More lights will add sparkle to York’s city centre this winter

York’s city centre will shimmer with more lights than ever before this winter, as York Business Improvement District (BID) and Make It York join forces to extend seasonal displays to more streets with over 160,000 lights stretching 15km end-to-end.

“York has worked hard to earn its reputation as Britain’s most festive city, and we’re doing what we can to ensure it retains this crown,” comments Andrew Lowson, executive director for York BID.

“Our partnership with Make It York will extend the winter lights to even more streets – Colliergate, Shambles Market and New Street – and we will once again be lighting up the city’s four medieval bars, Micklegate, Bootham, Monkbar and Walmgate – to provide an incredibly warm welcome for residents and visitors alike to the city centre.”

Social media friendly


York’s Christmas lights have been widely praised in recent years, and the impact of the lights in bringing visitors to York cannot be underestimated, according to Paul Whiting, head of Visit York.

“York Winter Lights not only make the city look stunning on the dark evenings, they also bring visitors here especially to see them and, importantly, share the stunning images of them on their social media.

“This help further spread the word about why York really is the UK’s most festive city. The winter lighting brightens up the city after Christmas too, helping us tempt more visitors during a quieter time of year.”

Real Christmas trees, covered trunk to top in lights, will be located in Parliament Street, Shambles Market and St Helen’s Square.

Beyond Christmas


The streets will remain illuminated until the end of February, to provide an attractive welcome to the city centre’s appeal into the New Year and beyond.

The displays will continue to delight visitors to the Residents’ Weekend at the end of January and Visit York’s Ice Trail, which will give winter an extra boost when it takes place in early February 2019.

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 – and the quietest – time of the year for retailers.

This provides a great opportunity for retailers and hospitality businesses alike to attract visitors at a time when other the streets in other city centres are looking bleak and bare once their Christmas lights have been removed.”

This year’s Christmas Lights switch-on will take place in St Helen’s Square on Thursday 15 November, hosted by Minster FM, by the beautiful real Christmas tree, which stands in tribute to the St Leonards Hospice Light Up A Life campaign. Each twinkling light represents a name recorded in the Book of Honour, shining in memory of a loved one, a friend and relatives lost.