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All the lights – The best of London’s winter light festivals

(9 January 2020) Winter needn’t be dark and dull. All a short stroll from the river, here are Thames Clippers’ favourite light installations this winter along the Thames, from Canary Wharf in the east to Battersea Power Station in the west and more in between.

Winter Lights festival – Canary Wharf Pier

A display of neon, LED, and everything illuminated, this award-winning festival, now in its sixth year, will see light artists from across Europe gather in London, to show what an unbridled imagination and state of the art light technology can do. From 16-25 January Canary Wharf will be lit with 25 free-to-view installations.

Battersea Light Festival – Battersea Power Station Pier

Talking Heads by Viktor Vicsek

Battersea’s first-ever light festival brings four mesmerising installations to the iconic site.  Perhaps the most visually striking is Talking Heads, created by Viktor Vicsek; two heads, each composed of 4,000 customisable LED lights, react to one another to create a myriad of facial expressions. From 8 January-16 February the light installations are free to enjoy.

Eccleston Yards – Cadogan or Battersea Power Station Pier

Belgravia’s Eccleston Yards is set to shine with a multi-sensory light installation. The Wave by Squidsoup is made up of 500 individually suspended orbs that create a calming aura for visitors. Inspired by the ancient healing concept of Chromotherapy, the different orbs project vibrations that have different functions according to their colour. For example, the orange orbs are designed to energise the body, the yellow orbs will stimulate happiness, and the blue orbs will allegedly calm the heart rate. Wave by Squidsoup can be viewed until 11 January and is free to visit.

Tate Britain’s Winter Commission – Millbank Pier 

For an installation called Depth Of Darkness, The Return Of The Light head to Tate Britain to see Anne Hardy’s eerie artwork that includes a soundtrack filled with the noises of rain, thunder, birds and insects that was partly recorded while travelling down the river in a canoe. This artist piece can be viewed for free until 26 January.

Southbank Soundpit – London Eye (Waterloo) Pier

Perfect for little ones, Southbank is hosting an interactive installation by artist Di Mainstone that allows people to play in giant sandpits illuminated by beautiful graphics, creating music with your own movements. Visitors can run their hands through it, sit in it or even walk across it to create a masterpiece. Through play, children and adults alike can explore their individual sense of sound, vision and touch for just £8 per session until 23 February.

Illuminated River – Tower Pier

Illuminated River is the public art commission which is transforming the capital at night, lighting up bridges on the River Thames. Join Thames Clippers on board to experience phase one of Illuminated River, covering London, Cannon Street, Southwark and Millennium bridges. Illuminated River Guided Boat Tours will take place on select dates from 16 January and depart from Tower Pier. Please note that specific tickets need to be booked for these special sailings.

Between 16-26 January, Thames Clippers is offering 2for1 travel with Adult River Roamer tickets purchased online, allowing you and a friend to visit several of these light festivals at once, hopping on and off at any pier along the Thames Clippers’ route; or simply to travel along the river to enjoy the city lit up. To take advantage of the 2for1 Lights promotion, and receive a free adult River Roamer ticket worth £17.80, simply book an Adult River Roamer ticket online using the code LIGHT20. The offer is limited to one free ticket per customer and is valid for travel 16-26 January 2020 inclusive. For more information and full T&Cs, please visit www.thamesclippers.com/light

Thames Clippers is London’s leading River Bus service, connecting many of the capital’s top attractions and providing passengers with the chance to take in the iconic London skyline from the river along the way. A River Roamer ticket online costs £17.80 for adults and £8.90 for children, with a family ticket (two adults and up to three children aged 5-15; under 5s travel for free as standard) costing £35.60.

To purchase standard tickets for Illuminated River Guided Boat Tours, please visit www.thamesclippers.com/illuminated-river.