York BID Winter Lights

BID businesses expressed the need for a greater presence of winter lights that would stretch beyond the popular holiday market areas. In response, The York BID implemented a winter lights programme to transform our historic city to a stunning spectacle during the months of early-drawn evenings.

The BID piloted the programme in December 2016, lighting of the city’s medieval city wall bars with a cascade of shimmering drapes on Micklegate Bar, Walmgate Bar, Monk Bar and Bootham Bar. The unprecedented display showcased York's renowned structures as ‘shining gateways’ that lead to the historic attractions and businesses in and around the city walls.

Additional winter lights are part of the BID’s overall commitment to enhancing the city's inviting atmosphere, making them a must-see attraction during the holidays and throughout the winter season.  In response to the overwhelmingly positive reception (over 14,000 interactions on social media alone!)  the BID committed to extending the winter lights display for 2017's winter season.


A magical winter light experience, using over 160,000 LED lights, is being planned for historic York this year.  The city will be awash with lights in bright and warm white, creating a beautiful and magical atmosphere in keeping with the architecture of the city. These winter lights will brighten the city throughout the York Christmas Festival (16 November - 22 December) and continue right through to the end of February. 

The York BID are taking a lead on the project, delivered in partnership with Make It York, to roll out the city’s best ever winter and Christmas lights display.  New plans this year will see the illumination of Lendal and Ouse bridges as well as the city’s famous gateways.

Please contact The York BID to report issues with the winter lighting scheme.

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