Nothing signifies the approach of Christmas more than the glow of seasonal street lights. Here's our guide to when London's 2018 festive lights are switched on (and the accompanying parties) in some of the capital's biggest shopping destinations including Oxford Street, Regent Street, Marylebone and Carnaby. We'll be updating this article in the run-up to Christmas, so keep checking back closer to the festive season as more details are announced.
Oxford Street Christmas lights 2018 - Tuesday 6 November 2018
6 November is the date the Oxford Street lights — usually London's first — are switched on. The event will be extra special this year, with in-store gigs and pop-up performances taking place on the night (full details here), plus shopping and dining special offers.
We were expecting new Christmas lights for Oxford Street this year, but that was to tie in with Crossrail. Seeing as though we won't be riding the #PurpleTrain under London's streets this winter, the decision was made to delay the new lights as well, but there will be a touch of purple added to the illuminations for 2018.
Brunswick Centre Christmas lights - Wednesday 7 November 2018
The Brunswick Centre near Russell Square hosts a Christmas party evening, when the lights will be switched on, along with live music from West End performers and gospel choirs, plus stilt walkers and other entertainment.
Carnaby Christmas lights 2018 - Thursday 8 November 2018
Carnaby Christmas is on 8 November 2018, with special events and discounts in the local shops, bars and restaurants, as well as the all-important switch-on. The lyrics to Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody are already illuminated above the area, but we're promised that Christmas decorations will take the form of "additional elements installed at the beginning of November".
Covent Garden Christmas lights 2018 - Tuesday 13 November 2018
40 mistletoe chandeliers, 700 glistening berries and a giant Christmas tree form the base of Covent Garden's Christmas lights and decorations, which will be illuminated in an event on 13 November.
Kylie Minogue did the honours in Covent Garden last year — details of this year's special guest and performance have yet to be revealed. Here's the 2017 switch-on:
Marylebone Village Christmas lights 2018 - Wednesday 14 November 2018
There's a full afternoon of events before this Christmas lights switch on gets underway, with stage performances, activities to take part in and plenty of places to shop and drink, starting at 3pm. The lights turn on at 6pm. Find out more.
Northbank Christmas lights 2018 - Wednesday 14 November 2018
The Northbank BID lights above Strand will be switched on from 14 November 2018.
Regent Street Christmas lights 2018 - Thursday 15 November 2018
Those angels will be gracing the skies above Regent Street's glorious curves from 15 November. The street will be traffic-free for the evening, with events going on in nearby shops. Find out more about the Regent Street Christmas lights.
Seven Dials Christmas lights 2018 - Thursday 15 November 2018
Seven Dials combines the switching-on of a brand new light installation with a Christmas shopping event, offering discounts, special offers and events in the shops, bars and restaurants around the area.
Elizabeth Street, Belgravia Christmas lights 2018 - Thursday 15 November
Milliner Philip Treacy, and queen of fragrance Jo Malone are doing the honours on Belgravia's Elizabeth Street, with the lights switched on at 6.30pm. Stores in the area will stay open late for shopping, prosecco and mince pies. Don't forget, Elizabeth Street is home to Instagram-famous bakery Peggy Porschen, so we're expecting something very pretty.
Kingston Christmas lights 2018 - Thursday 15 November 2018
Put 15 November in your diary for mulled wine, mince pies and plenty of carols. It's the day the Kingston Christmas lights are switched on and the town's Christmas market opens. It's a family-friendly affair, with Christmas crafts and storytime, Ice Age characters and a special family service at All Saints Church.
Connaught Village Christmas lights 2018 - Thursday 15 and Thursday 22 November
The lights in Connaught Village will be illuminated on 15 December, but the area's main celebration takes place a week later. On 22 November, the Connaught Village Christmas Shopping Event takes places, with plenty of chances to get some Christmas shopping done, accompanied by the sounds of carol singing and opera. Free prosecco and mulled wine will be available in certain stores, and free activities including Christmas decoration workshops. Several stores in the area will offer exclusive discounts too.
Sloane Square, Chelsea Christmas lights 2018 - Saturday 17 November 2018
It's quite an extravagant affair in Chelsea, taking place across Sloane Square and Duke of York Square. The fun begins at 2pm when carol singers and other performers appear around the area to entertain the crowds. Father Christmas and real-life reindeer are on hand in Duke of York Square to keep the kids happy. The switch-on takes place at 5pm in Sloane Square and will illuminate Duke of York Square, Pavilion Road, Sloane Street and King’s Road.
Royal Exchange Christmas lights 2018 - Wednesday 21 November 2018
Wednesday 21 November is the date the lights on the 25ft high Christmas tree outside the Royal Exchange at Bank will be switched on. The event is free, open to all and begins at 6pm, with carolling taking place, and the lights switched on by a secret celebrity guest. Hot chocolate, mulled wine and mince pies will be available.
St Katharine Docks Christmas lights 2018 - 22 December
Father Christmas will arrive by speedboat to launch the festivities at St Katharine Dock on 22 November. Once the lights have been switched on, a full carol concert will take place beneath them, and mulled wine, mince pies and hot chocolate are available throughout the evening. The marina also hosts a floating Christmas film festival in December.
The Shard Christmas lights 2018 - from 3 December 2018
Once again, the top 20 floors of The Shard will be illuminated throughout December. The theme this year is reflection. There's no specific switching on ceremony, but eyes to the skies from 4pm-1am every night from 3 December to see the 30 minute show in action.
Trafalgar Square Christmas tree 2018 - Thursday 6 December
The Mayor of Westminster, Norwegian Ambassador and governing Mayor of Oslo will switch on the lights on the Trafalgar Square tree on 6 December. The tree is a gift from Norway every year — more information about the lighting ceremony here.
Why not whet your appetite with this video of London's 2016 Christmas lights: