate Christmas in royal style at the Palace. Festive traditions began as far back as 1699, when King William III opened up Kensington Palace for a season of parties, games, music and entertaining – it’s a chance to enjoy a Georgian style Christmas.