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Christmas Light Events Across the UK

16 Nov 2018

Yes, it’s mid-November and, for many, too early to put up your own festive decorations but that doesn’t mean you can’t get into the Christmas spirit.

Across the country, cities and towns are brightening up the dreary winter nights with their fantastic Christmas lights displays. It’s not just a simple case of flicking a switch. Oh no. This annual event requires a celebrity (local or otherwise), entertainment and a crowd of delighted onlookers.

Want to join in the fun? We’ve put together a list of Christmas light switch-on events that are guaranteed to get you in the mood for all things merry and bright!

Oxford - Friday 16 November


Christmas kicks off this weekend in Oxford with the Christmas Lights Festival. A twist on the traditional light switch-on, this event features musicians, dancers and choirs, unique craft workshops and informative talks. The highlight of the weekend is the lantern parade through the historic streets,

Grab some unique handmade gifts and some tasty festive food to really make it an evening to remember.

Canterbury - Friday 16 November


Prepare to watch Canterbury light up and sparkle at the annual Christmas Lights Switch-On event. The city centre will see its streets sparkle as 5 miles of Christmas lights, made up of over 118,0000 twinkling LED lights are switched on. Christmas in Canterbury will be launched by hosts James and Becky from Heart Breakfast along with various cast members of The Marlowe’s Cinderella Pantomime. Expect live music and entertainment from special guests, starting at 4pm, with the big light switch-on due to take place between 5.30-6pm.



Prestwick - Sunday 18 November

Prestwick is celebrating its 10th annual Lighting Up Prestwick event and this year is a cracker! There will be funfair rides for kids, a Christmas Market and performances from X Factor contestants Ryan Lawrie and Emily Middlemas. The big switch-on is scheduled for 5pm but fun starts at 12pm.

Carlisle - Sunday 18 November

Start the countdown to Christmas as Carlisle lights up with a little help from Aston Merrygold!  Debuting a brand new festive display and with performances from local dancers and choirs, this free event has something for all the family. Get yourself down to the Old Town Hall, starting at 3.30pm, for the best view!

Stirling - Sunday 18 November

Stirling switches on this Sunday with a little help from Britain’s Got Talent winner Jai McDowall. Festivities begin at 2.15pm with the Capital Scotland Radio Festive Roadshow leading up to the light switch-on at 5pm. Santa is also popping along to the Albert Halls with his reindeer at 1pm where he’ll set off on a procession around the city.

Sheffield - Sunday 18 November

Sheffield has the X Factor! Well, they have X Factor contestant Molly Scott performing at their Christmas Lights switch-on. As well as contestants from Britain’s Got Talent and The Voice, spectators will be treated to surprise guest who will help switch on the lights at 5.30pm.


Lincoln – Friday November 23 November

Lincoln is taking the light switch-on to new levels with multiple events throughout the historic city.

Want to combine late night shopping with festive fun? No problem! St Marks Shopping Centre is hosting an Ariana Grande tribute act at 4.45pm, leading up to the Christmas Light switch-on at 6.30pm.

Head along to the High Street to see the Mayor of Lincoln and the stars of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs unveil the main city centre lights at 7pm.

City Square will be full of entertainment, too, with children's rides, clowns, choirs and food and drink stalls. Entertainment starts at 5pm.


Caerphilly - Friday 23 November 

The Christmas Light Switch on is at the Twyn Community Centre, with performances from local school choirs and a visit from Santa! To get to the festivities, hop on  Services 25  or  120/130 gold 


Preston - Saturday 24 November

Preston’s big Christmas Concert and Light Switch-on is set to be a B*witching event, with performances from Edele Lynch, Charlotte Lilly and The Opera Guy! Coronations Street’s Jack P Shepherd (David Platt) joins the festivities at the city’s Flag Market. It’s a popular event, beginning at 6pm, so make sure you’re there early to secure the best spot!


Aberdeen - Sunday 25 November

Have a magical evening at Aberdeen's Christmas light switch on. The lights will be switched on in a 'Fire and Ice' themed parade led by the Lord Provost of Aberdeen.  

Get in the Christmas spirit at this year’s parade.  With Santa, reindeer on Segways and carnival characters galore there's something for everyone - Up Helly-Aa Vikings from Shetland will also be making a special appearance!

Dread trying to find a parking spot at this time of year? Travel to your local event by bus and you'll save on time and city-centre parking charges. Plan your journey now.