The Best Way To Experience London’s Christmas Lights

The tradition of the London Christmas lights dates back to 1954. Read more about that here as well as the best way to enjoy a London Christmas taxi tour.

A visit to London at Christmas time is a must do if you want to experience all the magic and festive cheer this amazing city has to offer. From spectacular window displays to dazzling Christmas lights, you won’t be disappointed.

 The sights are vast and you can easily spend a jam packed day exploring this buzzing city.

 From Spitalfields market in the east, to the dazzling lights, sights and sounds of the West end, make a Christmas London visit a top priority this winter.

 What better way to see as much of the city as you can than on one of our 3 hour festive taxi tours? Not only will you be able to enjoy the view from the comfort of your own taxi, you’ll also have a genuine London cabbie to share all their knowledge on individual landmarks and points of interest as you go.

 You can even pop out for a shop around the seasonal Christmas markets along the way! More on that later...

History

 

The tradition of the London Christmas lights dates back to 1954 after local shop owners and business organised a display on Regent street.The idea being to get London sparkling at Christmas during the gloomy post-war era.

 So popular was this display, that over the following two decades the festive installations spread to different streets in the city. 1959 saw Oxford Street's first festive lights, which is now often the focus of the Christmas lights in London.

 The annual tradition to light up London continued and has grown to be the spectacular event that we see today. The iconic London lights are a major attraction for visitors from around the world, drawing a staggering number of visitors for the ‘switch on ceremony’.

 So, let's explore some of the top places to visit for Christmas lights!

people enjoying a christmas taxi tour

 

Oxford Street & Regent Street

 

Where better to begin than the place where it all started,Regent street is a must see for any visitor at Christmas, and 2021 is not going to disappoint.

 What is said to be London’s biggest display of Christmas lights this year, Regent Street hosts “the spirit of Christmas”; a spectacular celebration of the history of the festive lights and the showcasing of British design and engineering.

 Regent Street is also renowned for its top class restaurants, so you can easily enjoy some refreshments after a busy day shopping and sightseeing.

 Linking onto Regent street, world famous shopping paradise Oxford Street is a natural destination on the tour.

 Partnering with Selfridges in 2021, the Oxford Street Christmas lights stretch a staggering 1.5 miles and will be paying tribute to the heroes of the Pandemic in 2020.

 These lights would be perfectly enjoyed by Taxi, with the flexibility to pop out and pick up some Christmas gifts while you're here.

 

Harrods & Knightsbridge

 Probably one of London’s best known luxury shopping destinations, Harrods offers a stunning window display at Christmas time alongside beautiful lights adorning the building’s exterior and is certainly a tour must see for all your instagram pics.

 For high end shopping, Knightsbridge is a must visit, with Harvey Nichols also featuring a festive display. In fact, the Christmas lights often stretch all the way down Sloane Street to Chelsea’s Sloane Square. If you’re looking for festive designer gear, this is the place to come.

Covent Garden

 The iconic Covent Garden market sits in the heart of London’s West End, and is the perfect place to enjoy a mixture of festive shopping and grabbing some refreshments. If you’re in town for a show, Drury Lane and Theatreland are just a short walk from Covent Garden too, making it an ideal stop for a browse.

 The festive lights in Covent Garden stretch from Seven Dials, the old centre of Soho, down to Somerset House. Oh, and Somerset Houseis one of the most beautiful and memorable places to enjoy some festive ice-skating.

 

Trafalgar Square

What is Christmas without a traditional illuminated tree? Infact, Trafalgar Square is where this tradition started, and to this day you can see London’s very own festive fir lit up in the heart of the city.

 In a tradition dating back to 1947, London has been gifted a Fir tree from Norway every year as thanks for British support during WWII

 But it is not just any old tree, this staggering tree topping 20 metres is carefully selected and cared for well in advance from forests surrounding Oslo. It is felled in a special ceremony and then brought over by sea, usually during November and can be seen decorated in a traditional Norwegian style.

 The lighting of this amazing tree signifies the start of the countdown to Christmas and is a lovely tradition in the city.

 

Southbank

 A lovely area to visit all year round, London’s Southbank is particularly magical at Christmas time and will be a key destination on yourtour.

 Perfect for shopping if you are looking for something a little less mainstream than the buzz of Oxford street, Southbank is a genuinely magical London Christmas experience. Stretching from the London Eye to the Oxo Tower, the rows of stalls at this special Christmas market have so much to offer.

 From handcrafted gifts and festive trinkets, to artisan sweet treats or unique art there really is something for everyone. It’s also the perfect spot to jump out and enjoy a warm mulled wine while gazing across the Thames and soaking up the festive atmosphere.

Conclusion

 So if London at Christmas time is on your list for this year, what better way to explore all these amazing sights than with one of our perfectly tailored taxi tours. Accommodating up to 6 people per tour, you'll be driven around London by an experienced London black cab driver who will share their knowledge and passion for this beautiful City while showing you the most festive spots in London.

 Our black cab Christmas tours are flexible and can be tailored to your individual interests. Perfect come rain or shine, you can hop in and out along the way whenever you want to explore more or get that amazing family or friends Christmas photo.  If you want to see the very best of London this Christmas then book your London Christmas Lights Taxi Tour here