7 of the best Christmas light displays in Essex

'Christmas Lights' © WGCPhotography /GettyImages

'Christmas Lights' © WGCPhotography /GettyImages - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

See the county at its most dazzling when Essex switches on its Christmas lights. We have handpicked seven Christmas light switch ons across Essex, to give you the perfect excuse to get outdoors.


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1. Braintree Christmas Lights

With another star-studded switch on event, Braintree’s Christmas lights never fail to dazzle. Wrap up warm and get in the festive spirit at the Freeport Braintree Outlet.


2. Southend Christmas Lights

Twinkling throughout the festive events held in Southend this year, you won’t be disappointed by this year’s setup.


3. Basildon Christmas Lights

The town square in Basildon is lit up with a gorgeous display this year. Don’t worry if you missed the switch on, these lights will be making the square festive all through the Christmas period.


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4. Thurrock Christmas Lights

Students from South Essex College have provided Grays town centre with the Christmas fairy-tale backdrop this winter. The sparkling lights are at the College’s Thurrock Campus and Grays High Street. The college students organised every element of the event from the technical aspects to performing the switch on.


5. Chelmsford Christmas Lights (Sunday 22 November)

There are still switch ons to come! Come and see the Christmas lights illuminate Chelmsford City Centre. The switch on begins at 3pm and finishes with a bang at 4:45pm, when the firework finale launches near the Meadows Shopping Centre and the town sign. This year’s line up includes a showcase of exceptional local and professional talent and popular Heart Essex radio presenters, Martin and Su will be amusing the crowds at this year’s spectacular event.


6. Maldon Christmas Lights (Thursday 26 November)

If you are looking for a twist on the traditional Christmas switch on, Maldon’s vintage Christmas event may well fit your expectations. The old-fashioned Winter Wonderland event will feature artisan markets, dress up for all ages and even an appearance for the man himself, Father Christmas. Major Mark Head, will switch on Maldon’s festive extravaganza. This unique switch-on is one not to be missed and is set to put Maldon on the map.


7. Ongar, Brentwood Christmas Lights (Friday 27th November)

If music is more up your street, then head to Ongar’s Christmas switch on. This year’s switch on is organised by Ongar-based music events and artist management company, Catman Boogie. Father Christmas will open up his grotto in Budworth Hall at 3.30pm followed by local school choirs performing from 5.30pm onwards. Other festivities include a DJ performance and Essex’s disco, funk and groove band Hot Sauce. At 7.30pm, The Voice singer Emmanuel Nwamadi, will switch on the Christmas lights and illuminate Ongar. If that doesn’t tickle your fancy, High Street shops will stay open for longer so you can do a spot of Christmas shopping before the rush.


So whether you want to peruse the lights at your own pace or face the energy of the Christmas lights switch-on, visit one of these Essex towns and revel in the festivities.

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