Each year London manages to outdo the previous one when it comes to Christmas displays! From magical lights that are suspended above the streets as you walk by to quirky Christmas trees the city really has it all and it’s a delight in the holiday season.
Early evenings make wandering the streets and looking at the lights easy – most nights you’ll find that by 4-5pm it’s dark enough to enjoy them! Grab a hot drink, maybe even some mulled wine, and lose yourself in the festive feelings of the capital city!
If you want to see the best then these 5 displays will not disappoint you no matter where you’re based in London – they’re all fairly central but not all next to each other.
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London’s best Christmas displays to see in 2023
Covent Garden Market
While Covent Garden is an area of London, and it will all be decked out for the holiday season – head to Covent Garden Market which is the bit that most people are talking about when they discuss the area!
The popular covered market attracts shoppers and people looking for that festive vibe. At Christmas time the decorations are a sight to behold with a ginormous tree outside and a sleigh inside for those holiday selfies.
It’s right in the heart of London by all of the theatres and hosts loads of places to eat too so a great place to spend some time before watching a show!
Thursdays sees the market open late so you can get the nice lights AND a chance to shop inside too! The decorations run until the 7th January.
St Pancras – a tree made of books!
A new one for the 2023 holiday season is this unique Christmas tree in St Pancras station which is made of books! Any fan of reading needs to get themselves to the station for a look at this one. It was created in collaboration with the book shop Hatchards and celebrates
Not only is it a joy to see but at the base there are some cubby holes where you can settle down and read or to listen to a 5 minute excerpt from an audio book that can be heard through speakers.
Literature is at the heart of St Pancras Train station with it being saved from demolition in the 1960s by Sir John Betjeman who was poet laureate so this installation brings both the station and literature together in a wonderful union. And what’s better than a book with your train ride?
Every year it has a theme and this year’s is ‘Carnaby Universe’ so expect lots of neon lights and planetary themed displays.
It’s a small area and so you can combine it with some others nearby but the vibe of Carnaby Street, with lots of independent fashion labels, is very different! You’ll find plenty of dining options here too if you need a bite to eat or to warm up!
Carnaby Street is a treasure trove of wonderful shops and is close by to Regent Street (below) for more brand names and the department store Liberty which also should be on your list of places to stop for some Christmas spirit – their Xmas section is a delight!
Beautiful every year are the lights at Regent Street and it’s a great place to see them if you fancy a walk. Being such a wide street, Regent Street has a different feel to the others but they are no less magical.
The lights and festivities aren’t just restricted to Regent Street on its own – you might like to explore the Quadrant Arcade which his also lit up with beautifully decorated trees inside and some of the side streets like Glasshouse Street are also sporting decorations too.
In 2023 the theme of the decorations is ‘Spirit of Christmas’ – combine it with a trip to Hamley’s, the iconic toy shop, and I’m sure you’ll agree that it really does bring that out!
Finally, we’re heading a little bit away from the others by going to Leadenhall Market. It’s one of the prettiest places in London and being right by the Tower of London, Tower Bridge and The Sky Garden it’s perfect if you’re based around there.
As well as being able to enjoy the sights and festive sounds, you can even take festive tours here as well where a guide will tell you all about the history of the place and what Christmas was like in the past here. You can see more here.
We visited a couple of years ago and they had a ginormous tree inside all ready to be decorated. The place has a wonderful historic vibe to it – it dates back to the 14th century. If you’re wondering where you’ve seen it before, it may well have been the Harry Potter films – it was used in the first one as part of Diagon Alley and where the Leakey Cauldron was!
Map of London’s Christmas Lights
Click here if you’d like to see my tips for visiting London in the winter months!
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🇬🇧💂♀️ London Travel FAQ 💂♀️🇬🇧
Do I need insurance for traveling to London?
YES! I always recommend people take travel insurance when exploring the world!
Check Travel Insurance Master for quote comparisons from different providers.
Do I need a car for visiting London?
NO – If you’re just visiting London then a car is not recommended and can be more of a hindrance than a help.
If you plan to explore more of the UK then I recommend DiscoverCars to compare car rental prices
How to book accommodation in London?
For hotels I recommend Booking.com
For apartments and cottages check out VRBO
Will my phone work in London?
Perhaps – it depends if you have roaming enabled and beware this can be an expensive way to use your phone.
If you need a SIM for use in the UK I recommend GiffGaff which you can get and set up before traveling.
What’s the best guidebook for London?
I really like the Lonely Planet Guidebooks
Where to get flights for London
Expedia is my first port of call for finding cheap flights to London.
Do I need a visa for London?
Many countries don’t need a visa for visiting England as tourists (USA, Canada, Aus, NZ and Europe) – it’s always best to check first though.