London Christmas Lights Tour – DIY & Free!

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Christmas is a magical time of the year. Despite being someone who hates the cold, I love Christmas time in London. I love seeing the city light up with festive decorations, and the streets fill up with cute Christmas markets.

If you’re visiting London during the festive season it’s only natural that you will want to admire the beautiful Christmas decorations in London. If you’re not sure where to find them, this is the guide for you!

In this post I’ve mapped all the most beautiful Christmas lights in London, so that you can on a Christmas adventure and discover them all.

The entrance to Southbank Christmas Market in London
The entrance to Southbank Christmas Market in London

Should you do a guided London Christmas Lights Tour?

There are a number of different guided Christmas tours in London, which will take you to see all the most beautiful Christmas decorations in London as well as some of the best markets.

I’ve listed below some cool options for London Christmas Lights tours.

This could be a fun option if you’re travelling to London solo and would like some company on your London Christmas adventures, or if you like to have a local guide explain things to you.

However if you’re not interested in the local history and have travel pals to do this with, you can easily do your own London Christmas lights tour without a guide.

The Christmas light displays in London are mostly free, so you can easily do your own walking route and enjoy them by yourself. Just follow my map and guide, and embark on your own London Christmas adventure!

The Christmas market in Leicester Square, London
The Christmas market in Leicester Square, London
The souvenir and Christmas gifts market in Covent Garden, London
The souvenir and Christmas gifts market in Covent Garden, London

Map of the prettiest London Christmas lights

These are the locations of all the coolest Christmas light displays in London. You can save it to your Google Maps and use it as guidance for your own Christmas lights tour.

Where to find the most beautiful Christmas decorations in London

Oxford Street

Any respectable London Christmas lights tour has to start, without a doubt, in Oxford Street. This main shopping avenue is the representation of Christmas vibes.

The classic Christmas decorations in Oxford Street are usually hundreds of giant Christmas balls, hanging over the road. You can pair a visit to see these Christmas lights with a bit of last minute Christmas shopping.

The Christmas decorations on Oxford Street in London
The Christmas decorations on Oxford Street in London

Regent Street

Just around the corner from Oxford Street another must-see is Regent Street. The huge angels of Regent Street stand imposing over the road, and are a magical sight when all the fairy lights turn on.

In this area there are also lots of lovely cafes, where you can grab a coffee and warm up while you’re exploring the London Christmas lights.

The Christmas lights on Regents Street in London
The Christmas lights on Regents Street in London

Carnaby Street

Carnaby Street is another beautiful street in the area. I personally prefer it since the street is pedestrian, and the decorations are more colourful.

On top of the usual Welcome to Carnaby Street sign you will find all sorts of Christmas decorations and fairy lights. Walking under them is always a delight. There are also lots of nice shops where you can do some last minute Christmas shopping.

Annabel’s Gentlemen Club

The huge Christmas tree at Annabel’s Gentlemen Club has become one of the most popular attractions in London at Christmas. Every year this gentlemen’s club in Mayfair sets up a gigantic Christmas tree that covers its whole façade.

The decorations in the tree change a bit every year, but you can rest assured that it will be gorgeous. It’s a short walk away from Oxford Street so make sure to add it to your London Christmas lights tour!

I moved to London eight years ago but I still pop by Annabel’s every year. I just love seeing their decorations and huge Christmas tree!

The facade of Annabel’s gentlemen club with its iconic Christmas tree
The facade of Annabel’s gentlemen club with its iconic Christmas tree

Christmas at Kew Gardens

Kew Gardens is a bit of a special one, because instead of being an ordinary street that gets decorated for Christmas, here you will find a unique installation set up especially for Christmas.

There are different parts to it, but the Cathedral of Lights is without a doubt one of the most famous. Here you can walk through an archway of glittering fairy lights, and feel like you’re stepping in a fairy tale.

Seven Dials

Seven Dials is one of my favourite spots in London. Close to the touristy lights of Leicester Square and Covent Garden, sits Seven Dials, a hidden gem of London that often gets overlooked.

Here you will find loads of shops, bars, restaurants and even the theatre where they show Matilda. Along these pedestrian roads they set up some of the most beautiful Christmas lights in London.

The Christmas lights at Seven Dials Market in London
The Christmas lights at Seven Dials Market in London

The Churchill Arms

The Churchill Arms is a wonderful pub at any time of year. With all its plants and green façade it has earned a spot amongst the most Instagrammable restaurants in London, and rightly so.

Both South Kensington and Notting Hill claim this pub as their own, since it’s located on the border between the two councils. It always features on the compilations of best pubs in South Kensington and best bars in Notting Hill.

