London's festive displays illuminate the capital

Dozens of dazzling events are planned for the run-up to Christmas

London at night is illuminated in an array of dazzling colours as a host of festive light displays kick off Christmas in the capital.

Kew Gardens in south-west London, the epicentre for horticultural enthusiasts in Britain, is just one of the venues transformed for winter.

Visitors there can enjoy "sparkling tunnels of light, dancing waterside reflections, and trees drenched in jewel-like colour on your way to the panoramic Palm House light display".

RHS Hyde Hall Gardens, a stately manor home in Chelmsford, Essex, has also lit up a winding, nine-kilometre trail of twinkling lights for guests for its Glow project.

Meanwhile, Windsor Great Park, an open space with long-standing royal links, launched its own Illuminated Christmas display, which promises a "multi-sensory journey through a dreamlike laser-scape, a cathedral of light, and past fountains of flowers, mythical creature holograms and many more moments of awe".

Hyde Park in central London will begin its traditional Winter Wonderland Festival on Thursday, where thousands of revellers can enjoy ice skating and live music every day. The attraction, which lasts from November until January, is one of London's most popular events on the Christmas calendar.

London's festive period was formally kicked off on Monday when some the capital’s best-known hot spots including Mayfair, Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square were decked out with more than one million LED lights.

Meanwhile, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has announced plans for a Northern Lights show in the City of London. The free event, which will last from December 11 to 22, will replicate the Aurora Borealis in Guildhall Yard.

Mr Khan is hoping to attract more visitors to the capital, part of the 'Let's Do London' campaign, after the travel industry was badly hit during the coronavirus pandemic.

“The Borealis spectacular will bring the magic of the Northern Lights to our city, London’s landmark bridges, buildings and trees will be illuminated along the South Bank and our world-famous Christmas lights, ice rinks and markets will ensure our city is gloriously decked out for Londoners and visitors to enjoy.

“All this and more is taking place in the heart of our great city as part of my ‘Let’s Do London’ campaign. From our world-class shops and attractions, to our incredible restaurants and bars there is so much to see and enjoy this festive season and that’s why I’m urging Londoners and visitors to experience the best our capital has to offer and support our hospitality industry as much as possible.”

Updated: November 18th 2021, 4:25 PM