One of our favourite things to do in London during winter is to visit the many Christmas Markets scattered around the city. There is something about drinking warm mulled wine as you watch kids skate around an ice-rink that conjures up feelings and images of Christmases long ago. It’s as if one of Dickens’ books comes to life before your eyes. If you are visiting London this winter or live in this great city here is a list of the best Christmas Markets in London (according to us). Merry Christmas!
The Best Christmas Markets In London
Southbank Centres Winter Market
This is one of our favourite Christmas markets in London. We love browsing in the cute little wooden chalets that go all along the Southbank, the sellers always seem to have original handmade gifts that you don’t see at other markets. Then you have the fantastic views of the Houses of Parliament, The City and Canary Wharf off in the distance.
As well as the wooden chalets there is also global street food, festive treats and bars selling winter warmers to keep you snug as you walk under the twinkling lights. There is also entertainment for the kids with a circus, fairy tales and plays.
Southbank Centres Winter Market Info:
Dates: 8th December – 6th January
Admission: Admission to the Winter Festival is free, but paid-for tickets are required for certain activities.
Nearest Tube: Underground and Rail Stations: Waterloo, Embankment, Charing Cross or Waterloo East.
London Bridge City’s Riverside Market
This market is very similar to the Southbank Winter Market further up the river. There are wooden chalets, fairy lights, and 60 independent traders selling unique and traditional Christmas gifts. The views of the city here are fantastic. The traditional Christmas market stretches along The Queen’s Walk from Hay’s Galleria and London Bridge City Pier to The Scoop at More London.
If you fancy a tipple there are two bars serving up mulled wine, prosecco, mac n cheese and much more. Be sure to put on your ski-wear for the second bar as it is carved from ice with ice sculptures all around you. It is -5c inside so you have been warned.
London Bridge City’s Riverside Market Info:
Dates: Normally late November to early January.
Nearest Tube: London Bridge.
Christmas in Leicester Square
We went to this market for the first time last year and it was really fun. As it is bang in the middle of the West-end it is a perfect place to come to once you have done your Christmas shopping on nearby Regent Street or Covent Garden.
There are over 25 stalls selling handcrafted gifts, festive decorations and winter food and drink. There is also a Santas Grotto and theatre (it is the West-End after all) showing festive entertainment for all ages.
Christmas in Leicester Square Info:
Dates: Normally early November to early January.
Admission: Free but you have to pay for the Grotto and Theatre.
Nearest Tube: Leicester Square
Greenwich Winter Time Festival At The Old Royal Naval College
This is a relatively new winter market. Friends of ours went last year and raved about it so hopefully, we will get to experience it this year. We know the location well and couldn’t think of a better place to have a Christmas festival especially if it snows. There can’t be many places that have a winter festival in a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The theme of this market is where tradition meets modern for an alternative winter market vibe. There is an ice-skating rink, independent designer brands, artisan festive food and drink and of course Father Christmas.
Greenwich Winter Time Festival At The Old Royal Naval College Info:
Dates: Normally In December
Nearest Tube: DLR Cutty Sark
Winter Wonderland In Hyde Park
This is the big one. A Hyde Park winter without Winter Wonderland would be unthinkable. Over the years Winter Wonderland has been delighting winter crowds with big top shows, ice-skating, thrilling rides and a huge winter market. Throw in a giant observation wheel, an enchanted ice forest, a circus and backyard cinema and you have enough to keep you and the family busy for hours.
There are two Christmas markets at Winter Wonderland. The German market which has over 200 chalets selling traditional festive goods and the Angels Market which has more unusual and unique gifts for Christmas. Then there is all the food and drink at Winter Wonderland. From German sausage to Spanish churros there are enough food stalls to keep the fussiest of eaters happy. If you fancy a Christmas tipple there are plenty of bars (including an ice one) to get you merry.
A word of warning, Winter Wonderland gets very busy at weekends so if you can try to visit in the week. In the daytime, it is quietest but it does lose a bit of buzz compared to the evenings. Many of the attractions require payment so buy a pre-paid ticket if you know you will be going on certain rides or watching shows. Take cash too as not all the stall holders except card payment.
Winter Wonderland In Hyde Park Info:
Dates: 23rd Nov – 6th Jan
Admission: Free but charges apply for rides, ice skating, big top shows, the observation wheel, Magical Ice Kingdom and Bar Ice.
Nearest Tube: Hyde Park Corner or Marble Arch.
Winterville on Clapham Common
From one famous London park to another. Winterville on Clapham Common has been a firm favourite Christmas market for our South London friends for a while. In addition to the winter market, there is also the brilliant Street Feast selling amazing street food, Backyard Cinemas winter night garden to chill out in and Santas Grotto.
Plus there is ice-skating, roller disco, crazy golf and a Spiegeltent showing cabaret, comedy and family entertainment. As you can see there is a lot to do at Winterville on Clapham Common.
Winterville on Clapham Common Info:
Dates: Normally from November to January but Winterville has yet to confirm.
Admission: Free with some rides and shows with a cost.
Nearest Tube: Clapham Common.
Christmas Wednesdays On Colombia Road
A Christmas Market at London’s most famous flower market. With 60 shops selling unique gifts (some of them made by the shops themselves) Christmas on Columbia Road is how shopping for Christmas gifts should be. Open on the four Wednesday evenings preceding Christmas enjoy a stroll down the fairy-lit street whilst listening to Carol singers from St Peters in Bethnal Green.
Christmas Wednesdays On Colombia Road Info:
Dates: Open on the four Wednesday evenings preceding Christmas.
Nearest Tube: Bethnal Green.
Pexmas Festive In Peckham
We love the history of this Christmas market in Peckham. Two friends knew lots of people that made cool and interesting stuff and they also knew someone with warehouse space so they put them together and hey presto you have a market on the London scene.
This Christmas expect mulled wine, street food, good tunes and gifts galore. This is another Christmas market we haven’t visited but we will be there this year that’s for sure. We are going to try all our Christmas gifts from markets this year so we need to visit them all.
Pexmas Festive In Peckham Info:
Dates: Normally December
Nearest Tube: Peckham Rye Rail.
Do you know of any other London Christmas markets that we can include in this list? Please drop us a line in the comment section below and we will add them.
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*Images provided by the markets