London gets fully lit up over the dark winter months, from central London to the suburbs: winter illuminations pour colour and sparkle over the city. New illuminations are popping up in and around London in a bid to be this year’s best display. We’ve covered everything from the Canary Wharf Winter Lights to Lightopia—so wrap up warm and take a wander round one of these London winter illuminations.

Looking for more festive fun? Be sure to check our top winter festivals and markets too, or get your rom-com on with these outdoor ice rinks.

Syon Park Enchanted Woodland Trail
Photo by Peter Trimming used under CC

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Syon Park Enchanted Woodland

The 600 year old gardens of Syon Park are once again transformed into an enchanted woodland. With interactive lights, a dedicated trail and beautiful displays it almost always requires booking in advance—so don’t just show up on the day! It’s a far cry from the bustling crowds of the usual London Winter lights, so it’s well worth the price of admission if you fancy a break from the norm.
Dates: 11-27 November 2022

Lightopia at Crystal Palace

This year’s illuminated trail will again light up Crystal Palace in south London. One of the highlights includes seeing the famous Crystal Palace dinosaurs brought to life with colourful lights; you can also expect to find magical creatures from brightly-coloured birds to giant butterflies. Visitors can also wander illuminated woodland trails and find beautiful hand-sculpted lanterns, lasers, water light shows – and there’s plenty of festive refreshments and hot drinks to enjoy along the way.
Dates: 17 November 2022-2 Jan 2023

London Winter Lights Kew
Christmas at Kew | Photo by RBG Kew

Christmas at Kew

The return of a classic, Londoners’ Instagram feeds have been filled with pictures from Christmas at Kew for the past few years, but hurry, tickets go fast! Over a million lights illuminate the woods, gardens and lakes of Kew in the winter months with tunnels of light, a mesmerising flickering fire garden and a range of hot food, drinks and sweet treats to keep you going.
Dates: 16 November 2022-8 January 2023

Enchanted Eltham
Enchanted Eltham | Photo by English Heritage

Enchanted Eltham, Eltham Palace

Eltham Palace is one of the lesser-known places in London. The former Tudor royal residence was transformed into an Art Deco mansion by eccentric millionaire couple Stephen and Virginia Courtauld in the 1930s, so it’s fair to say its walls have seen a shindig or two. But it’s the palace’s great outdoor spaces you’re cordially invited to this year; Enchanted Eltham invites visitors to wander around an illuminated trail through the gardens and see the outside of the Great Hall bathed in light.

There are also refreshments available as well as traditional fairground rides. The event runs after the normal palace opening hours and requires a separate ticket and allocated time slot.
Dates: 2-4, 8-11. 15-18, 20-23 and 27-30 December 2022.

Palace of Light at Hampton Court Palace

Henry VIII’s former residence is getting an extended light trail this year, with more complex installations, breathtaking displays and a route through the wilderness, formal gardens and palace that is twice the length of 2021. This year’s theme for the Palace of Light was inspired by the Royal Beasts, a collection of heraldic statues commissioned for Hampton Court by Henry VIII himself; prepare to meet lions, panthers and unicorns along your way.

Palace of Light is a chance to experience this unique historic palace like never before; wander past ancient trees that have lived and stood tall through the centuries and experience a historic landmark after hours. Entry is not included in standard palace tickets, but if you would like to visit the palace during the day, you can get a 10% discount by booking a combi-ticket. Historic Royal Palace members get half-price entry and under 5’s go free (there’s no need to book a ticket for them).
Dates: 7 December 2022-2 January 2023

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Illuminature, at London Wetland Centre

Illuminature at London Wetland Centre in Barnes invites people to explore nature after dark. On Fridays to Sundays from 18th November 2022 until 8th January 2023 between 4.30pm and 9.00pm, you are invited to wrap up warm and experience the wonder of wildlife at night. Hot chocolate in hand, visitors can follow the twinkling lights and celebrate nature in an immersive light trail of glowing larger-than-life sculptures and stunning installations. The light trail will be filled with large-scale recreations of some of its resident wildlife. It’s a huge celebration of the wetlands rendered in colourful light and perfect for nature lovers of all ages.
Dates: 18 November 2022- 8 January 2023

Christmas at Kenwood, Hampstead Heath

The Highgate side of Hampstead Heath is home to the beautiful former stately home Kenwood House. This year, its grounds will once again host a magical light trail. Enter a wintery wonderland, filled with forest walks, trees covered in sparkling stars, lasers and woodland animal sculptures. If you’re feeling chilly, you can grab mulled wine or hot chocolate or warm up at the fire garden.
Dates: 2 December 2022-1 January 2023

Epping Ongar Railway Light Fantastic

Take a ride on an illuminated train line through the Essex countryside for a winter journey with a festive soundtrack and dazzling trackside illuminations, featuring illuminated reindeer and brightly lit stations.

The train is planned to be hauled by a steam locomotive for part of the journey, although they reserve the right to substitute a diesel if needs be. Tickets are going fast, so get booking quickly if you want to bag a spot on the light-filled Essex express.
Dates: 18 November 2022-15 January 2023

Canary Wharf Winter Lights

Over half a million people are expected to bring some much needed brightness to the post-New Year lull with this festival of light. The illuminations are among the city’s finest, with installations from multiple groundbreaking artists including ‘Permafrost – Sleeping Giants by Fisheye’, which will bring brightly-coloured, giant mammoths to life and ‘Tom Lambert’s Out of the Dark’, a hypnotic kaleidoscopic installation of moving colour.

Best of all for Cheapos, particularly as it’s January, it’s free. You can just turn up between 5 pm and 10 pm to see installations, artworks and light technology.
Dates: 18-28 January 2023

First published in November 2018. Updated in November 2022 by Amanda David.

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