The Lumiere light festival is back in London – dont’t miss it this weekend!
Lighting up London’s streets
Lumiere London is a world-class light festival that takes place over four evenings, from Thursday 18 to Sunday 21 January 2018.
It showcases the capital’s spectacular and iconic architecture and streets, with more than 50 works created through the vision of leading UK and international artists.
The free outdoor light festival is the biggest festival of light in London to date. It returns to London for the second time following the success of the first edition in January 2016, when it attracted an estimated 1.3 million visits over four nights in London’s West End, Mayfair and King’s Cross.
The light festival first started back in Durham in 2009 and has travelled round lots of UK cities since.
We first visited Lumiere in London in 2016 and had a fantastic time wandering the streets taking in the installations. But, over the course of the weekend some 1.3 million visitors descended on the streets and it seems not everyone had a great time…
Despite the criticisms from the previous festival we decided to visit again on opening night. I’m pleased to say it was even better than the last festival. Here’s why I think its well worth a visit.
The first thing to note is that 2018 is bigger and better than before! It extends as far north as King’s Cross, down through Fitzrovia, Mayfair, and the West End, to Trafalgar Square, Westminster, Victoria, South Bank and finally Waterloo with over 50 artists displaying their works.
We decided to start from Charing Cross and work our way up to Kings Cross, which meant we missed parts of the Westminster installation, Victoria, Southbank, Waterloo and Mayfair.
There were a few repeats from 2016 but we plotted our route before we went and decided to grab a bite to eat when we could have been walking towards those particular installations.
This year there is a downloadable map and even an app that can help you navigate the installations. If you are short on time I definitely recommend downloading them so you can really make the most of your visit.
Pound the pavement
Walking really is the best way to get around but if you do you won’t realistically be able to see it all in one night. That being said you’ve still got 3 days so why not plan to do a different section each day for the rest of the weekend?
I’ll be heading to the Southbank tonight to see how much of the south I can cover! If you see me stop and say hi!
By using the app you can easily plot a route which takes in all of the installations in one area. They’ve planned it well to keep people flowing and to avoid bottlenecks and crowds (which was one of the critcisims from 2016!).
Take in the atmosphere
One of the best things about the festival (other than the lights of course) is how friendly everyone is.
There are tonnes of helpers so if you’re lost or can’t find a particular installation there will be someone to help. But we saw fellow Londoners also step up to the plate and lend a helping hand, telling people where to find those installations that were a little more hidden away.
Its also an instgrammer’s dream and lots of people are willing to helo you out and take your picture! This is why I love London!
For me the best installations were Child Hood (musical balloons) at Trafalgar Square, Flamingo Flyaway in China Town and Waterlicht (smoky waves of light) at Granary Square. But to be honest its so hard to choose!
Also a top tip from me…if you head over to Kings Cross in time for dinner you can grab street food from the neon night market.
You will also find helpers covered in glow sticks handing out a “quest”. Simply collect four stickers from around Kings Cross (they are all REALLY close together) and you will be rewarded with a light up, flashing candy floss!
You can thank me for all the instagram likes later…
18 – 21 January
The festival only runs until Sunday so if you’ve got a free weekend this evening definitely go and have a look – or why not make it part of your commute home? Enjoy!