When Are London's Christmas 2017 Lights Switched On?

Nothing signifies the approach of Christmas more than the glow of seasonal street lights. Here's our guide to when London's festive lights are switched on (and the accompanying parties) in some of the capital's biggest shopping destinations. Keep checking back closer to the festive season as more details are announced. Not enough light for you? Be dazzled at one of London's stunning winter lights festivals.

Oxford Street - 7 November

The lights on London's most famous street will be switched on on 7 November. This year we're promised "falling snow flakes" and "the whole mile of Oxford Street covered in a blanket of bright white lights and 1,778 baubles". Singer Rita Ora is doing the honours this year. Oxford Street has partnered with the NSPCC again to raise awareness of the charity's Christmas campaign.

Carnaby - 9 November

Carnaby launches the festive season with a shopping party to accompany the lights switch on. Get 20% off at selected stores in the shopping district. Further details to be announced.

Covent Garden - 14 November

Mistletoe chandeliers and giant reindeer return to Covent Garden from 14 November. More details to be announced.

Marylebone - 15 November

Marylebone Village marks the Christmas lights switch on with an evening of shopping, stage performances and food stalls. Santa and his reindeer made an appearance last year... watch this space.

Regent Street - 16 November

The 2016 Regent Street offering. Photo Inga Rasmussen

Thursday 16 November has been earmarked for the Regent Street lights switch on. Expect a live countdown, and some famous faces doing the honours. Further details to be announced.

Seven Dials - 16 November

From 5pm-9pm, the Seven Dials area will be taken over by a shopping and food event, including that all-important countdown to the switch-on, which will be accompanied by a 400-piece choir. Shops in the area will be offering special discounts and events, and local restaurants will prepare special dishes for the occasion. Register for your free ticket.

St James's -16 November

A live choir will set the scene in St James's Market as the streets are lit up with "large-scale spirit figures" on 16 November, with special events going on in the shops and restaurants throughout the evening.

Kingston - 16 November

Photo: Visit Kingston

Head out west to the historic town of Kingston to watch the lights being switched on, accompanied by carols around the Christmas tree. Santa will be making an appearance, and many of the local shops and restaurants will have discounts for the evening.

Duke of York Square, Chelsea - 18 November

Duke of York Square 2016. Photo: Duke of York Square

This one takes place on a Saturday, so there's a whole afternoon of suitably festive entertainment taking place across the area, beginning at 2pm, including a chance to meet real reindeer. Father Christmas himself will be doing the honours and switching the lights on at 5pm — you'd think he'd have better things to do at this time of year, but it seems he's been charmed into appearing.

St Katharine Docks - 23 November

Head to Marble Quay at 6pm to see David Suchet (not in character as Poirot, sadly) switching on the lights, accompanied by the City Chamber Choir performing Christmas carols. Mulled wine, mince pies and other festive staples will be available to buy.

The Shard - 4 December

There's no switching on ceremony for this one, but look up every night from 4-31 December to see the top 20 storeys illuminated for the festive season. There will be a special display on the first night and on New Year's Eve, and we're promised that this year's theme will be revealed that first night too.


Why not whet your appetite with this video of London's 2016 Christmas lights: