The Best Over-The-Top Festive Lights From Christmas 2020

Decking halls with boughs of holly – and 30,000 lights – is one thing many of us have done this season.
Peter Dazeley via Getty Images

Christmas may feel as if it’s cancelled, or just not the same. But there’s one way many people have expressed themselves during this festive season: by outdoing their neighbours with the boldest, gaudiest lights.

As the new tier system took hold, Tate Britain’s display of artist Chila Kumari Singh Burman’s ambitious outdoor piece – Remembering A Brave New World –signified the birth of a new culture of being entertained by lights outdoors.

Neon light installation 'Remembering A Brave New World', by British artist Chila Kumari Singh Burman
NurPhoto via Getty Images
Neon light installation 'Remembering A Brave New World', by British artist Chila Kumari Singh Burman

The installation of Kumari Singh Burman’s artwork coincided with Diwali, the Festival of Light, and is inspired by her life in Britain, visiting the Blackpool lights and her family’s ice cream van, as well as her Indian heritage. It features Hindu mythology, Bollywood imagery and colonial history.

But her artwork also serves a purpose all of us can identify with: it symbolises how it’s been possible to safely entertain ourselves with loved ones outdoors this season without breaking the rules. Christmas lights walk, anyone?

Neon light installation 'Remembering A Brave New World', by British artist Chila Kumari Singh Burman, covers the facade of the Tate Britain art gallery in London. The work combines Hindu mythology, Bollywood imagery, colonial history and personal memories.
NurPhoto via Getty Images
Neon light installation 'Remembering A Brave New World', by British artist Chila Kumari Singh Burman, covers the facade of the Tate Britain art gallery in London. The work combines Hindu mythology, Bollywood imagery, colonial history and personal memories.

We may not all be able to get to the Tate Britain to sip a drink under the warming lights, but we can find our nearest festive display of lights and gawp at them in wonder.

So, in true Christmas spirit, we’ve scoured Instagram to find some of the cheeriest and over-the-top lights from up and down the country – as Brits have gone to extra measures to keep themselves, and passers-by, entertained.

Dancing under the starry lights

Worcester, West Midlands

We love the big holly leaves that stand out at the front of this design

Langley, Slough

These public buildings have done a nice job

Wakefield

Team work makes the dream work! These two houses look like they buddied up together

Rothwell, Leeds

This is a LOT, and (even better) it’s all for charity

Bromley, London

If you look really closely, there’s a house somewhere behind all those lights

Brailsford, Bristol

Minimalistic, well, compared to some of this lot...

Location unknown

Cartier went all out

Central London