Christmas Gentle Festivals in London: brighten up your winter

Christmas Light Festivals in London: brighten up your winter

Photo: Christmas at Kew

As well as all of London’s iconic twinkling lights taking over the streets, there are many beautiful ones Christmas light festivals, light trails and light shows to see around town! So, without further ado, here are the best Christmas lights festivals in London for 2022-2023:

Multi-colored lightbulbs hang from branches at Christmas in Kenwood.Christmas at Kenwood

Christmas at Kenwood is back to transform Hampstead Heath into a glittering winter wonderland this winter. As night falls, the Christmas light path takes you through a series of stunning installations, including a laser garden and a snowflake house. There’s also a fire garden and plenty of festive food and drink to keep you warm throughout the night. Find out more and secure your tickets on the website.

📍 Hampstead Lane, Hampstead, NW3 7JR.
🚇 The nearest train stations are Golders Green or Hampstead.

Children jump between illuminated lily pads on the Illuminature Light TrailPhoto credit: WWT London Wetland Centre

London Wetlands Centre have erected a stunning string of lights that will shine brightly in the increasingly short winter days that are upon us. Just made its debut last year and now it’s back for more, LIGHTING features a sea of ​​beautiful structures, including giant light sculptures of wetland animals that sit among luminous installations like light tunnels and appealing water lilies. New for 2022 is the night vision binoculars section, where visitors can catch a glimpse of the animal magic in the park. It’s certainly one of London’s most organic and animal-fired light festivals. Find out more and get your tickets on the website for this fantastic addition to this London Christmas Lights Festivals round-up.

📍 WWT London Wetland Centre, Barnes, SW13 9WT.
🚇 The nearest train station is Barnes.

3. Christmas at Kew, open now through January 8, 2023

Projections above the greenhouse on the Christmas at Kew Trail©RBG Kew

Kew Gardens’ magical Christmas Light Trail is back, bringing light, color and Christmas cheer to South West London, and it’s bigger than ever. Along a 2.7 km long trail, You’ll find more than a million twinkling lights adorning bridges, arches, trees, tunnels and more. Admire the hugely popular Fire Garden and be sure to snap a photo at the Instagram-dominant Christmas Cathedral. To keep you warm along the way there are plenty of independent food stalls and vendors – and yes, there will be plenty of mulled wine and hot chocolate too! There’s also a slew of delicacies from street food pioneers CURB scattered throughout the grounds. Find out more and secure your tickets on the website – there are still enough places available for January!

📍 Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond.
🚇 The nearest train stations are Kew Bridge, Kew Gardens and Richmond.

RHS Wisley Light FestivalPhoto: RHS Wisley

Glow at RHS Wisley is back this winter with captivating Christmas light shows and spectacular displays that transform the space into the world’s most festive garden. This year’s all-new path takes you through the massive, lighted Glass House, past the Jellicoe Canal and the old laboratory, and through the Wisteria Walk with more lights, fire, and fountains than ever before. They also host a mini Christmas market with all sorts of festive goodies in the nearby village square. Find out more and secure your tickets on the website.

📍 RHS Garden Wisley, Woking GU23 6QB.
🚇 The nearest train station is West Byfleet.

5. Lightopia, open now through January 2, 2023

This award-winning festival of lights is back for another dazzling celebration of Christmas! The Lightopia Festival illuminates historic Crystal Palace Park with immersive installations, lasers and hand-sculpted lanterns. The park is reborn in the light when guests have the opportunity to hike the stunning Christmas Light Walk. If you’re feeling peckish, there’s delicious festive refreshments along the way. It’s the perfect Christmas Day with family and friends! Find out more and secure your tickets on the website.

📍 Crystal Palace Park, Crystal Palace, SE19 2GA.
🚇 The nearest train station is Crystal Palace.

6. Palace of Light at Hampton Court, open now through January 2, 2023

This Christmas you are invited to an enchanting festive lantern and light experience in the splendor Hampton Court Palace with all-new, bold displays through an expanded route for 2022. This year’s Christmas Lights Path is bigger and better than ever, with more elaborate installations and more dramatic displays than ever. You’ll take a route through the atmospheric gardens and around the castle grounds, encountering curious creatures like panthers and lions along the way.

There are also food and drink bags from street food pioneer KERB. While you’re here, don’t miss a chance to visit the fantastic ice rink. Get your tickets through their website here.

📍 Hampton Court Way, Molesey, East Molesey, KT8 9AU.
🚇 The nearest train station is Hampton Court.

Enchanted-eltham Light Festivals© English Heritage

Combine a magical blend of light, color and sound, Enchanted Eltham Palace is back with another breathtaking winter experience. Watch Eltham Palace glow at night, walk among the twinkling lights and admire the ancient moat as you travel back in time along the route. You can also toast to marshmallows, sip mulled wine, or have fun on a few rides. After all, it’s the best time of the year. The meetings will be held on the following dates December: 2-4, 8-11, 15-Sun 18th, 20th-23rd and 27.-30. Find out more and buy your tickets on the website.

📍 Eltham Palace, Greenwich, SE9 5QE.
🚇 The nearest train station is Eltham.

the Epping Ongar Light Fantastic ride under a bridge on a misty evening when all the carriages are lit up with colored lightsPhoto credit: @eorailway, via Instagram

Fancy a festival of lights with a wonderful train ride? Then you should secure your seat Epping Ongar Light Fantastic! Guests are treated to trackside light installations, music and lots of cute lighted displays while the onboard narration guides you through a festive adventure. Find out more and buy your tickets on the website.

📍 Station Approach, Chipping Ongar, Ongar, CM5 9BN.
🚇 The nearest train station is Eppingen, from where you can hop on a historic bus.

an illuminated installation surrounding a walkway in Canary WharfPhoto credit: Canary Wharf

London’s biggest free Christmas lights festival returns once again in 2023 to brighten up the dark winter evenings. Over 20 installations will make the area even brighter than usual, with old favorites returning from years past and some making their UK or global debuts. In the past many of the Canary Wharf Winter Lights Installations have been interactive or responsive, and it gets bigger and brighter every year! With many of the artists and works yet to be announced, keep an eye on the site for more as they reveal more…

📍 Throughout the property, Canary Wharf, E14.
🚇 The nearest train station is Canary Wharf.

10. Winter Lights at the Southbank Centre, runs until January 8, 2023

A string of colorful lights covering the trees lining Southbank Photo: right click studios, Shutterstock

The South Bank Centre winter festival has returned once again for the 2022 season, with everything from Christmas carols and cabaret to Dolly Parton-themed shows and comedy extravaganzas on the bill. Not to mention their epic light show – which is back for the 2022 season and better than ever. Visit their website for more information.

📍 Belvedere Road, London, SE1 8XX.
🚇 The nearest train station is Waterloo.

So there you have it – a roundup of the best Christmas light shows And Christmas light trails in and around London. If you want to feel festive – any of these will get you in the mood!

Also published on Medium.