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Lights


The Rolling Stones’ half century is the inspiration behind this year’s Christmas lights on Carnaby Street, so here is our guide to see the world in 80 Christmas light displays ….okay, perhaps not 80, but our pick of the best.

Like with so many of life’s great occasions, the moment the Christmas Lights on London’s Oxford Street are turned on comes a downside. Their beauty is often ruined by the presence of a boy band or a semi-celebrity we’ve never heard of. Who are they and what are they doing here? But we’ve learned to live with them, if nothing else because – a few months into autumn and with winter newly arrived – we are starved for that extra bit of light. And even though it feels like walking under one massive fluorescent tube light when you do your shopping in central London, it’s worth it. But it isn’t just Oxford Street that boasts this magnificent Christmas tradition; here are a few others well worth visiting.

Vienna: a beautiful and romantic city, perfect for advent lights. The gothic-looking city has oversized chandeliers hanging over the cobbled streets. Copenhagen: Not what you expect, but the Danish capital offers a Japanese-themed Christmas with their beautifully lit Pagoda restaurant, situated in the Tivoli amusement park, these add an Oriental touch to their Scandinavian Christmas. If you find yourself in Brussels visit the Grand Palais for a visual and aural experience. The lit-up building is sound tracked by piped-in music for the ultimate Christmas concert, to top that all off there’s Belgian waffles and conical cuberdon candies as well – a quick fire way to fill yourself full of Christmas spirit.