As well as all of London’s legendary twinkling lights displays taking over the streets, there are many beautiful Christmas light festivals, light trails, and light shows to see in the city! So, without further ado – here are the best Christmas light festivals in London for 2022-2023:
1. Christmas at Kenwood, open now until January 1, 2023
Christmas at Kenwood is back to turn Hampstead Heath into a glittering winter wonderland this winter. As night falls, the Christmas light trail will take you through a series of jaw-dropping installations, including the likes of a laser garden and a snowflake house. There’s also a fire garden, and plenty of festive food and drinks to keep you wam through the night. Find out more and grab your tickets at the website.
📍 Hampstead Lane, Hampstead, NW3 7JR.
🚇 Nearest station is Golders Green or Hampstead.
2. ILLUMINATURE at London Wetland Centre, open now until January 8, 2023
London Wetland Centre have set up a stunning trail of lights to shine bright during the increasingly short winter days that are upon us. Making its debut just last year, and now back for more, ILLUMINATURE boasts a sea of beautiful structures including giant light sculptures of wetland wildlife sat among glowing installations such as light tunnels and responsive lily pads. New for 2022 is the night visions binocular area, where visitors can catch a glimpse of animal magic in the park. It’s certainly one of the most organic, and animal-fuelled, of London’s light festivals. Find out more and grab your tickets at the website for this fantastic addition to this Christmas light festivals in London roundup.
📍 WWT London Wetland Centre, Barnes, SW13 9WT.
🚇 Nearest station is Barnes.
3. Christmas at Kew, open now until January 8, 2023
Bringing light, colour, and Christmas sparkle to south west London, Kew Gardens’ magical Christmas light trail is back and it’s bigger than ever. Along a 2.7km trail, you’ll find more than a million twinkly lights adorning bridges, arches, trees, tunnels, and more. Marvel at the hugely popular Fire Garden, and be sure to snap a pic in the Instagram-dominating Christmas Cathedral. To keep you warm along the way, there are plenty of independent food stands and vendors – and yes, there will be plenty of mulled wine and hot chocolate too! There’s also a whole smattering of delicacies from street food pioneers KERB dotted all across the site. Find out more and grab tickets at the website – there’s still plenty of availability for January!
📍 Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond.
🚇 Nearest stations are Kew Bridge, Kew Gardens, and Richmond.
4. Glow at RHS Wisley, open now until January 8, 2023
Glow at RHS Wisley is back this winter with captivating Christmas light shows and spectacular displays, turning the space into the most festive garden around. This year’s all-new trail takes you through the massive, illuminated Glasshouse, past the Jellicoe Canal and the old Laboratory, and through Wisteria Walk, with more light, fire, and fountain displays than ever before. They’ll also be hosting a mini Christmas market in the nearby village square, with all kinds of festive treats on offer. Find out more and grab your tickets at the website.
📍 RHS Garden Wisley, Woking GU23 6QB.
🚇 Nearest station is West Byfleet.
5. Lightopia, open now until January 2, 2023
This award-winning festival of lights is back for another dazzling Christmas! The Lightopia festival lights up historic Crystal Palace Park with immersive installations, lasers, and hand-sculpted lanterns. The park is reborn in light as guests get the chance to wander through the stunning Christmas Light Walk. If you’re feeling peckish, you can tuck into delicious festive refreshments along the way. It’s the perfect Christmassy day out with family and friends! Find out more and grab your tickets at the website.
📍 Crystal Palace Park, Crystal Palace, SE19 2GA.
🚇 Nearest station is Crystal Palace.
6. Palace of Light at Hampton Court, open now until January 2, 2023
This Christmas, you’re invited on an enchanting festive lantern and light experience at the magnificent Hampton Court Palace with brand new, bold displays through an extended route for 2022. This year’s Christmas light trail is bigger and better than ever before, with more elaborate installations and dramatic displays than ever before. You’ll take a route through the atmospheric gardens and around the palace grounds – encountering curious creatures like panthers and lions as you go.
📍 Hampton Court Way, Molesey, East Molesey, KT8 9AU.
🚇 Nearest station is Hampton Court.
7. Enchanted Eltham Palace, various dates through December
Combining a magical mix of light, colour, and sound, Enchanted Eltham Palace is back with another breathtaking winter experience. Watch as Eltham Palace glows in the night, walk amongst the twinkling lights, and admire the ancient moat as you step back in time along the route. You can also toast marshmallows, drink mulled wine, or have some fun on a few fairground rides. After all, it is the most wonderful time of the year. Sessions will run on the following dates through December: 2-4, 8-11, 15-Sun 18, 20-23, and 27-30. Find out more and get your tickets at the website.
📍 Eltham Palace, Greenwich, SE9 5QE.
🚇 Nearest station is Eltham.
8. Epping Ongar Light Fantastic, running until January 15, 2023
Fancy a light festival that throws a delightful train ride into the mix? Then you’ll want to grab your seat on the Epping Ongar Light Fantastic! Guests are treated to rail-side light installations, music, and plenty of cute illuminated displays as on-board narration guides you through a festive adventure. Find out more and get your tickets at the website.
📍 Station Approach, Chipping Ongar, Ongar, CM5 9BN.
🚇 Nearest station is Epping, from where you can jump on a heritage bus.
9. Canary Wharf Winter Lights, from January 18-28, 2023
The largest free Christmas light festival in London will return once more in 2023 to light up the dark winter evenings. Over 20 installations will find the area even more aglow than usual, with old favourites from past years returning, and some installations making their UK, or world, debut. In the past many of the Canary Wharf Winter Lights installations have been interactive or responsive, and the whole thing just gets bigger and brighter each year! With many of the artists and works yet to be announced, keep an eye on the website to learn more as they reveal more…
📍 Throughout the Estate, Canary Wharf, E14.
🚇 Nearest station is Canary Wharf.
10. Winter Light at the Southbank Centre, running until January 8, 2023
The Southbank Centre’s Winter Festival has returned once more for the 2022 season, with everything from carols and cabaret to Dolly Parton-themed shows and comedy extravaganzas on the bill. That’s not even mentioning their epic light exhibition – which is back for the 2022 season and better than ever. Check out their website for more details.
📍 Belvedere Road, London, SE1 8XX.
🚇 Nearest station is Waterloo.
So there you have it – a roundup of the best Christmas light shows and Christmas light trails in London and the surrounding area. If you’re looking to feel festive – then any one of these will get you in the mood!
Also published on Medium.