The Glowing Winter Lights Festival Returns To Canary Wharf This Month

Laura Reynolds
By Laura Reynolds Last edited 16 months ago

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Last Updated 05 January 2023

The Glowing Winter Lights Festival Returns To Canary Wharf This Month
A large glowing red hoop encircling a pedestrian bridge
Photo: Canary Wharf

Canary Wharf's getting a glow up this month, as the free Winter Lights festival returns.

For 11 evenings, the skyscraper-strewn area of east London are taken over by a trail of glowing artworks. 21 pieces have been confirmed for the 2023 event — some of which have been on display here in previous years, others brand new.

The word 'Children' illuminated in a waterfall
Bit.Fall by Julius Popp. Photo: Londonist/@londonartcritic

New additions for this year include 'Permafrost - Sleeping Giants' by Fisheye, which features brightly-coloured, giant mammoths, and Tom Lambert’s 'Out of the Dark’, a kaleidoscopic installation of mesmerising moving colour.

Bit.Fall by Julius Popp, meanwhile, will be familiar to those who've done Winter Lights before — it's a word waterfall, featuring words based on what's trending in the news.

'Winter Lights' written in white glowing letters
An installation at Winter Lights 2019. Photo: Londonist

Canary Wharf Winter Lights has been running for a few years now, and we have to say, it's a real treat every time (helped along, of course, by the fact it's completely free). The installations are illuminated 5pm-10pm each night, and as you'd expect, weekend evenings tend to be busier than weekdays.

It's a great chance to explore an area that most Londoners might not normally venture to. Plus, if you're heading in from central London, it's an excuse to ride the Elizabeth line! Wahey!

A forest of glowing fake trees in various pastel colours, in front of the One Canada Square skyscraper
Sasha Trees by Adam Decolight - an installation from 2019. Photo: Londonist

Take a look a tour video for an idea of what to expect — it was filmed at Canary Wharf Winter Lights 2020, the last time the event was held:

You can also browse our photo galleries from Winter Lights 2020 and Winter Lights 2019.

A map of the installations will be available on the Canary Wharf Winter Lights website closer to the time — though in the past, we've always found it a bit... challenging to follow, unless you know the area very well. So factor in time for navigating between artworks.

A group of vertical white glowing lines, laid out in a grid pattern
Photo: Canary Wharf

Canary Wharf Winter Lights takes place Wednesday 18-Saturday 28 January 2023, 5pm-10pm. It's free to visit.