Last Friday (19th January) my family and I decided to take an early evening trip to London in order to see Lumiere London. Although I had never been before, we found out that Lumiere premiered last year as a free outside light festival set up around the city. The festival lasted between 18th January until the 21st January and was set up in the King’s Cross, Fitzrovia, Mayfair, the West End, Westminster & Victoria and Southbank areas.
Our exploration of the Lumiere festival started at the Southbank where we viewed light installations on the Southbank and at Sea Containers house before moving onto the installations at King’s Cross. I really liked the Wave, and it was one of my favourites. AT King’s Cross, we enjoyed Waterlicht and thought it was fantastic, but thought the rest of the installations around this area were disappointing.
We made our way back to Oxford Circus, and after a quick stop for dinner, we meandered down Regent Street into Piccadilly. We had decided to walk slowly back to the train, having not been too impressed with the festival, but our minds changed as we entered the West End.
We really liked the lights in Piccadilly and Regent Street, and we were really impressed by the flamingos in Chinatown and the installation in Leicester Square. It seemed like the best installations had been put in the West End area in order to emphasise this area. This, as well as the pedestrianisation of the Piccadilly area allowed the event to feel relaxed and friendly, not overcrowded and busy like the King’s Cross area was. I much preferred how this was handled and wished it had been implemented more effectively around the city. We also enjoyed the installations in Trafalgar Square, but these were somewhat twee after the impressive sights in Leicester Square.
Overall, we enjoyed the Lumiere light festival, but we probably wouldn’t make a specific trip to see it next year. If you want to see what it was like for yourself, please watch this video.