Winter Lights Display

York's annual Winter Lights Scheme delivered by York BID consits of over 160,000 lights stretching 15km end-to-end that stretch across the entire city centre, as well as the dressing of each of the four medieval city wall bars (Micklegate Bar, Walmgate Bar, Monk Bar and Bootham Bar) in a stunning cascade of shimmering draped lights. Since it's inception, the scheme has been extended with several new streets added and existing areas strengthened and improved upon.

In 2020, the BID added the spectacular 'Magical Tree of Light' to the display - lighting up the Eye of York and delighting residents during the winter lockdown.


York’s Winter Lights have been hailed a great success, helping to drive visits to the city. Voted one of the Top 10 Best UK Winter Lights Festivals by the Guardian and Most Festive City in the UK by DigitalSpy in 2019. To celebrate the achievements of the Winter light scheme we made a short promotional video which can be viewed here

Andrew Lowson is keen that businesses in the city centre make the most of the investment to drive spend at retail and hospitality venues. “When the Business Improvement District was set up, one of the core aims was to improve the appearance of the city centre – and the winter lights give it a boost for over three months, including the busiest shopping time of the year.  We would love for every shop window to continue the festive theme, and the welcome in our restaurants and hotels to be warmer than ever – York holds the crown as the most festive city in the country, and that’s a title we want to hold onto!”


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