WINCHESTER’S Christmas lights were switched on in secret last night due to Covid-19.

The city's BID had already confirmed that it would not be telling people when the switch-on would take place, as they did not want to risk large crowds and the potential spread of coronavirus.

Last night the BID team officially turned on the illuminations, with a handful of people looking on as the wandered down the High Street.

Following the switch-on photographers came out with their cameras to capture the festive decorations, along with the 38ft Christmas tree in its usual spot.

Usually thousands would gather to see a local hero push the big red button to turn on the lights and be entertained by groups from across the city.

Despite the lack of fanfare this year, there will still be plenty of festive fun for all throughout December, with a mulled wine trail for adults, and a nutcracker trail for families to complete with a chance to win prizes.

BID have also been filming 'festive footage' to show the preparations to launch #FestiveWinch.