London Walking Tours    with Joanna Moncrieff

Top 3 Christmas Light Switch-ons

Before starting my Christmas Lights walks back in 2010 I would be one of those people who didn’t really think about Christmas until a few weeks before the big day.  However, this year the bookings for these walks are coming in thick and fast and it’s only just turned November.

To update my research I’ve been checking when the different lights are turned on – the earliest as far as I know being Oxford Street tonight (5th November). With Robbie Williams pressing the switch Oxford Street will I think be a place to avoid even more than usual. However it seems that it’s a ticketed event and all tickets are sold out anyway!

Looking for the various switch-ons I discovered that some areas have made a full-blown event of the evening and others I can barely find any information on. This was going to be a Top 5 but so far I can only find 3 with any details.

So in date order of Christmas Light switch-ons here are 3 that may be worth going to:

Thursday 8th November from 5.30pm – Carnaby Street

This year’s display is in collaboration with the Rolling Stones to mark their 50th anniversary. The switch-on includes a live rock ‘n’ roll dance performance and a DJ set.

Tuesday 13th November from 5.00 to 6.30pm – Regent Street 

Regent Street will be traffic free again so probably best to avoid getting a bus anywhere in the area if this Saturday just gone was anything to go by. There are going to be some high profile names at this switch-on including 30 medal winning athletes from the Olympics and Paralympics and a firework display too.

Wednesday 14th November from 3.30pm to 6.30pm – Marylebone

Very much a community event for both adults and children and more of a “Fayre” rather than just someone pushing a switch. The event includes face painting and a Christmas card design competition. From 4pm to 6.20pm there will be entertainment on the stage including lots of Christmas Carols from local schools and colleges and Rock Choir amongst others. The Lord Mayor of Westminster will put in an appearance at 5.45pm and ten minutes after that Claudia Winkleman will turn the lights on although one of the singers Camilla Kerslake claims on her website that she will be the one pushing the switch!

There are some fantastic prizes being offered in the tombola including meals, wine, a hamper from Orrery and *drum roll* one of my walks for up to 15 people.

All proceeds from the evening will go towards the charity Rays of Sunshine who grant wishes for seriously ill children in the UK.

When I find details of any of the other switch-ons worth attending I will write another post. Or can anyone help me out? Please post in the comments if you can.

The author of this blog (Joanna Moncrieff) is a qualified City of Westminster Tour Guide who specialises in food and drink themed walks in the West End. 
Details of all her bookable private walks are listed here and upcoming public walks are here.

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