Best time to go to England

Lumiere Festival 2019

The largest light festival in the UK features amazing installations

Lumiere Festival in England 2020 - Best Time
Photo by

John Lord

Artists from around the world come to Durham, London, and other UK cities to light up the streets with a series of unusual installations and iconic buildings illuminations. The festival was inspired by the Fête des lumières in Lyon. The festival location changes every year, so keep an eye for the updates on the official website.

Lumiere Durham (November 14–17, 2019)

Lumiere debuted in Durham in 2009. It is held here biennially in November, attracting over 240,000 people by its unusual light displays and animation. The light show was then taken to Derry in Northern Ireland in 2013, where it presented 17 light art installations.

Lumiere Crowds in Durham 2020
Lumiere Crowds in Durham
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The most famous Lumiere Durham installation is the projection on Durham Cathedral with images from the Lindisfarne Gospels. Another iconic installation featured a 3D projection of an elephant on the Elvet Bridge. Some installations in Durham remain permanently, like "Lightbench" by Bernard Spiecker, installed in 2015. It features colour-changing benches in the Freeman's Quay near the Gala Theatre.

Patterns projected on the Durham Cathedral 2020
Patterns projected on the Durham Cathedral
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Crown of Light on the wall of Durham Cathedral. Lumiere Durham 2020
Crown of Light on the wall of Durham Cathedral. Lumiere Durham
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Cloud commissioned by Garage Museum of Contemporary Art. Durham Lumiere Festival 2020
Cloud commissioned by Garage Museum of Contemporary Art. Durham Lumiere Festival

Every edition of Lumiere brings new art forms to the city that for three days becomes an experimental ground for international artists combining light, music, and animation. It's a wonderful spectacle for the residents of Durham and thousands of visitors who come to see the festival.

Keyframes in Red Hills. Lumiere Durham 2020
Keyframes in Red Hills. Lumiere Durham
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Lumiere Durham 2020
Lumiere Durham

Lumiere London (January 2018)

In January 2016, the festival debuted in London, stunning crowds with colourful light installations at Piccadilly, Grosvenor Square, and King's Cross. The most famous installation illuminated the facade of Westminster Abbey. Large neon letters and circles in Trafalgar Square and in Leicester Square were also memorable. Lumiere London 2016 attracted 1.3 million visits over four nights. The 2018 edition has expanded the festival to over 50 light artworks in Fitzrovia, Mayfair, West End, Victoria, South Bank, and Waterloo.

The Origin of the World Bubble at Oxford Circus. Lumiere London 2020
The Origin of the World Bubble at Oxford Circus. Lumiere London
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Westminster Abbey in London. Illuminated as part of the Lumiere London Light Show 2020
Westminster Abbey in London. Illuminated as part of the Lumiere London Light Show
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The light installations reimagine London’s architecture, transforming English capital into a dazzling nocturnal exhibition. This magic festival is free to attend and takes over the north and south banks of the river Thames.

Lumiere London 2020
Lumiere London
Lumiere London at Leicester Square 2020
Lumiere London at Leicester Square
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