Nothing signifies the approach of Christmas more than the glow of seasonal street lights. Here's our guide to when London's 2019 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 — and keep an eye on our Christmas in London page for more festive fun.
Oxford Street Christmas lights 2019
The Oxford Street Christmas lights are usually London's first to be switched on — it was Tuesday 6 November 2018, with 2019 details TBC. The event usually has in-store gigs and pop-up performances taking place on the night plus shopping and dining special offers.
We were expecting new Christmas lights for Oxford Street for Christmas 2018, but that was to tie in with Crossrail. Seeing as though we're not yet riding the #PurpleTrain under London's streets, the decision was made to delay the new lights as well, but a touch of purple was added to the illuminations for 2018. It's not yet known whether new lights will be installed for Christmas 2019... keep checking back for updates.
Regent Street Christmas lights 2019
Those angels were gracing the skies above Regent Street's glorious curves from 15 November 2018 — the 2019 details have yet to be announced. The street usually goes traffic-free for the evening, with events going on in nearby shops.
Covent Garden Christmas lights 2019
40 mistletoe chandeliers, 700 glistening berries and a giant Christmas tree form the base of Covent Garden's Christmas lights and decorations, which were illuminated on Tuesday 13 November 2018 — 2019 details TBC.
Kylie Minogue did the honours in Covent Garden in 2017 — details of this year's special guest and performance have yet to be revealed. Here's the 2017 switch-on:
Carnaby Christmas lights 2019
Carnaby Christmas usually has 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 were illuminated above the area for Christmas 2018, with the switch-on on Thursday 8 November — 2019 details TBC.
Brunswick Centre Christmas lights 2019
The Brunswick Centre near Russell Square usually hosts a Christmas party evening, when the lights are switched on, along with live music from West End performers and gospel choirs, plus stilt walkers and other entertainment. It was Wednesday 7 November 2018 — 2019 details TBC.
Marylebone Village Christmas lights 2019: 13 November
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. It takes place on Wednesday 13 November 2019 — full details on the Marylebone Village website.
Northbank Christmas lights 2019
The Northbank BID lights above Strand were switched on from 14 November 2018 — details for 2019 TBC.
Seven Dials Christmas lights 2019
Seven Dials usually combines the switching-on the light installation with a Christmas shopping event, offering discounts, special offers and events in the shops, bars and restaurants around the area. It was 15 November 2018 — 2019 details TBC.
Elizabeth Street, Belgravia Christmas lights 2019
Belgravia's Elizabeth Street lights are usually switched by local celebrities, with stores in the area open late for shopping, prosecco and mince pies. It was Thursday 15 November 2018 — stay tuned for 2019 details.
Kingston Christmas lights 2019
The Kingston Christmas lights were switched on and the town's Christmas market opened on 15 November 2018 — 2019 details coming soon.
Connaught Village Christmas lights 2019
In 2018, the lights were switched on on Thursday 15 November. 2019 details TBC.
Sloane Square, Chelsea Christmas lights 2019
Royal Exchange Christmas lights 2019
Wednesday 21 November was the date that the lights on the 25ft high Christmas tree outside the Royal Exchange at Bank were switched on in 2018 — keep an eye out for 2019 details.
St Katharine Docks Christmas lights 2019
Father Christmas arrived by speedboat to launch the festivities at St Katharine Dock on 22 November 2018, with a full carol concert, mulled wine, mince pies and hot chocolate. 2019 details TBC.
The Shard Christmas lights 2019
The top 20 floors of The Shard are usually illuminated throughout December. There's no specific switching on ceremony, but eyes to the skies throughout December to see the 30 minute show in action.
Trafalgar Square Christmas tree 2019
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. 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: