It’s that festive time of year again! So, we’ve zipped up our winter coats and pulled on our woolly hats, and headed out into the night. Our Mission: be filled with Christmas cheer. Our Plan: Find the best displays of Christmas lights in London.
And here at London Tailored Tours we have a lot of opinions about Christmas lights. We know our swagged electrified baubles from our neon santas. So, join us as we sort the best from the rest…
The Best Classic Christmas Lights: Oxford Street
Oxford Street (named after the Earl of Oxford, don’t-you-know) has a constellation of baubles hanging high over the traffic. And for an added bonus, the trees are hung with fairy lights, and low-hanging lights shaped like icicles, which ‘melt’ as you walk by. It all makes for a really pretty street scene as you’re doing your shopping.
Christmas shopping should always be sparkly. And speaking of sparkles…
Best Department Store Windows: Selfridges
The legendary Selfridges & Co., is a department store founded by American-born Harry Gordon Selfridge to make shopping more democratic, and more fun.
And he was the king of an eye-catching store display. In 1909 he promoted his brand-new store by displaying the first plane to fly the English Channel on the shop floor.
Selfridges had their Christmas window displays up two months before the big day. And that’s no surprise: it was the first ever store to have a countdown to Christmas.
The theme this year is ‘Selfridges Rocks Christmas’ which sees the return of Santa Claus himself , with a rock and roll twist. Think glitter, red velvet, gold and silver stars, accompanied by some rocking in-store music entertainment.
Best for Restrained Elegance: New Bond Street
New Bond Street
Modern London now has many centres of luxury shopping, but this one is the original. And fittingly, the lights swagged across New Bond Street take the shape of peacock feathers, a classic symbol of luxury.
This is where the high-end boutiques and ateliers are clustered, and their lights have to make a statement without looking tacky, or distracting from what’s below.
These beautiful Christmas lights let you know that everything beneath is reassuringly expensive.
Best Dressed Christmas Lights: Regent Street
These Christmas lights are showstoppers: angels spread out over London’s most famous boulevard, a curve which links Oxford Street to Piccadilly Circus. It’s a great street to shop on, or just wander down. For an unforgettable experience, with thousands of lights swagged over your head, it’s pretty much unbeatable.
And Regent Street is home to the famous Hamley’s Toy Shop, which leads us to our next choice:
Best Christmas Lights for Queen Fans: Carnaby Street
Unlike the refined traditional shopping streets like Jermyn Street and Savile Row, Carnaby Street has always been about the newest, hottest trends.
Is this the real life? Is this just Carnaby?
You’ll certainly find yourself asking ‘Is this just fantasy?’ when you see the incredible Queen themed lighting displays. Celebrating the release of Bohemian Rhapsody, a biopic about Freddie Mercury, these one of a kind lights are a must-see for any Queen fans.
Tour Guide Tip: This super fun street is definitely one to hit for your Christmas shopping needs and especially if there is a Queen fan in the family, check out the Queen pop-up shop!
The best way to end an evening of exploring London’s lights is to pop into a Proper Pub, and there are plenty in Soho. Find out how to spot one here.
But hang on, are you following us too? Keep up with all the fun festive things we’re showing our guests @londontailoredtours, and see how guides are celebrating with #festivefridays.
Happy Christmas from everyone at London Tailored Tours!