Lumiere London won't be lighting up the capital's streets this winter, but that doesn't mean it's all doom and gloom. From Eltham to Kew, take a look at the other light and lantern festivals taking place in London over Christmas 2019.
Christmas at Kew 2019
Probably our favourite annual event in London, Kew Gardens' Christmas offering gets better and better every year. The atmospheric trail winds through the gardens after dark, and manages to act as both a fantastic family-friendly event, and a romantic date night.
Over a million lights and thousands of laser beams go into the event, which also features a fire garden, light tunnel, and vintage fun fair rides to keep little ones happy. Food and drink stalls are dotted throughout, including marshmallow roasting pits. Look out for a laser garden, moonlit woods, and a flotilla of tiny boats aglow on the lake.
Take a look at our video from Christmas at Kew 2018 to get an idea of what to expect:
Enchanted Woodland at Syon Park 2019
Think of this as a mini version of Kew's offering, aimed predominantly at kiddies and their parents. A mile-long route winds around the ornamental lake where the trees are illuminated in all colours, before finishing in the historic arboretum. Drinks and snacks are on sale in the restaurant at the start and finish, so warm up with a hot chocolate before you set off, then indulge in a celebratory mulled wine on your return.
Enchanted Eltham 2019
Eltham Palace is beautiful at the best of times, but it really comes into its own when the gardens are illuminated at night for Enchanted Eltham.
The festival is back in over three weekends in December this year, with a colourful light trail through the gardens. Warm up afterwards with hot drink and marshmallows in the Great Hall — and the gift shop is open and selling Christmas gifts.
Squidsoup light installations, Belgravia and Southbank Centre
After an appearance at Canary Wharf Winter Lights 2019, artist collective Squidsoup brings two more immersive light installations to London.
Wave comes to Eccelston Yards in Belgravia from 28 November 2019-11 January 2020. It's free to visit, and consists of 500 colourful orbs of lights dangling above you, designed to improve wellness.
Meanwhile, another new Squidsoup artwork appears at Southbank Centre's Winter Festival, 2 December 2019-7 January 2020.
Canary Wharf Winter Lights 2020
This free, outdoor festival of light installations has brightened up our dull, dark Januarys for the past few years, so we're fully hoping it'll be back in 2020. Fun, inventive light artwork is dotted around the Canary Wharf Estate (to give it its full, corporate title), making full use of the area's water and skyscrapers. From a word waterfall to illuminated graffiti and giant rabbits, take a look at our video:
Canary Wharf Winter Lights. Keep an eye on the website for January 2020 details.
Christmas at London Zoo 2019
We're really hoping that Christmas at London Zoo returns this winter. The light trail, by the same company behind Christmas at Kew, had its inaugural outing last year. The one mile trail sees lights surround the many listed building and structures at the zoo, including light animal sculptures and light tunnels. A Christmas village will pop-up, selling mulled wine, marshmallows to toast, and animal-themed Christmas gifts.
London's Christmas light switch-ons 2019
Of course, the world and his missus will be throwing parties and special events when Christmas lights are switched on in high streets and shopping districts around the capital. We'll be adding details of Christmas light switch-ons to this page as they're announced.
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