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Best light festivals in London

Be dazzled by twinkling light sculptures, cool artworks and immersive illumination experiences across the capital.

Brighten up those dark London winter nights, fill your Instagram feed with colourful snaps and make the most of Christmas in the capital with some of the best London light festivals. 

The locations below usually host some of London's best light festivals – check back later in the year for confirmed details of the best light festivals for winter 2022! 

Christmas at Kew

Two children look up in a tunnel of fairy lights during Christmas at Kew at Kew Gardens in London
Tunnel of light at Christmas at Kew © Royal Botanical Gardens Kew

Discover some of the most enchanting Christmas lights in London with Christmas at Kew. Meander through the gardens illuminated by more than one million twinkling lights, and stroll the Holly Walk under the glow of hundreds of LED spheres lit up like the Northern Lights, before a spectacular finale in front of the Palm House. 2022 TBC

Top tip: Book a traditional Christmas dinner at Kew Gardens' restaurant, The Botanical

Winter Light at the Southbank Centre

Brightly lit art installation titled Dichroic Sphere by Jakob Kvist at night near Southbank Centre in London
See Winter Light art installations around Southbank Centre, including Dichroic Sphere by Jakob Kvist © Christoffer Askman

Visit the free outdoor art installations and video projections that are usually set up around the Southbank Centre. Wander through the art complex's site and along the river Thames for an illuminating Winter Light experience during the dark months. 2022 TBC

Top tip: Soak up the sights and smells of Southbank Centre's Winter Market, which is loaded with festive food, drink and gifts.

Enchanted Woodland at Syon Park

Discover the magnificent 600-year-old gardens of Syon Park. Follow a trail of sparkling lights through the Enchanted Woodland, to be dazzled by laser shows, light displays and music, ending up at the historic Great Conservatory. 2022 TBC

Top tip: Grab a tasty treat or snack from the pop-up Food Village, which serves mulled wine, pizzas, burgers, churros and more.

Christmas lights

A Christmas tree with dazzling warm white lights and red ornaments in the foreground. Red buses beneath shining 'spirits' of Christmas and stars.
The Spirit of Christmas at Regent Street and St James's. Image courtesy of The Crown Estate.

Get into the festive spirit and walk beneath a twinkling canopy of some of the most famous Christmas lights in London, including Regent Street, Oxford Street, Carnaby and Covent Garden2022 TBC

Top tip: Enjoy a pitstop at one of the fabulous restaurants and bars in London's West End before you explore the city's lights.

Lightopia Festival London at Crystal Palace Park

Illuminated flower art installation at Lightopia Festival London at night
Light display at Lightopia Festival London. Image courtesy of Lightopia Festival London

Step into a winter wonderland of hand-painted lanterns and colourful installations during Lightopia Festival London at Crystal Palace Park. Last year the history of the park was brought to life through a projected recreation of the famous Crystal Palace, as well as animatronic and digital reptiles in the much-loved dinosaur park. 2022 TBC

Top tip: Warm up at Westow House, a Crystal Palace pub with great beer and an extensive food menu.

London's Chanukah Menorah in Trafalgar Square

Mark the nights of Chanukah with a special celebration in Trafalgar Square. A new light is lit each night at London’s Chanukah Menorah in the heart of the city. 2022 TBC

Top tip: Trafalgar Square is within easy walking distance to other festive light displays, as well as top-notch restaurants and pubs.

Shard Lights

Look up to see the highest seasonal light display in Western Europe at The Shard, which usually illuminates its top 20 storeys in a bright display visible across the city through the night. 2022 TBC

Top tip: Get a bird's-eye view of London with a visit to The View from the Shard

Enchanted Eltham Palace

People walking along the river and light illuminations at Enchanted Eltham Palace
Enchanted Eltham Palace. Image courtesy of English Heritage

Be transported to a world of light, colour and sound at Enchanted Eltham Palace. Discover the historic mansion in a new light and explore tunnels and paths filled with twinkling lights, talking trees and interactive light displays. 2022 TBC

Top tip: Eltham Palace's cafe is usually open during the event, and hot drinks and food, including marshmallow toasting, are offered on the South Lawn.

Canary Wharf Winter Lights

Man in front of tunnel of light
Marcus Lyall, On Your Wavelength. Winter Lights festival

Marvel at thousands of lights during the Winter Lights festival in Canary Wharf. As the area glows in the wintry dark, you can discover artworks and immersive installations from artists from across the world. 2022 TBC

Top tip: Carry on the winter fun with a skate at Canary Wharf's outdoor ice rink.

Illuminated River boat tours with Uber Boat by Thames Clippers

Lambeth Bridge at night lit up with purple lights with the skyline of London in the background
Illuminated River art installation at Lambeth Bridge. © Paul Crawley. Image courtesy of Illuminated River

See some of London's most famous bridges along the river Thames lit up during an Illuminated River boat tour with Uber Boat by Thames Clippers. Learn about the capital's landmarks on this river tour with knowledgeable guides, as you drift underneath the bridges and past Illuminated River installations. Various dates

Top tip: Tours set sail from Tower Pier, so enjoy dinner before the journey in a festive igloo at nearby Coppa Club.

Illuminated River walking tours

The sun sets over the river Thames as its bridges glow with colourful lighting as part of the Illuminated River installation
Discover the Illuminated River in London at night. Credit: Jason Hawkes. Image courtesy of Jason Hawkes and Illuminated River.

Join an Illuminated River walking tour with qualified guides this winter. On an evening riverside walk, you'll stop admire and learn about the Illuminated River public artworks, which stretch from London Bridge to Lambeth Bridge. Various dates

Top tip: Duck into one of the many cosy, historic pubs along Fleet Street, such as The Punch Tavern or Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese.

For even more holiday cheer, check out Christmas activities across the capital, including the best London Christmas lights, the top places for Christmas shopping in London and 101 Christmas things to do in London over the whole festive season.

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