Christmas and its accompanying holiday is often seen – like many winter festivals – as a season of light, but with this ‘most wonderful time of the year’ coming to an end at the close of the calendar year come December 31st, much of the Western world can feel a bit like it’s plunged into darkness when the dark, cold days of winter properly kick in on January 1st. And yet, if you’re planning on coming to the UK capital for a short-break in the New Year, don’t doubt it, it’s far from all darkness – thanks to the Winter Light Festival, your trip will prove to be illuminating, in more ways than one.
Taking place in the suitably architecturally dynamic district that’s Canary Wharf between Tuesday 16th January and Saturday 27th January 2018, this near two-week-long event seeks to transform the already eye-catching area into a veritable night-time light spectacle, owing to a fantastic combination of LED lighting effects and a clutch of dazzling sculptures and highly impressive visual installations created by artists whose works have been drawn together from across the globe.
Easy to get to wherever you’re staying in the city – for instance, at one of the 4 star hotels in Paddington London, like the Park Grand London Hyde Park hotel – as Canary Wharf is blessed with excellent transport links (not least stops on both the London Underground network’s Jubilee line and the Docklands Light Railway/ DLR), the festival’s set to display many light-based attractions for the very first time in the UK (viewable from dusk, around 5pm, until 10pm at night). These include the likes of light graffiti artworks to ‘Dazzling Dodecahedron’, a 3D installation that enables visitors to be immersed in an entire rainbow-spectrum of colour, as well as ‘Halo’, a giant halo of illumination that’ll be suspended above Cabot Square, right in the heart of the district.
And should you get peckish during your evening spent in the area, then you must check out some of the latest and most exciting eateries it offers, such as Birley’s Salt Beef Bar in One Canada Square (perfect for lip-smackingly good sandwich snacks), Hawaiian Poké at Crossrail Place (which offers delicious, authentic Hawaiian seafood bites) and the open-until-very-late Chai Ki (unmissable for its sharing plates of terrific Indian soul food).
Moreover, the Canary Wharf area offers great late-night shopping opportunities thanks to being home to four malls comprising a multitude of outlets offered by high-street names like Top Shop and Zara and luxury retail brands such as Tiffany Co., Jo Malone, Jaeger London and Montblanc – in addition to the flagship Waitrose Food Home store, ‘Plateau Restaurant, Bar Grill’, and the Reebok Sports Club, the biggest health club in the whole of Europe. Perfect then for finding all-important gifts from your London trip for friends and family back home – in fact, you’ll be quite clearly spoilt for choice on this front!