Category: ChristmasEventswhat's on

Plymouth’s festive season officially kicks off with the switch-on of the beautiful new Christmas lights in the city centre this Thursday 18 November.

Here’s everything you need to know…

The entertainment

The free Christmas lights switch-on event will start at 4pm and includes an amazing line-up of entertainment for the whole family to enjoy.  Santa will also be making an appearance!

Here’s the running order:

NHS heroes

The lights are due to be switched on between 6pm and 6.30pm by five superstar staff who work for the NHS in Plymouth. They’ve been nominated by their colleagues for the hard work and dedication they’ve shown throughout the pandemic, and this is our opportunity to say a big thank you! They are:

  • Marie Whitley, former Matron for Home Park Mass Vaccination Centre and Clinical Head of Governance
  • Girish Viswanathan, Consultant Cardiologist and Service Line Director for Cardiology
  • Makala Sperduti, a member of the invaluable Hotel Services Team who provide cleaning and catering for patients
  • Naomi Lean, Team Lead Occupational Therapist for Emergency Care and Covid
  • Kelly James, Staff Nurse

New city centre lights

Plymouth’s city centre will sparkle extra brightly this year thanks to the brand new Christmas lights!

The new lights include banners stretched across New George Street and Cornwall Street, sail banners on street lamps and colourful contemporary lighting displays in the trees in Frankfort Gate, the West End and Armada Way. 

Also new for this year is a ‘light ceiling’ that will cover part of Mayflower Street, with rows of lights stretched across the road. The side of House of Fraser facing Armada Way will be covered in an impressive light curtain which will feature Christmas messaging and displays too.

New rainbow coloured lights in Piazza trees

Late Night Shopping

The event marks the start of festive late night shopping, which shoppers can now enjoy every Thursday in the lead up to Christmas. Lots of retailers will be staying open later than usual, giving you more time to browse for gifts and helping you to shop local.

Travel information

You can park for just £1 after 3pm at Western Approach Car Park (upper levels only). The offer is on every late night shopping Thursday up until Christmas.

Please remember that regeneration work is taking place along New George Street, near the House of Fraser building, which means the space is slightly restricted and it’s likely to be busy. There will be a one-way system in place so allow plenty of time to walk through the city centre or you may find it easier to arrive via Cornwall Street or from the West End. Either way, we’d recommend arriving early to make sure you don’t miss the big switch-on moment!

Roots Up! Hip Hop Festival

Hear all about the Roots Up! Hip Hop festival, as Street Factory’s Toby Gorniak will make an appearance on stage at the lights switch-on. Street Factory will be using the very same stage to put on a spectacular show on Friday 19 November at 6pm, find out more and don't miss it.

Plymouth is easily accessible by train with a wide range of services running from a variety of locations within England. Although some services may require a change or two.

Travelling from London takes around 3 hours with Great Western Railway, if you're coming from the north, the trip from Manchester can take 5 hours 15 minutes. 

Alternatively, the recently renovated Night Riviera Sleeper service runs Monday – Friday and Sunday evenings. Visit for more details on times and how to book.

We recommend using to search for the fastest and best route for your journey, and book in advance for the best price. 



  1. Billie
    Hi, does this mean late night shopping Is happening tonight?
  2. Visit Plymouth
    Hi Billie, yes tonight is the first late night Thursday shopping.

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