Christmas Lights by Bus

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Is there a better way to see the Christmas lights than by bus?

This may be a bit random, but sometimes they need to get out and be entertained, don’t they? It has been known for a certain City Kids child to have been taken on a couple of tube stops and back, all in the name of filling time. And he did enjoy it! All under 18s travel free on buses, and thanks to the Mayor’s Hopper Fare, customers can make unlimited bus and tram journeys for just £1.55 within the hour of touching in which is why we think touring the capital’s Christmas lights by bus is a great idea (Covid-precautions taken into account).

The festive fun doesn’t stop just at London’s famous red double decker buses, as the Emirates Air Line cable car also greets customers with a Christmas themed terminal building.

Details of the five best festive bus routes and the top Christmas destinations they pass can be found below. 

139 Bus Route: Your Christmas lights journey begins at Bond Street, home to a wealth of elegant stores, where you will sail underneath the Oxford Street lights. You’ll continue to Regent Street where the most spectacular and oldest light display in London hangs above you. The bus will continue to near Covent Garden, home to London’s biggest Christmas tree, where you can wander around the famous piazza’s market stalls and stores. Along the journey you can jump off to experience Christmas at Selfridges, or at Hamleys to browse for festive gifts for children or meet Santa himself! 

22 Bus Route:  Your journey starts at Duke of York Square on King’s Road where the lights can also be observed from the comfort of horse and carriage rides! Then, the bus heads over to Knightsbridge where you can step into Harrods’ Christmas World for a spot of shopping or hop off near Green Park Tube station for Fortnum and Mason. End the trip with all Winter Wonderland has to offer at Hyde Park. 

453 Bus Route: Begin your festive lights tour by hopping on at Regent Street stop and sail under the Regent Street lights to marvel at the iconic lights display in London. Shortly after is Trafalgar Square where the traditional Norwegian tree will be spreading festive cheer. For a special Christmas concert, make a short walk over to Westminster Abbey for a magical show. At the final spot on the route, explore the winter market at County Hall for a memorable festive experience. You can alight at Hamleys enroute and head on over to Carnaby’s Christmas Kaleidoscope light display. This spectacular light display boasting shimmering butterflies is created in collaboration with the Choose Love charity, who raise money for refugees around the globe. 

390 Bus Route: Begin at King’s Cross and enjoy the festive Coal Drops display. Jump back on the bus and head to Soho to enjoy its stunning Christmas lights display, decorated with 21 one of a kind Christmas lights designed by children from the Soho Parish School. Get off the bus and meander on down to Oxford Street and stop in at Selfridges to enjoy the Christmas displays or hop off at the Dorchester Hotel to enjoy a Christmas Afternoon Tea. Finish your tour with a trip to Hyde Park Corner, and exit for Winter Wonderland, the world’s best destination for winter fun! 

94 Bus Route: Begin your journey at Winter Wonderland, full of festive attractions and winter lights. Jump on the bus and ride to Piccadilly Circus where you can view the breath-taking Christmas lights of Oxford Street. A short journey will then take you over to Regent Street to view the infamous angel lights, ‘The Spirits of Christmas’. You could also walk along Piccadilly to Fortnum and Mason to enjoy a festive snack before strolling down Leicester Square to finish with the Christmas market. Get back on the 94 to reach Westfield London in Shepherd’s Bush for some festive shopping and bargains. 

TfL Craft Club 

Children who want to bring the experience home with them by making their very own 3D festive 139 bus can print off a template ready to be coloured in by visiting The seasonal design is the same as that on the actual route, so they can create a replica bus to take on its own adventure at home. 

Iconic roundels 

To really drive the festive cheer this Christmas, TfL has re-imagined 12 iconic TfL roundels across the London network, to reflect some of things Londoners and visitors love the most about Christmas in the capital. These roundels are: 

Jolly Good Time at Covent Garden Tube, Battersea Power Station Pier and Bond Street Tube 

Christmas Shopping at Oxford Circus Tube, London Bridge bus station and Greenwich Pier 

Fabulous Panto at Hackney Central Overground, Stratford and Wimbledon Tube stations 

Winter Walks at Chingford Overground, Hyde Park Corner Tube and Wandle Park Tram Stop 

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