Christmas markets and fairs in London are a total festive treat. We’ve rounded up some of the best winter markets the capital has to offer.
Mulled wine! Mince pies! Fairground rides! And if you’re lucky, a chance to meet the big boss himself… 🎅 These London Christmas markets are all worth a visit, if you ask us. Plus, since they were largely non-existent in the shaky Christmas, marred by a lockdown, that was 2020, it’s all the more reason to celebrate twice as much this year.
Classic London Christmas markets
The big-name London Christmas markets will run throughout the festive season. Check ’em out!
1. Winter Wonderland, Hyde Park, November 19 to January 3
This great big Christmas fun fair draws Londoners, day-trippers and tourists from far and wide. It plays host to the UK’s largest outdoor ice rink, an ice bar, an après ski-inspired ‘village’, loads of festive food stalls, German beer tents and even hireable karaoke huts so you can work on your best Pogues impression! Entrance is free but attractions are not. More info here.
2. Leicester Square Christmas Market, November 12 to January 3
At the very heart of London’s tourist district, a sparkling Christmas market is set to return for the winter season. Wander around the beautiful food and gift stalls, before heading into the Spiegeltent – host to a bunch of award-winning performances. From variety shows, to fire-breathers and cabaret sensations, to human jukeboxes, girl bands, and world leading stalls under the lights! Read more about it here.
3. South Bank Christmas Markets, from November 4 to December 24
At this riverside Christmas market, not far from the London Eye, the perennial Southbank street food market vendors will be adding festive fare to their menus (melted cheese on everything, please!) while other little wooden huts will be selling festive goodies and gifts. Plus, look at the igloos! Find out more here.
4. Christmas At Flat Iron Square, Southwark, from December 2
Flat Iron Square’s Apres Ski Lodge is returning this winter. Step off the slopes and snuggle up in an armchair while you munch on candied pecans and warm up with Apres Ski drinks from around the world. Grab food from one of many street vendors, take part in holiday workshops and sip on their whiskey-based cocktails!
5. Kingston Christmas Market, November 18 to December 24
Filling the town centre with festive cheer, Kingston’s traditional Christmas Market will have hand-crafted gifts and mulled wine galore! The market stalls are all housed in lovely wooden cabins adorned with Christmas decorations. It’s the perfect place to get into the festive spirit and start looking for those stocking fillers! More information here.
6. Christmas by the River, Bankside, November 16 to Jan 2
Crisp winter air, a lovely riverside spot, and all the trimmings and trappings of Christmas. Really, Christmas by the River has it all. One of London’s prettiest Christmas markets, the festive fiesta will return to the capital on November 16, bringing with it the best seasonal treats and temptations. Read more about it here.
7. Christmas at Greenwich Market, Lights on from November 17 (event dates TBC)
Although Greenwich Market is fantastic all year round – boasting a massive 120 stalls within a World Heritage site – if you throw in a few twinkling lights and some mulled wine, it’s festive AF. The market will hosts late-opening festive sessions every Wednesday in December (excluding Christmas Day), perfect for a post-work winter wander! More info here.
Short-running and New London Christmas markets
From crafty Christmas markets to local Christmas festivities, this lot are only around for a short while!
8. Selfridges Christmas Market, November 5 to December 24
After a debut affair last Christmas, Selfridges’ Christmas Market will this year compete with the big boys and run again, providing us with another December to remember. The Christmas Market on the Mews features a roster of fabulously festive food trucks curated by the founder of Street Feast, Dominic Cools-Lartigue, which is music to my ears as all I want for Christmas is food. The market is located directly behind Selfridges on Edward Mews and is open to explore now. And what Christmas market would be complete without fairground rides? Their dizzying helter skelter, tunnel of lights, and other family-friendly attractions will surely keep you entertained. This market is truly the gift that just keeps on giving.
9. Crafty Fox Market, Nov 7 & Dec 4-5 (Elephant & Castle), Dec 19 (Kings Cross)
Although they’re around all year, Crafty Fox run some charming Christmas markets across town – and they’ve got quite the festive spread planned, popping up at both Mercato Metropolitano in Elephant & Castle, and Canopy Market in Kings Cross. More info here.
10. The London Artisan’s Winter Edition, Brick Lane (December 18 & 19)
The London Artisan is the perfect place to purchase handmade, organic and sustainable gifts this Christmas. Featuring 50 contemporary designer makers, you can expect a beautiful selection of jewellery, glassware, ceramics, homewares, beauty products, and more. There’ll be opportunities to meet the designers, and chances to buy or commission products. More info here.
11. Maltby Street Night Market, TBC
Another market that runs all year round, but things get super special at this south eastern market. In previous years there were plenty of opportunities to scoff on festive gastronomic delights and do some late-night Christmas shopping, before retreating to one of Maltby Street Market’s cosy bars for a G&T. No confirmation on the return of this, but keep your eyes peeled for events on their website.
12. Christmas Under The Canopy, TBA
Independent food and crafts haven, Canopy Market, also gets into the Christmas spirit with festive fare, crafty workshops, carols and live music, a mulled wine bar, and even a live reindeer. You’ll find it all besides a giant tree, decorated with twinkly lights and garlands. Fingers crossed we see it return for 2021.
Also published on Medium.