The nights may be dark and long, but London blazes with light this January as thousands upon thousands of people roam the streets in search of stunning, incredible, fantastical art.
London’s Lumiere 2018 is set to be even bigger, better and livelier than its predecessor two years ago. That first Lumiere attracted over 1.3m people – and this year’s festival is expected to exceed that.
If you’re near hotel near Paddington London, it’s not hard to see why so many people are attracted to the Lumiere. After all, London takes on a really different ambience as iconic buildings are transformed using a variety of light techniques. At Westminster Abbey, the dull stonework becomes vividly alive as its façade and gothic statues are painted in colourful, jewel like shades. A soft blue light bathes South Audley Street, as tubes of fluorescent light crawl up a building, covering every nook and cranny of the ornate brickwork. A very different atmosphere is created at Kings Cross where light glitters, glows, rolls and splinters in reaction to the soundscape. While down on the South Bank, the brutalist lines of the National Theatre suddenly become softened, liquefied and turned into a brilliantly glowing beacon.
Prefer something gentler? Then Leicester Square may have the answer. Its green spaces become a luminous secret garden inhabited by a host of curious nocturnal creatures. Strolling along its paths become an entry point into a magical world.
Wherever you go during the Lumiere, you are guaranteed to find something stunning to watch or become involved in. Not far from Edward Hotel London many of the attractions have an interactive element, where your actions can change what is happening.
Lumiere 2018 takes place between 18th and 21st January. It is set to cover a massive area of London, stretching from Kings Cross to the South Bank, Victoria to Oxford Street and Covent Garden. By far the biggest area involved in the festival is the West End as it includes sites in Mayfair, Seven Dials, Regent Street, St James’s, Piccadilly and Carnaby Street. Maps can be downloaded from www.visitlondon.com/lumiere/programme/map
Plan your visit to the Lumiere beforehand to make sure you see the installations that most appeal to you, and be prepared to try a wide range – you may be very pleasantly surprised by what you find. Some may take only a few minutes to appreciate, while others are mesmerizing encouraging you to sit, watch and dream; or to gaze for a long time as scenes change around you.