Christmas markets and fairs in London are a real 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 Santa himself. These London Christmas markets are all worth a visit, if you ask us.
Classic London Christmas markets
The big names amongst London Christmas markets will run throughout the festive season. Check ’em out!
1. Southbank Winter Festival, until Dec 27
This riverside Christmas market, not far from the London Eye, is one of the first to pop-up in 2018. The perennial Southbank street food market vendors will be adding festive fare to their menus (melted cheese on everything, please!) and there’ll be gifts and trinkets to buy from little wooden huts. There’ll also be an array of shows and performances, including Circus 1903 and Rumpelstiltskin. Find out more here.
2. Winterville, Clapham Common, until Dec 23
The trendy alternative to Winter Wonderland, Winterville is heading back to south London this year. This Christmas market is expected to boast a spectacular street food line-up, film screenings from Backyard Cinema, crazy golf from PLONK and a lovely big ferris wheel, plus ice skating and roller disco opportunities. Brought to you by the folks behind Field Day and Street Feast, this promises to be a bobby dazzler. More information here.
3. Christmas by the River, Bankside, until Jan 2
With a beautiful backdrop of Tower Bridge and the city skyline, Christmas by the River has been illuminating the riverside for the past four years. Back again for 2018, it’s promising lovely stocking fillers, pop-up bars, and lots of delicious street food. Read more about it here.
4. Leicester Square Christmas Market, until Jan 6
At the very heart of London’s tourist district, a sparkling Christmas market is set to return for the winter season. Along with beautiful food and gift stalls, there’ll also be a large Spiegeltent where you’ll be able to watch hilarious and fabulous performances from the Briefs Boys, as well as a Burlesque Carol Concert and so much more (including plenty of child-friendly shows and events). Read more about it here.
5. Kingston Christmas Market, until Dec 31
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. Winter Wonderland, Hyde Park, until Jan 6
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, loads of festive food stalls, and even hireable karaoke huts so you can work on your best Pogues impression. Entrance is free but attractions are not – tickets can be booked here.
7. Christmas at Greenwich Market, until Dec 24
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. It’s open until 8pm every Wednesday in December, and you’re bound to find the perfect gifts for your loved ones. More info here.
8. Ally Pally Christmas Carnival, until Dec 16
There’s all sorts of festivities happening at Alexandra Palace this Christmas, including: a cute weekend craft market; a chance to meet the main man inside Santa’s Grotto; a winter edition of the legendary StEATlife festival with DJs, live music and incredible street food; and many other family activities. More info here.
9. Christmas at Camden Market, until Dec 23
Camden Market will transport you straight to the North Pole this winter. There’ll be everything from brass bands and jazzy carols, to Christmassy craft workshops and fairground games. There’ll even be hourly snow flurries to really set the scene. Feast on glittery churros and cheese-dunked pigs in blankets, or make your very own Christmas jumper. More info here.
Short-run London Christmas markets
From crafty Christmas markets to local Christmas festivities, this lot are only around for a short while!
10. Crafty Fox Market, Brixton, Dec 15–16
Although they’re a year-round outfit, Crafty Fox run some charming Christmas markets all over town. There’s one left to catch: at the Department Store in Brixton this weekend (December 15-16th). More info here.
11. Maltby Street Night Market, Dec 14 and 21
Head to south east London’s famous Ropewalk and take in the sparkly surroundings and the gentle waft of mulled wine. There’ll be 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. More info here.
12. Renegade Craft Fair, Brick Lane, Dec 15–16
Not so much a Christmas market as a Christmas extravaganza, with 200 makers turning up for this one. They’ll fill the Old Truman Brewery full of crafty creations, arty bits, and anything else you fancy buying (or keeping for yourself). If you can’t find the perfect gift here, then it probably doesn’t exist. Sorry to be the bearers of bad news. More info.
13. Canopy Market, King’s Cross, Nov 30–Dec 16
Independent food and crafts haven, Canopy Market, is also getting into the Christmas spirit with festive fare, crafty workshops, carols and live music, and a mulled wine bar. There’ll also be a giant tree taking centre stage, decorated with twinkly lights and garlands. More info.
14. Hackney Christmas Market, Dec 15–16
Located within Bohemia Place, right opposite Hackney Central station, Hackney Christmas Market has everything you could wish for this season. There’ll be festive food and drinks, wonderful gifts, and amazing entertainment, and it’s all set in Hackney’s coolest venues, including east London’s hottest music venue Night Tales. Food and drink will be supplied by the award-winning ABQ London “Breaking Bad” Cocktail Experience and St. Johns at Hackney Brewery, and they’ll sit beside over 50 other traders and makers. There will also be a clothes bank drop for coats/clothing for the homeless and facilities to donate to the local Soup Kitchen. More info here.
15. Flat Iron Square’s Christmas Flea Market, Southwark, Dec 15–16
Flat Iron Square’s weekend flea market is going festive! Here you’ll find a quirky mix of vintage clothing, antiques, vinyl, ceramics, books, mid-century furniture, and so much more. For their Christmas special, every trader will be offering one-off specials – particularly the food traders. There’ll also be a choir, carollers, a brass band and a swing band to soundtrack your shopping. Flat Iron Square is home to various food, drink and music venues, including Apres London, which becomes Flat Iron Square Alpine Village for the winter – the one-stop shop for Winter drinks and parties. More info here.
16. The London Artisan’s Winter Edition, Brick Lane, Dec 15–16
The London Artisan at the Old Truman Brewery 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, etc. There’ll be opportunities to meet the designers, and chances to buy or commission products. More info here.