Enlighten your weekend with these winter lights

Photo by: danperry.com | CreativeCommons

Christmas may be looking a bit different this year; however, you can always rely on London’s sparkling LEDs and warm mulled wine to put you in the festive mood.

Whether you are walking home from the office or going on your daily walk, make sure you take a detour to one of the dazzling illuminations lighting up our city.

The streets may seem a bit eerie and not as vibrant and bustling as previous years, but no matter how doom and gloom things may seem, the light trails are sure to brighten up your day!

  1. Southbank Centre Winter Lights

Photo by: Grace Staley | Southbank Centre December 2020

The Southbank Centre has opened an open-air exhibition, featuring more than 15 artworks all inspired from light, colour and the poetics of space.

This exhibition offers a vast variety of wonders about nature, politics and society, gender aesthetics and the act of looking.

It is situated opposite Southbank centre across the Riverside walk. It is completely free and open from early evening, as the sun goes down, till late.

The display includes the incredible “To the moon” by Pamela Phatisimo Sunstrum and more recent work by Emma Talbot “Birds, Freedom 2020”, among many others.

Don’t forget to grab yourself a mulled wine from some of the pop-up stores situated across the river.

Open from November, 20 until end of February.

  2. Oxford Street Christmas Lights

Photo by: Grace Staley | Oxford Street

The traditional illuminations set up annually in Oxford Street have made their return.

This year the streets will be lit up with 27 LED light curtains, draping across the area and making a total of 222.000 lights!

For many this year has been a very difficult period of time, therefore, Oxford Street will be paying tribute to the unsung heroes of the pandemic.

Londoners were asked to nominate their “2020 hero” via the Oxford street website and the names of successful nominations will be illuminated in the lights for a week.

It is completely free to go and spectate the sparkling lights and will be on display up until January, 6 2021.

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   3. Covent Garden Christmas

Photo by: Grace Staley | Covent Garden Christmas 2020

Oxford street is definitely at the top of the list for the most lights used, but Covent Garden is not far behind.

A dazzling array of 115,000 lights have been switched on alongside the biggest hand-picked Christmas tree in London.

Did you know the Christmas tree is picked from the same farm that the Royal Family get theirs from?

According to Secret London, the tree has nearly 30,000 lights and giant baubles and it has taken a team of 60 workers to put in 300 hours of work to decorate this mesmerising tree.

Moreover, this year Covent Garden have added some petite trees each decorated in a unique format.

So, why not come down to the luminous plaza and enjoy the festive spirit?


Keep an eye out for the following events which will begin once London is placed under Tier 2 restrictions.

  4. “Connected By Light” at Canary Wharf

Photo by: Grace Staley | Canary Wharf 2019

Many will be upset that the famous annual Winter Lights festival has been cancelled this year. However, this does not mean Canary Wharf will be pitch black.

Connected by Light is an exhibition of light artworks, which will be installed throughout December, January and lasting until mid-February.

The financial district will be lit up with nine new remarkable artworks. Some are visible throughout the day, however most will reflect their true colours once the sun has set.

All installations will be turned off at around 10pm.

Remember to wrap up warm as the weather is getting colder, but there are plenty of cafes and restaurants that will be open to offer you a scrumptious hot chocolate.


  5. Christmas at Kew Gardens

Photo by: Ungry Young Man | CreativeCommons | Kew Gardens 2019

Even though we do not have favourites, we have definitely saved the best for last.

Now back for its eighth year, Kew Garden is ready to offer you it most magical light trail with all-time favourite installations alongside brand new illuminations.

Walk through the glowing and glamorous Rose Garden, discover the glittering tunnel of bells and the majestic trees wrapped in light alongside the shimmering waterfall.

Kew Gardens is also offering festive drinks and hot chocolates from street food vendors.

The light exhibition will be open to the public from December, 4 2020 until late January 2021.

Tickets range from £19.50 to £24.50.

Words by: Grace Staley | Subbing: Dina Nazari 

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