At Christmas time they take things a step further, changing up the flowers with mini Christmas trees. Because there’s no such thing as too many Christmas trees right?

Winter Wonderland

This might seem like an obvious one, but I couldn’t avoid writing about it in this Christmas lights compilation. Winter Wonderland is the ultimate Christmas fair.

Located in Hyde Park (one of the most famous parks in London), it’s a huge Christmas themed fair where you can find street food, games, rides and souvenir stalls.

Everything is obviously decorated with a multitude of fairy lights and Christmas decorations.

If you want to truly immerse yourself in the spirit of Christmas, while enjoying some of the most beautiful Christmas decorations in London, this is the place to be. It’s a must-see on any Christmas in London bucket list.

The gate at the main entrance of Winter Wonderland in London
The gate at the main entrance of Winter Wonderland in London

South Bank Christmas Market

This might not be the most magical and Christmassy spot in London, but it definitely earns brownie points for the location. South Bank Christmas Market is located right next to the iconic London Eye.

At this market you will find all the usual Christmas souvenirs and gifts, when it comes to food however I personally like the street food here better than at other markets. They also have the Rekorderlig Cider Lounge and other excellent beverages.

With its huge Christmas tree, pretty fairy lights, tasty street food and the London Eye as background, it’s a must-see on any London Christmas lights tour.

A Christmas tree at Southbank Christmas Market with the London Eye in the background
A Christmas tree at Southbank Christmas Market with the London Eye in the background

Wembley Park

Similarly to Kew Gardens, the Christmas decorations at Wembley Park are special installations for Christmas. They change a little every year, but you can be sure to find a huge Christmas tree made only of fairy lights, as well as unique light installations.

In the past there have been things like pop up Christmas gifts and tunnels of light. Whatever they have in store for you this year, you can be sure it will be stunning.

Covent Garden

Coven Garden is a popular part of London at any time of year, but especially so at Christmas. You will find a gigantic Christmas tree by St Paul’s Church Covent Garden, and beautiful decorations all over the Apple Market.

The ceiling of the famous Apple Market gets decorated with huge Christmas balls and decorations. Walking through the market, with the decorations above you and fairy lights all around will give you all the ultimate magical Christmas vibes.

Covent Garden is a must-see on any London itinerary, at any time of year, but especially so at Christmas.

The big Christmas tree in Covent Garden, London
The big Christmas tree in Covent Garden, London
The Apple Market in Covent Garden decorated for Christmas
The Apple Market in Covent Garden decorated for Christmas

Harrods

Harrods may be an expensive shopping centre, but it’s without a doubt one of the most famous attractions in London. At Christmas time, it becomes even more beautiful.

The whole façade of Harrods gets covered in fairy lights. The interior also gets a Christmas makeover, with trees and colourful decorations everywhere.

It’s a great spot to feel the Christmas cheer, as well as a great place to snap some gorgeous London Instagram photos, and to do some shopping for last minute gifts and London souvenirs.

Christmas decorations at Harrods
Christmas decorations at Harrods

Natural History Museum

The Natural History Museum is not only one of the coolest museums in London, but every winter, it’s home also to one of the most beautiful ice-skating rinks in London.

The ice skating rink at the Natural History Museum has a huge Christmas tree right in the middle, and fairy lights all around it. I love the Christmas vibes here, as well as the opportunity for a little skate!

If you want to go ice skating here make sure to book in advance as it gets very busy early on.

Ice skating at the Natural History Museum in South Kensington
Ice skating at the Natural History Museum in South Kensington

Best time to do a London Christmas lights tour

While you can do a Christmas decorations tour at any time of day, it will obviously be prettier if you do it once the sun has gone down, when all the decorations are lit up. 

In regards to time of year, you will obviously only find Christmas decorations up if you visit London in winter. That said, the festive period in London starts very early, with some of the Christmas markets opening as early as 1st November.

You can usually start feeling a festive atmosphere around mid-November, up until early January. To play it safe and make sure all the Christmas lights you want to see are up, I would visit London in December.

One of the stands at Winter Wonderland in London
One of the stands at Winter Wonderland in London

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Final thoughts on the best Christmas light displays in London

So there you have it, an ultimate guide to finding all the most beautiful Christmas decorations in London. I hope you find this compilation and map useful in planning your own London Christmas lights tour.

You can take a guided tour if you prefer to have someone show you around and tell you more about each spot, or you can do it yourself thanks to this guide. Whatever you choose, I’m sure you’ll have an amazing time hunting Christmas lights in London!

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Photo collage of Christmas decorations and trees in London with text overlay saying "Best Christmas lights locations in London"

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