It’s not truly Christmas until the London landmarks start lighting up for the festive season, and one of London’s busiest ‘gardens’ has unveiled their display for the year. The Covent Garden Christmas lights have been switched on, kicking off a very merry Christmas in the famed piazza. A dazzling array of lights have been plugged in and powered up, and as you can probably imagine, it looks utterly magical.
Central to the Covent Garden Christmas lights is London’s biggest hand-picked Christmas tree, which this year tops out at a whopping 60 feet tall – a 5 foot upgrade from 2021’s short (well, in comparison) king! They don’t just pick any old tree, either – the Covent Garden Christmas tree comes from the same farm that the Royal Family get their trees from, and to make the process as sustainable as possible, three trees are planted for every tree cut down. At the end of the festive season, Covent Garden’s tree will be recycled to make woodchips.
That humungous tree is festooned with an incredible 30,000 lights and giant baubles – a task which requires a team of 60 workers to put in 300 hours of work and use a cherry-picker for the upper branches. It towers over the Royal Opera House Arcade as well as the stunning Maison de Fleurs festive floral archway that will mark the entrance to the Apple Market, home to British crafts and Christmas gifts. In total, 115,000 lights have been strung up to dazzle visitors to Covent Garden. Elsewhere in the plaza, those lovely giant mistletoe chandeliers are back again for another year, along with giant baubles, mistletoe, and mirror balls in the Market Building.
And of course, since it is Christmas, you’ll find pop-up events taking place at Covent Garden all throughout the season. Last year, we enjoyed festivities including the mulled wine festival (which started on November 8 when the lights turned on!) and the Christmas Sandwich extravaganza scattered around the piazza. What better way to soak up the festivties than getting tipsy on warm alcohol and stuffing ourselves with hearty scran? New additions this year include a brand new Christmas Sleigh: a sustainably sourced and reconditioned 1884 carriage painted in glorious red by British artist James Gemmill, which you can find in the West Piazza South Hall.
Meanwhile, the giant outdoor dining hub that popped up last year has stuck around, with 1,000 weatherproof seats available for festive dining. You can expect plenty of shopping and dining events to compliment all the festivities here, including a series of Christmas markets where you’ll surely find the ideal gift.
Plus, there looks to be an exciting returnee from last year – trusty weather forecasts inform us that it’ll be snowing again at Covent Garden at this exact location throughout the festive period, projecting to start the chill from December 1. A Christmas miracle, sure, but no less than we’ve come to expect from the magical London piazza.
Festive revellers are once again flocking to Covent Garden to celebrate the illumination extravaganza. After a tough few winters in the last couple of years, the Christmas cheer is undeniably back for 2022. And Covent Garden is making a solid case for being the place to enjoy it all!
For extra information about Covent Garden’s Christmas bonanza, head to their website.
Also published on Medium.