From mince pies to mulled wine, celebrating Christmas in London is a special event. Here are four of the city’s best Christmas markets to soak up the festive atmosphere.
When: November 8, 2018 to January 6, 2019
With the city’s most famous landmarks as neighbours—including the London Eye, Big Ben, and the Houses of Parliament—the Southbank Centre Winter Market is essential for first-time visitors to London. Sample the delicious food on offer and pick up last-minute gifts as red double-decker buses pass over Waterloo Bridge nearby.
When: Year-round, with Christmas festivities through December 24
This historic, covered market is situated within a World Heritage site, and it hosts several independent boutiques plus plenty of food vendors serving up traditional holiday treats. Browse the stalls with a hot cup of mulled wine in hand and take in the scenic riverside views before visiting Father Christmas and his elf in Santa’s grotto. A walk to the Royal Observatory in Greenwich Park is a must for the beautiful, sweeping view of London city in the distance.
When: December 1 and 2, 7 to 9, and 15 and 16
Shop local at the Crafty Fox Market in Brixton and support indie designers and makers. The selection of vendors is carefully curated each year to include unique gifts such as typography prints, ceramics, textiles, and handmade jewellery—perfect for that design-o-phile friend or family member. Be sure to stop by Brixton Village and Market Row afterwards for delicious, international cuisine. It’s worth trying the codfish fritters at local favourite Fish, Wings & Tings.
When: Now through January 6, 2019
For six weeks, a large portion of London’s Hyde Park is transformed into Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, which features a Bavarian-style Christmas market, complete with wooden chalets selling traditional Christmas decorations and piping hot mugs of hot chocolate. The Wonderland is a grand affair, with brightly lit trees, a chance to take a ride on the giant observation wheel, and a performance of The Nutcracker on Ice, among other family-friendly activities. Find yourself swept up in the over-the-top, lighthearted fun of it all.