Where to see the best Christmas lights switch-ons across the UK

Celebrate the start of the festive season at these must-visit Christmas events

Christmas Lights Switch Ons in Britain, Regent Street
Getty ImagesTristan Fewings

Nothing gets us into the festive spirit like a good old fashion Christmas lights switch-on, when we can wrap up warm in our woollies and head out to the fabulous free events across the UK.

With live music, fireworks and community spirit galore, Britain's Christmas lights events are ideal for welcoming winter and enjoying a fun day out with the family.

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We’ve picked the best spots to soak up the festive atmosphere at a Christmas lights switch-on in the UK, from London to Glasgow…

George Street, Edinburgh - 18 November 2018

From 3pm, choirs from across Scotland will perform in front of 20,000 Christmas fans as Edinburgh’s event illuminates George Street and culminates with an epic fireworks display. Forth Radio’s Arlene Stuart will host the switch-on and special guest Saskia Eng, who competed on this year’s The Voice, will provide the entertainment.

Christmas lights switch-ons in the UK, Light Night At George Street, Edinburgh
Edinburgh’s Light Night
Getty ImagesRoberto Ricciuti

Regent Street, London - date to be announced

One of London’s biggest events of the year, the Regent’s Street switch-on is an absolute must-see. The iconic shopping street was the first to introduce Christmas lights to the West End back in 1954. In 2017, the display was a throwback of its first ever installation and saw 300,000 twinkling LED lights illuminate the whole of W1.

Victoria Gardens, Leeds - 8 November 2018

Leeds’ officially begins when the city centre’s festive lights are switched on, with thousands of spectators flocking to Victoria Gardens and the Headrow on 8 November from 6.45pm. Visitors can expect live music, entertainment and a visit from Father Christmas.

Regent Street Christmas Lights Switch On Event
Regent Street Christmas lights switch-on in 2017
Getty ImagesDavid M. Benett
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George Square, Glasgow - 18 November 2018

Glasgow’s much-loved is a ticketed event. The online ballot is open until 14 October, with 16,000 tickets available. The popular event in George Square will see the square bursting with colour as it welcomes the festive season.

City Hall, Norwich - 15 November 2018

The official begins at 6pm on 15 November in Norwich, before fireworks cascade from the roof of Jarrolds independent department store and music, merriment and huge numbers of people fill the streets around City Hall. The Christmas lights stretch from The Forum, around Norwich Market, into The Norwich Lanes and up to Westlegate. There are also 50,000 LEDs making up the amazing Tunnel of Light.

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VisitNorwich

City Hall, Belfast - 17 November 2018

An evening of musical fun awaits families from 6.30pm in Belfast as the kicks off with traditional carols and mini shows. The event is ticketed and tickets are available online from 5 November. Visitors can expect appearances from children’s television stars and plenty of festive cheer.

Oxford Street, London - date to be announced

A date for the 2018 is yet to be announced. Last year's event took place on 7 November and the lights centred around the Light up Christmas for Children campaign with NSPCC, created to give a brighter future for children. For 2018, hundreds of baubles and a sign reading 'Christmas is calling' went up at the end of September but, so far, we only know that the switch-on will take place in November.

Oxford Street Christmas Lights Switch On
Getty ImagesTristan Fewings

Cabot Circus, Bristol - 9 November 2018

Christmas in Bristol begins with a at Cabot Circus, where the Heart Breakfast team will play feel-good festive music from 5pm. Children can also enjoy an early trip to Santa's grotto in Quakers Friars.

Albert Square, Manchester - 3 November 2018

Big names and famous faces are promised for the 2018 in Manchester. The event, from 6pm, will see Albert Square lit up as the festive season starts with stunning fireworks display.

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