The Definitive Guide to Christmas Markets in London

  1. Home
  2. London
  3. Leisure
  4. The Definitive Guide to Christmas Markets in London
Image credit: Ross Sneddon

Christmas time, cosy markets and mulled wine. Here is our ultimate guide to the Christmas markets in London this season.

Strolling through a marketplace of wooden chalet huts surrounded by glittering lights, with a mulled wine in hand is the ideal way to get that Christmassy feeling. Of course, Londoners are spoilt for choice when it comes to Christmas markets, and there really is something for everyone, whether you’re a total traditionalist or even something of a Scrooge. We’ve rounded up some of the highlights of the Christmas market season in the capital, guaranteeing unique crafted gifts, delicious food and plenty of mulled wine or hot chocolate with marshmallows to get you in the spirit.

For beautiful surroundings…

Some of London’s most famous and visually stunning locations will be hosting markets throughout December. Starting on the Thames, enjoy a traditional German Christmas Market outside the Tate Modern (19 November - 23 December), where you can shop for Christmas gifts, enjoy a glass of Glühwein, have a go on the Victorian carousel and soak up the magical winter next to iconic locations like Tate Modern, Shakespeare's Globe and the Millennium Bridge. Further up towards London Bridge you will find Christmas By The River (1 December - January 3), which hosts over 40 independent traders selling gifts, winter-warming drinks and delicious festive food with fantastic views of London Bridge. A little further afield in Hackney is Sutton House Christmas Market (26 November - 18 December), a stunning National Trust Tudor manor house that is hosting a pantomime themed market. Alongside a generous selection of artisan gifts, food and drink, each room has been transformed into a children’s story from literature including Hansel and Gretel and Alice in Wonderland.

Tate Modern Christmas Market. Image credit: Kevin Gale

For a traditional experience…

What would a London Christmas be without Winter Wonderland (18 November - 2 Jan) in Hyde Park? Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, this festive extravaganza will be bigger than ever. Enjoy festive cocktails at Bar Ice, voyage through the Arctic in the magical ice kingdom and see the spectacular performance of Nutcracker on Ice. Leicester Square (11 November - 8 January) will also be hosting its own Christmas market this year, transforming the centre of London into a wonderland of traditional Christmas market stalls with hand-crafted goods, delicious food and drinks, a Santa's Grotto and performances from the incredible La Soirée. Finally, The Southbank Christmas Market (11 November - 8 January) runs as part of The Southbank Christmas Festival with a Nordic theme this year. See the wooden chalet huts line the Thames bankside and enjoy festive food, drink and gifts.

Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park. Image credit: Eloïse L

For unique gifts…

Christmas markets give you the opportunity to find unique Christmas gifts in an enjoyable environment (so no frantic last minutes trips to Oxford Street on Christmas Eve). There are a number of craft fairs that will be popping up this season, including the Crafty Fox Market (8 - 15 December) that will be touring across London, stopping off at Docklands, Shoreditch, Hackney and Peckham. There will be workshops on everything from finger knitting jewelry to screen printing, as well as the opportunity to buy one-of-a-kind crafts straight from the creators. In the heart of East London you’ll discover The Urban Makers East Christmas Market (10 - 11 December), with over 100 designers coming together to sell everything from humorous Christmas cards to quirky jewelry. Angel in North London hosts the Islington Christmas Market (21 November - 24 December), selling beautiful crafts, natural candles, hand-woven scarves and gift hampers.

Crafty Fox Market at Brixton. Image credit: Crafty Fox

For something a bit different…

Describing itself as a Christmas market for those who haven’t grown up yet, A Peninsula Christmas (3 - 23 December) will offer an ethereal festive experience. Surrounded by an enchanting forest, the Christmas Market will bring individual makers, bakers, cooks and craftspeople together, selling luxurious leathers, statement jewelry and artisan accessories alongside unusual creative gifts. Back East you will find Hackney Flea-mas market (17 - 18 December) with 30 vintage traders selling clothes, curiosities and collectables which you can browse with a jolly soundtrack and a glass of mulled wine in hand. For something unashamedly alternative, head down to Camden Christmas Market (Thursdays between 18 November - 22 December) for the alter-nativity shopping experience, shout “oi! To the world” whilst you enjoy music, street food and alternative gifts, and don’t forget to take a photo under the selfie tree!

Greenwich Peninsula Christmas Market.