Nothing signifies the approach of Christmas like the glow of seasonal street lights. Here's our guide to when London's 2022 festive illuminations are switched on (and the accompanying parties) in some of the capital's biggest shopping destinations including Oxford Street, Regent Street, Covent Garden and Carnaby. We'll update this article as more lights are announced.
Oxford Street Christmas lights 2022 — from 2 November
Oxford Street is the first London district to announce details of its 2022 Christmas lights. The illuminations over the world-famous shopping street will be on from Wednesday 2 November 2022.
The dangling stars — 5,000 of them — are back this year, and there's a focus on sustainability, with reduced operating hours and LED lights combining to use two-thirds less energy than last year (and with energy bills what they are, who can blame them).
Carnaby Christmas lights 2022 — from 8 November
"Expect the unexpected" is the tagline for this year's Carnaby Christmas lights. The shopping district has a new theme for its festive decorations every year, from Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody to sub-aqua scenes. 2022 will be a compilation of the best from the past 25 years, with elements of 14 different themes all incorporated. It launches on Tuesday 8 November 2022, with the usual shopping and switch-on party taking place that evening.
(NOTE: this event was previously scheduled for 3 November, but the date has changed due to train and tube strikes on that day).
Covent Garden Christmas lights 2022 — from 8 November
115,000 lights and a 60ft-tall Christmas tree take over the Covent Garden area from Tuesday 8 November 2022. Those giant mirrored baubles and mistletoe are back inside the market building too.
Regent Street and St James's Christmas lights 2022 — from 9 November
Exactly a week after Oxford Street, Regent Street switches its own lights on, from Wednesday 9 November. The neighbouring district of St James's gets lit the same night too, and those 'Spirit of Christmas' angels are back, glistening above Regent Street, Regent Street St James's, Piccadilly and Jermyn Street. Unfortunately there's no big switch-on event this year.
Marylebone Village Christmas lights 2022 — 10 November
Merry Marylebone — the annual festive event in Marylebone Village culminating in a big Christmas light-up — takes place on Thursday 10 November 2022. There'll be snow machines, a Santa's grotto, and food, drink and gift stalls — as well as discounts and special offers in the local shops, restaurants and bars.
Bond Street Christmas lights 2022 - 17 November
It's all change on Bond Street this year, as the famous peacock lights which we've enjoyed for the past seven festive seasons are replaced with regally-themed illuminations featuring more than 90,000 LED lights.
It may seem timely that the new design was announced the same week as King Charles's coronation date was, but in actual fact, the new lights have taken over 12 months to create. They're inspired by the Crown Jewels, as well as the many high-end jewellery stores which have set up shop on Bond Street over the centuries. A tiara-like gateway at each end of Bond Street will welcome shoppers to the area, with 'necklaces' strung across Old and New Bond Street at regular intervals. See them illuminated from Thursday 17 November 2022.
Leadenhall Market Christmas lights - 17 November
17 November is also the date to stick in your diary if you want to see Leadenhall Market's lights switched on. As is tradition, the Lord Mayor does the honours, lighting up the large central Christmas tree, colour changing LED lights, and fir tree garlands throughout the Market. The switch-on, at 6pm, is accompanied by firework fountains.
Connaught Village Christmas lights 2022 - 17 November
A whole afternoon and evening of festivities is planned in Connaught Village near Marble Arch on Thursday 17 November, including the Christmas light switch-on. Craft workshops, live music and in-store promotions are all part of the fun, and the illuminations will be on the theme of "All I want for Christmas is..."
Angel Islington Christmas lights 2022 - 17 November
The Angel Islington celebrates the start of the festive season with its Christmas lights switch-on event, Glow in the Angel, on Thursday 17 November. Things are happening around the area all evening 4pm-8pm — look out for illuminated stilt walkers, 'glow angels' giving out free gifts, music and other entertainment, plus carol singers and a brass band down Camden Passage.
Chelsea Christmas lights 2022 - 19 November
Saturday 19 November is the date to stick in your diary for the Chelsea Christmas light switch-on, which involves a whole day of festive fun. King's Road is part-pedestrianised for the day, with a chance to meet reindeer, and complimentary horse and carriage rides, as well as other activities. Father Christmas has the honour of switching the lights on at 5pm, illuminating King's Road, Sloane Square and surrounding areas.
Trafalgar Square Christmas tree 2022 — TBC
The Mayor of Westminster, Norwegian Ambassador and governing Mayor of Oslo usually switch on the lights on the Trafalgar Square tree on the first Thursday in December, which would be 1 December 2022 — though we're awaiting official confirmation. The tree is a gift from Norway every year — more information about the lighting ceremony here.