There’s no better time to visit London than at Christmas, when the city comes alive with beautiful festive light displays, delicious food to try out, and a great range of seasonal shopping to help you find the perfect gift for your friends and family.
With plenty of charming Christmas markets taking place all across the capital this year, it’s hard not to feel the festive spirit in the air. With great deals on hotels in Kensington London, it’s the perfect time to plan a special stay in London and make the most of what’s on offer.
Read on to find out more about where to find the best Christmas markets in the capital this year, and what you have to look forward to.
Winter Market at the Southbank Centre
One of the most magical and diverse of London’s Christmas markets this year, the Southbank Centre’s annual winter festival takes over the South Bank area, from the London Eye down towards the main Centre buildings. It’ll be hard to miss the sparkling lights reflecting off the River Thames, and they create the perfect atmosphere of magic and wonder. If you’re planning to look for romantic hotels in London with romantic packages, this might be the best Christmas market to enjoy during your stay.
There’s plenty to discover and enjoy at the Winter Market, including an extensive food market with stallholders offering a variety of fresh delicacies. But you’ll also find some tempting food pop-ups too, with special restaurants offering a variety of classic favourites, including fish and chips, shucked oysters and burgers. Afterwards, you can head to the alpine-style lodges or charming outdoor bar for a warming mulled wine or cocktail.
As well as great food and drink, you’ll also find some fantastic entertainment on offer, with something for all ages. If you’re visiting with young ones or as a family, check out the live music, theatre or street shows, or simply get cosy in their secret cinema, where a variety of festive classic will be playing through the season.
The Winter Market runs until the start of January, giving you plenty of time to enjoy its charms.
Christmas by the River at London Bridge
With a fabulous location by the riverside and its quintessentially Christmassy atmosphere, the Christmas by the River market is always one of London’s most photogenic. Enjoy the sight of Tower Bridge lit up in the background, as you explore the rows of traditional wooden cabins, all offering a variety of seasonal treats to indulge in.
Easy to get to from hotels in Kensington London, the central London market is a great place to shop for gifts and Christmas decorations, or simply enjoy a relaxing stroll. And as well as a great variety of street food and arts and crafts, you’ll also find a range of workshops and other events taking place through the winter.
Crafty Fox Market at Kings Cross
If you’re on the hunt for something extra special to gift your loved ones with this year, forget about the usual suspects on the High Street or online retailers, and instead take a look at something a little more unique. The Crafty Fox Market comes back to London this Christmas at Kings Cross from the 13th to 15th December.
Filled with a variety of artisanal sellers, you’ll find a great range of treats on offer at the market, with something for everyone on your list. Choose from wonderful handmade bath goodies, stylish leather goods, pretty accessories and plenty of quirky and whimsical cards and art prints. With some brilliant special offers London hotels to take advantage of, it’s a great time to plan a Christmas shopping weekend in the city.
Christmas Makers Market at Aldgate
If you’d like a break from the busy and brightly lit markets all over the rest of the city, take a trip down to this smaller and more intimate affair. Held in support of the charity, Shelter, this one-day market offers a lovely selection of festive stalls selling artisan creations that offer a more diverse range of goods.
While there will be plenty of baubles and festive decorations, you’ll also find covetable designer clothing, beautiful homeware items, and handcrafted candles, books and more. There is also a tempting range of Scandinavian-inspired tasty treats on offer, including hot drinks and snacks to keep you sated while you shop.
When you need a break from the festive shopping, try one of the free workshops and activities taking place in the market instead, including relaxing candle making and pickling sessions, or a soothing yoga class to help unwind and ease your nerves.
Zero Waste Market at Brick Lane
Christmas can be a busy shopping period, but this one day market, taking place on 7th December, tries to bring a more sustainable message to the season.
You’ll find a great variety of traders selling a selection of goodies, from gourmet gifts to clothing and accessories. All of the sellers are small, independent artisans coming from all over the country, with the added benefit of keeping everything plastic-free. Plus for every ten tickets sold, the organisers will also be planting a tree, helping you to make a positive contribution to the environment.
Angel Market at Winter Wonderland
If you don’t mind delving into the busier side of Christmas in London, then check out the bright lights of the Angel Market, taking place in Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland. A bustling atmosphere filled with market stalls, tempting street food, music, fairground rides and more makes the atmosphere of Winter Wonderland pretty unique. Its central London location also makes it a convenient place to visit, when you want to enjoy a little Christmas shopping without having to head too far away.
Be aware that it can be extremely busy later in the day and at weekends, so plan ahead with an earlier visit if you want to avoid feeling too crowded. Afterwards, unwind with a delicious meal at the Park Grand Restaurant.