Get in the Christmas Spirit!
Tis the season to shop, feast, catch up with old friends and family, travel home or to new destinations and to see pretty sparkly lights and fantastic seasonal displays. London is as festive as anywhere during this special time of year, and there are plenty of free opportunities to marvel at the winter glow.
Here's a roundup of some of the best Christmas lights to view in London:
Bond Street Christmas Lights
November 18th until January 3, 2012
This well known and historic shopping district hosts an annual “Bond Noel,” a family friendly event to celebrate the lighting of the street's holiday lights. This year, the Noel will take place on the 18th of November with the streets closed to traffic from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and the lights being turned on at 6 p.m. There'll be free entertainment along with free sparkling wine and snacks offered at the shops and artificial snow falling all evening, fir trees and even reindeer.
Carnaby Christmas Lights
November 10 until January 6, 2012
One of London's most iconic streets does it up with style and panache! As the scene of “Swinging London” in the 60s and its status as one of the trendiest of shopping hubs today, a fun and cheeky take on Christmas is to be expected.
Chelsea Christmas Lights
November 5 until January 5, 2012
Real snow? Santa's grotto? Dancing elves? This is Christmas … made in Chelsea. As one of London's most fashionable neighborhoods, the lights twinkle a little more lavishly here to keep up with the entire glamorous goings on in the shops and on the upscale streets.
Christmas at Covent Garden
November 10 through early January
Historic Covent Garden is transformed into a Christmas wonderland with lots of free “Christmas for Kids” activities throughout the season including reindeer petting, stories by candlelight and plays.
Christmas Lights at Old Spitalfields Market
November 9 through early January
The lights go on at 5 p.m. here on the ninth of November. The event is hosted by charity Christian Aid who'll be leading a “Big Sing” of carols for guests to perform alongside local school choirs.
Marylebone Christmas Lights
November 16 through early January
Motcomb Street Christmas Lights
December 1 until January 5, 2012
Belgravia's charming and cobble Motcomb Street will kick off the Christmas season with the inaugural Motcomb Street Christmas Lights Switch On Thursday December first from 6-8.30 p.m. with entertainment from the Household Cavalry Quintet, the IDMC Gospel Choir, jazz bands and more, this charming cobbled street will come alive with Christmas cheer.
Oxford Street Christmas Lights
November 1 until January 5, 2012
The mega shopping Mecca of London! If you're planning to do some Christmas shopping in London, there's a good chance you'll find yourself here.
Regent Street Christmas Lights
November 8 through early January
Another major shopping destination in the heart of London and right round the corner from Oxford Street. This year's theme celebrates the 3D cinema release of Arthur Christmas.
Seven Dials Christmas Lights
December 1 through early January
Traditional Christmas lights will glow in this central part of town with windy cobblestone streets and boutique shops. For the December 1st lighting many of the shops, restaurants, bars and other establishments will be offering 20% discounts and staying open late into the night.
Westfield London Christmas Lights
November 7 until January 5, 2012
Christmas lights at the mall! And if you made it to the switch on Monday the 7th, you know with Justin Bieber turning on the lights, the spectacle here is a very big deal. Santa's grotta and an ice skating rink add to the Westfield festivities.
Westfield Stratford City Christmas Lights
November 7 until January 5, 2012
As London's newest and biggest shopping centre the lights here are going to be phenomenal with the London 2012 Olympic village just steps away adding to the scenery. And oh yeah, Bieber was here for this lighting too.
Experience the Christmas spirit with the help of some cheap flights to London.
Photo: Chris Osburn