With no markets, no Winter Wonderland and not even the twinkle of New Year's Eve fireworks in your eye, it's easy to think that Christmas 2020 in the capital is set to be a bleak one. Well, we're here to prove you categorically incorrect on that front, because across the city all manner of fantastical festive installations and stunning winter walks are still going ahead this year. We've found five fabulous to spots to see Christmas lights in London, as well as some top tips on where to cuddle up with cosy pints nearby.
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Carnaby Street - The Clachan
Known for pushing some of the most trailblazing looks, from iconic Queen themes to championing environmentalism in last year's display, the Carnaby Street Christmas lights always take a top spot on the city's festive calendar. While we're still none the wiser about what their 2020 installation has in store, there's no doubt it will front some suitably photo-friendly features. Once you're done ogling the sparkly stuff, head around the corner behind Liberty to where the The Clachan pub is waiting to welcome you into their snug space for warming winter drinks and seasonal snacks.
Christmas at Kew - The Coach & Horses
One of the most renowned winter walks in London, this stunning light show never fails to pull in the punters come Christmas time. Celebrate some festive cheer with family and friends along this dazzling trail, complete with sparkling pavilions, glittering tunnels and some of the most Instagrammable trees in the city. This year, they're changing up their usual running to keep things Covid-safe, adding extra time slots and fewer food and drink carts. However, if you are in need of a nice mulled wine/mince pie combo, pretty local pub The Coach & Horses is more than equipped to provide both.
Covent Garden - The Crusting Pipe
Covent Garden have been quick to confirm they'll be running their Christmas lights for 2020, and the news has certainly made our sleigh bells jingle once again. From the 10th November you'll be able to immerse yourself in the yuletide surroundings of the main piazza, complete with the customary ginormous tree, statement statues and quirky festive fixings. Nab a space in the heart of the action and book yourself in for cosy pints and fine wines at The Crusting Pipe, or go the whole hog with a full Christmas dinner.
Wembley Park - Studio 5ive
Running from the 26th November to 17th January, this free winter light festival is back at its Wembley Park home for another year. For 2020, the park is offering a little extra hope and goodwill to Londoners with its theme, 'United In Light', and the event will showcase the largest LED Christmas tree ever built along with a new digital installation, which will blanket the area. Once you've taken some sparkly snaps, head over to the nearby Studio 5ive, where you can enjoy cocktails, burgers and British plates in a former film studio setting.
Oxford Circus - Winter Bar Bus
And then there's the big one. We're very happy to report that the most iconic of the London Christmas lights will be returning from 21st November 2020. This year the twinklers will be paying homage to the strength of the capital's residents, as well as to the heroes who've helped everyone make it through this weird and not-so-wonderful year. And if you're looking to take in the lights and shopfronts of the city centre in true style? Climb aboard the Winter Bar Bus, which is killing two birds with one bauble and giving you drinks and displays at the very same time.
Looking for more wonderful winter wanderings? Read our round-up of the best festive pop-ups in London this year.