The most wonderful time of the year is just around the corner, and councils up and down the country are preparing for their annual Christmas light switch ons – with them bringing the buzzy anticipation that the festive season is upon us. 

There is nothing better than getting wrapped up, enjoying a mulled wine or hot chocolate with family and friends, and welcoming in the Christmas period. So, with that in mind, here is our guide to the best Christmas light displays in the UK. 

Oxford Street, London: 2nd November

Christmas Light Switch Ons: Oxford Street Christmas lights

Some of the most iconic Christmas lights in the UK can be found above the world-renowned shopping street, Oxford Street. With 5000 hanging stars, the Oxford Street Christmas lights, along with many others in London, have become a popular tourist attraction over the years. So, it is no surprise that these are one of the first to be switched on this year.

Blackpool Illuminations: 1st September – 1st January 

The Golden Mile Christmas Display at Blackpool Illuminations - Credit-VisitBlackpool

Not just known as a Christmas lights display, the Blackpool Illuminations are visible during Autumn and Winter. With a variety of light shows and illuminated monuments, this historic display has a number of switch on times throughout the Christmas and New year period for you and your family to enjoy. 

Manchester Christmas Markets: 10th November – 21st December

Christmas Light Switch Ons: Manchester Christmas-Lights Switch-on - VisitManchester

Hosted in Deansgate, the Manchester Christmas lights switch on is one of the biggest festive attractions in the city. Sparkling sculptures, giant baubles, and traditional hanging lights can be found throughout the city centre, Media City and local parks from 12th November.  

Edinburgh: 18th November

Christmas Light Switch Ons: Edinburgh's Christmas at East Princes St Gardens

Famous for some of the biggest, best Christmas Markets in the UK, Edinburgh is the perfect spot to watch the Christmas lights turn on and get in the festive spirit. With sparkling Christmas lights all along the Royal Mile, illuminations at Edinburgh Castle and light trails in the Royal Botanic gardens running from 19th November to 3rd January, Edinburgh’s Christmas is well worth a visit. Plus, where else can you try a mulled Irn Bru?! (Yes – it’s a thing!).

Newcastle: 14th November 

Christmas Light Switch Ons: Newcastle & Gateshead: 1st / 17th NovemberFenwick Shaun the Sheep window

If you happen to find yourself in the North East, the Newcastle and Gateshead Christmas light switch ons take place in early and mid November. While their Christmas light displays are similar to many across the UK, Newcastle is also home to the enchanting Fenwick Christmas Window – a highly anticipated, unique Geordie tradition, that truly marks the arrival of Christmas. 

Looking for somewhere else near you?

If you’re looking for a more local Christmas light switch on, here are a few more dates from cities across the UK:


Christmas light turn ons are always an exciting time of the year. The joyful Christmas atmosphere really kicks in when those twinkling lights shine over the high street. 

With many cities taking a couple of year’s break from these events due to Covid, we can’t wait for the Christmas light switch on season to be back with a bang this year!

And you can prolong this feeling with your very own energy-efficient Christmas lights display at home. With a wide-range of energy efficient LED Christmas decorations, Lightbulbs Direct are sure to have the perfect option to add a bit of festive fun to your garden!

Checkout our full Christmas lighting range now.

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