Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony 2018
Don’t miss the lighting of the world’s most famous Christmas tree.
Since 1947, each year a Christmas tree has been given to the people of London from Norway in gratitude for Britain's support to Norway during World War II. For many Londoners the Christmas tree and carol singing in Trafalgar Square signal the countdown to Christmas.
The tree will be lit by the Lord Mayor of Westminster, Norwegian Ambassador and Mayor of Oslo.
There'll be carol singing by The Salvation Army and the St Martin-in-the-Fields choir. There will also be poetry by local school children. This event is presented by Westminster Council and is supported by the Mayor of London.
The Christmas Tree Lighting marks the first of a series of Christmas activities held on Trafalgar Square. Throughout December you can also attend:
Accessible facilities at Trafalgar Square
There is a wheelchair accessible lift on the north-west corner of Trafalgar Square. Event stewards will be available to assist wheelchair users travelling between upper (north terrace) and lower terrace levels of Trafalgar Square.
Wheelchair accessible public toilets are available on the lower terrace of Trafalgar Square. This is on the west side of the square to the left of the central staircase. These are open daily from 8am to 8pm.
Trafalgar Square’s cafe is wheelchair accessible, and has a low-level counter and induction loop. Free drinking water is available upon request in the cafe.
As part of the planning for the Christmas Tree installation for the lighting ceremony, there is a focus on sustainability. The Greater London Authority (GLA) has attained ISO 20121 – an international standard for event sustainability – and is working to improve the way it manages events, by ensuring sustainability principles are at the heart of the planning and delivery. Events should be economically viable, while at the same time becoming more socially responsible and reducing their environmental impact. City Hall’s Facilities Management team will be monitoring areas such as efficient use of power, disposal of waste, recycling, commitment to equality and inclusion, access for people with disabilities, and the care and protection of Trafalgar Square which is a heritage site of national importance.
Ways in which we are making the Christmas tree installation and event more sustainable include:
- The Christmas tree has energy-efficient light-emitting diode (LED) light bulbs which are plugged into the mains power.
- The Christmas tree is transported in the most efficient way from Norway to Trafalgar Square.
- The Christmas tree taken down for recycling just before the Twelfth Night of Christmas. The tree is chipped and composted, to make mulch.
- The lighting ceremony event has reduced paper waste by 25 per cent.
- The GLA is currently working towards the Attitude is Everything Charter of Best Practice for Access Bronze Award for accessibility.
- All staff working on the installation of the tree are paid no less than the London Living Wage.
You can plan your journey with TfL’s Journey Planner.
The nearest railway station is Charing Cross. It is 325 metres away, approximately three minutes’ walk. Charing Cross rail station offers step-free access and a step-free route to Trafalgar Square.
The nearest Underground station with step-free access from platform to street level is Westminster. This is served by the Jubilee, District and Circle lines. Outside Westminster station buses 12, 24, 88 or 453 have low-floor buses which call at a stop within 150m of Trafalgar Square.
Charing Cross Underground station is served by the Northern and Bakerloo lines. It is the closest Tube station. However it does not have step-free access.
Visit the TfL website for accessible Tube maps.
Routes 3, 6, 9, 11, 12, 13, 15, 23, 24, 53, 77A, 88, 91, 139, 159, 176 and 453.
All these routes lead to Trafalgar Square. However, 9 and 15 are heritage buses and do not have a low-floor.
Visit the TfL website for more information on buses.
Find out about registering and pre-booking Dial-a-ride services.
The nearest Blue Badge parking spaces to Trafalgar Square are:
- St Martin’s Street – five spaces - 321 metres from Trafalgar Square
- Outside Canada House – one space - 33 metres from Trafalgar Square
- Suffolk Street – one space - 644 metres from Trafalgar Square
- Spring Gardens – one space - 321 metres from Trafalgar Square
To find other blue badge parking bays nearby, use the postcode WC2N 5DN and search the City of Westminster’s website. To see where the bays are, click the ‘View results on a map’ button on the search results page.
The café on the square is open from 10am-6pm daily. There is seating inside, plus outside seats and wooden tables. The café is on the lower terrace of Trafalgar Square, on the square’s east side, right of the central staircase.
Trafalgar Square also has a number of public toilet facilities for men and women with disabled toilets and baby changing facilities.