Wishing you a very Merry Christmas from Morgan Sindall Construction
The Christmas calendar officially kicks off with the switch-on of this year’s spectacular Christmas lights on Thursday 16 November, sponsored by Morgan Sindall Construction, adding festive sparkles and colour to the city centre, and highlighting the beginning of the Christmas late-night shopping period – many shops will be open until 9pm every Thursday until 21 December.
Join us from 4pm for a fun filled programme of free, family-friendly entertainment to enjoy on stage in the Piazza. There will be lots of festive treats including performances from local dance, theatre and singing groups.
Switching on the spectacular Christmas lights is West End star Samuel Holmes; as he returns to his Plymouth roots to play Larry the Lion Tamer in the pantomime, Goldilocks and the Three Bears at Theatre Royal Plymouth. He will take to the stage at 6.15pm joining Santa and his Elves and the Lord Mayor as they get ready to switch on the city centre's colourful Christmas lights – celebrating the start of Christmas in Plymouth.
The evening will finish with a lively performance from the brilliant Ocean City Groove, who will have the crowds dancing and singing along to their ten piece funk, disco, soul and party band – playing big hits for everyone to enjoy.
This year there will be a 20ft Christmas tree lit with 2,000 fairy lights, located north of Place de Brest, with festive entertainment to encourage shoppers to businesses further up Armada Way.
This year's illuminations are part-funded by the UK government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.
4pm to 4.10pm City College Plymouth Dance
4.20pm to 4.35pm Stage Stars
4.45pm to 5pm Rhythm City
5.10pm to 5.25pm Pauline Quirke Academy
5.35pm to 5.50pm Plymouth Cheerleaders
6pm to 6.15pm Italia Conti Plymouth
6.20pm to 6.30pm The big switch-on moment!
6.30pm to 7.30pm Ocean City Groove
The bright lights and Christmas cheer is being spread right across the city centre, as Drake Circus will also be switching on their Christmas lights on Thursday 16 November. Snow flurries on Old Town Street, giant selfie baubles in the Atrium, plus entertainment starting at 3.30pm, with their Christmas lights switch-on at 5pm.
If you have an enquiry relating to access and inclusion needs for this particular event please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and an officer will get back to you.
We understand that some visitors may perfer to visit when there are fewer people around, and if this is the case for you, we feel the busiest times for the city centre lights switch on will be between 5.45pm and 6.45pm, the Christmas lights will be switched on between 6pm and 6.30pm.
There are a number of registered safe spaces near to the Piazza area:
A Safe Place offers help if someone is anxious, scared or at risk while they ar out and about and need support. You can visit the safe spaces website for more information: Search Safe Places. You can also speak with our stewards and and events team who will be identifiable by their hi-vis and lanyards.
Make sure you prepare yourself for the busy loud and fun bright atmosphere, some people take ear defenders with them… it’s up to you! Sunglasses are also helpful for really bright lights on the stage, but if these aren’t doable just look down at the floor when they’re too bright.
Go to the side of the main viewing areas, or try standing further up Amada Way away from the stage as this area is usually a lot quieter. Please speak to one of our stewards or security that will be in hi-vis if you need any help.
*Strobe lighting is not used as part of the entertainment programme on stage. There is expected to be fairground rides in the near vicinity that will have their own music and lighting.
Assessible viewing area
There will be an accessible viewing platform on the Piazza, by House of Fraser.
Information on the night
There will be many stewards across the event around the Piazza, who will always be very happy to help. They will be wearing high viz tabards so please ask them if you have any questions.
The closest Public toilets are at the sundial on Armada Way:
There are 3 Disabled toilets (2 include baby changing facilities) you will need a RADAR key for access.
There are also a number of Male and Female public toilets located here (please note you will need to go down a number of steps) there is a small charge for access.
Plymouth Citybus is the main local bus service provider for Plymouth. You can find out which bus you need to catch, where to catch it from and what time it leaves using the journey planner on the Traveline South West website.
Travelling by car to Plymouth is easily accessible from most locations within the UK.
Most driving routes will bring you onto the M5, which eventually merges to become the A38 bringing you directly to Plymouth. If you cross the Tamar Bridge towards Saltash then you've gone too far.
We recommend you use Google Maps to plan the quickest route for you.
Shoppers can take advantage this year, of a brilliant £1 parking offer in the Western Approach car park only, after 3pm on late night shopping days, starting on Thursday 16 November and then each Thursday until 21 December.
There is plenty more parking available in Plymouth, whether it's in the car parks or street parking. With over 50 car parks and more than 5,200 parking spaces in Plymouth. 19 of these car parks are situated in and around the city centre, varying from short term and long term stays. There are spaces in each car park for disabled badge holders. Standard charges apply.
Find out details on Blue Badge Parking.
If you're travelling from within the South West the Stagecoach Falcon service connects Plymouth with Exeter, Taunton, Bristol Airport and Bristol City Centre. National Express operates daily coach services to Plymouth from departure points across the UK. For coach tickets and pricing visit their coach website.
National Express also offers holidays by coach on their Holidays by National Express website, where you can add hotels and attractions to your coach travel and book your next trip to Plymouth in one package.
FlixBus operates a coach service between Plymouth and London, five days a week with additional services running during the summer months.
Plymouth Station is located an approximate 10 minute walk from the city centre, there are also frequent buses which stop outside the station who will bring you to Royal Parade.
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.
We recommend using GWR.com to search for the fastest and best route for your journey, and book in advance for the best price.
Walking and Cycling
The Christmas lights will be switched on at the Piazza, Royal Parade. Walk towards the middle of Royal Parade and cross at the pedestrian crossing if you need to. Why not pick up one of the Beryl Bikes? This is a great way to get around the city.
There are no planned road closures with the Christmas Lights Switch On.