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The guide to Christmas lights switch on events

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Santa Claus is coming to town! With Halloween a distant memory and the last fireworks spent, it’s time to turn your attention to the jolly red bloke and his bulging sack of gifts. Pack your cosiest hat and don’t forget the eggnog. We’re going to watch the Christmas lights being turned on…

Regent Street, London

The biggest and best Christmas light show in the capital gets under way on Sunday November 16, with an all star cast of celebrity entertainment! The street is closed to traffic from midday, and there will be workshops for kids (and parents) courtesy of City Academy, which is also showing off its street performance talents during the afternoon. The big switch-on happens at 5pm. Expect surprise celebs and gazillions of film characters – the event is sponsored by 20th Century Fox. can get you cheap train tickets for travel to London when you book in advance.

George Square, Glasgow

Glasgow is a city that knows how to party, and its George Square Christmas Lights switch on is no exception! The event kicks off on November 16, and is a tickets-only affair with 12,000 expected to turn up for the illuminations. You’ll need to hunt down returns if you haven’t won yours already, so check for news. The entertainment lineup is a closely guarded secret, but it’s guaranteed to be ace. can arrange car hire for your journey to Glasgow, if you have been lucky enough to win tickets.

Greenwich Market, London

Kids driving you five kinds of crazy in the runup to Christmas? Give them something to shout about! The Discover Greenwich Centre (in the Pepys Building on King William Walk) is hosting a lantern parade to Greenwich Market, in which local schoolchildren will light the way using homemade illuminations. When the parade gets to the market, CBeebies presenter Jane Honeywell will flick the switch alongside favourite panto characters. Fun starts at 4pm. Ho ho ho!

Milsom Street, Bath

Join in the scrum on Wednesday 12 November, when the all-star squad of Bath Rugby turn on the lights with the BBC’s Justin Webb! The historic city’s Christmas illuminations are switched on outside Jolly’s department store, which is one of the oldest in Europe. Come along in plenty of time – the entertainment begins at 5.30pm, and features local band The Fade, as well as singer songwriter Jane Taylor.

Newcastle town centre – Guildhall and Ironmarket

The Toon’s gone crazy for Christmas this year, with a two-day party for the whole family! Leading up to the big switch on (Sunday November 24), visitors will be treated to a funfair, an artisan Christmas market, lantern workshops, choirs, brass bands, full orchestral performances, big bands and street dancers. Plus Katsuma and Poppet from the Moshi Monsters are coming along to get the crowd amped for the main event. Santa is touring the streets with the Mayor of Newcastle, and cricketing legends Danielle Wyatt and Dominic Cork will be flipping the switch. Why aye!

Book cheap train tickets or car hire for these Christmas light switch on events through, and you can earn loyalty points for use on future festive trips! Be sure to check this blog regularly for inspirational winter travel ideas.

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