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Get into the festive spirit with a tour of London's Christmas lights

Published: Tuesday 9th of November 2010

With the Regent Street Christmas lights being switched on this week (November 9th), it's that time of year when the capital comes alive with all things festive.

Every region of London will have its own displays and what better way to get into the spirit of the season than by spending a day enjoying all of the many lights and decorations that are on show?

If you're looking for free things to do in London around the holidays, this is a great option - and if you have children they're bound to love seeing the lights draped over trees, lampposts, shop fronts and houses.

As one of London's main shopping districts, Regent Street is a good place to start. You can always count on a spectacular display here, with lights forming a blanket across the street to get you in the mood for some Christmas shopping.

In addition to the lights out on the road, you'll also be able to enjoy all of the festive window displays whether you're planning to buy some more stocking fillers or just want to enjoy the decorations.

Oxford Street is another of London's largest shopping areas and its festive lights are already sparkling.

Renowned for the colourful themed displays that dazzle shoppers each year, you should certainly make sure that you stroll down the famous street if you want to see some of the best light installations in the capital.

Although there are plenty of traditional Christmas decorations around, there are also some more unusual installations for you to enjoy.

For something a little bit different, head over to Covent Garden where designer Paul Cocksedge has come up with an interactive display.

The lights on a giant Christmas tree in the square will be activated each time a couple kisses under the mistletoe, making it the perfect location to round off a romantic day out.

Meanwhile, the inside of Covent Garden market will be decked out with thousands of LED lights that will sparkle at all hours of the day.

Various free events are also planned in the area, including a number of live evening performances throughout the festive period, as well as a food market where you can sample some delicious yuletide treats.

And with the switch-on ceremony taking place on November 11th, there will be plenty of time to enjoy all the decorations and activities around Covent Garden in the run up to Christmas.

If you want to see one of the many London attractions decorated for the season then you should visit Trafalgar Square during December.

Its famous Christmas tree, which is always gifted to the city by the people of Norway, will come to life on December 2nd when the lights are switched on.

As always, it will be decorated in the traditional Norwegian style with hundreds of single white lights sparkling on its branches.

Carol singers regularly gather at the base of the giant tree - which stands at between 20 and 25m tall - to spread good tidings and get everyone into a joyous mood.

There are also plenty of other areas in London where you can seek out some stunning Christmas displays - from Carnaby and Marylebone to Putney and Greenwich, wherever you go, you'll find that there are beautiful festive decorations to help get you into the spirit of the yuletide season.

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