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The Best Christmas Markets In London

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These are the stars on top of the tree when it comes to Christmas markets in London...

The run-up to Christmas can be a truly magical time of year in London (though sometimes hectic). The city becomes adorned with tourists, twinkling lights, and the smell of roasted chestnuts lingering in the streets; with cheerful carols uplifting you into the holiday spirit. Enchanting Christmas markets begin to pop up all over the capital offering delicious food, one-of-a-kind gifts, and enjoyable experiences such as funfair rides and live music.

Whether you're browsing for yourself, grabbing a unique gift for a loved one or simply soaking in the festive atmosphere, Christmas markets are a rite of passage that truly set the tone when it comes to this season. Read on to discover our list of the top five Christmas markets to visit this winter in London. 

Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park

Hyde Park, London

Admittedly we are starting with the most obvious choice, and the busiest. Which is not for everyone, but there's a reason Winter Wonderland is so popular! It's the UK's biggest and most visited Christmas market covering almost the whole of Hyde Park and bursting at the seams with food, drink, trinkets and activities for all to enjoy. Open from the 11th of November to the 2nd of January there's plenty of time to visit. Just remember they're closed on Christmas Day!

When it comes to activities, there's a huge ice skating rink next to a bandstand where live music is played, enjoy a break from the busy market under the twinkling lights, glide along (or shuffle whilst holding onto the side if you're like me) and absorb the festivities. If you're peckish, head on over to the Bavarian village, where you'll find quaint wooden huts warming up all kinds of tasty German dishes. If that doesn't tickle your fancy, no fret, we won't put you on Santa's naughty list, instead you can explore plenty of other stores serving up many different kinds of international eats. 

There's an 'Alpine Bar', 'Artctic Lodge' and 'Tipi for when it comes to tipple. Here you'll find hot chocolates, mulled wine and many more festive inspired drinks (of course they also serve your regular ones for those that like to stick to their usual). 

Then comes the all important Christmas market, stroll through the charming and traditional setting of beautifull decorated wooden chalets adorned with unqiue gifts, and tempting culinary delights. 

Extra attractions include a giant observation wheel, an ice kingdom, santa land, fairground rides and games to name a few. You can discover what else is on at winter wonderland here.

There's so much happening that you'll probably want to spend a few bob, so make sure you don't come empty handed- and get ready for full festive immersion. 

Tickets start from £5 and can be purchased here.

Christmas By The River: London Bridge Market

London Bridge City via Facebook

London SE1 2RR

Set with the stunning backdrop of the landmark that is Tower Bridge is Christmas By The River. With over 70 quaint little wooden cabins selling Christmassy gifts, food and drinks for over 7 days a week, this popular tourist attraction has grown into one of London's top sites. 

Stretching from November 2022 to January 2023 and more mellow than it's cousin, Winter Wonderland, take a leisurely stroll whilst absorbing London's iconic skyline, decorated with fairy lights and festive cheer. Immerse yourself in Christmas workshops where you can even hand make trinkets to take home with you- perfect sentimental stocking fillers (exact workshops TBC). If you want to add a little extra cheer, head on a Tuesday when a selection of Christmas films are shown. 

Whilst you're in the area, why not take a walk up Tower Bridge and peer through the glass floor to see the river 42 metres below. If the day has worked up an appetite and you want to sit down and enjoy your food whilst taking in the view, head to the nearby Coppa Club, where you can cuddle up in an igloo whilst the city hurries by.

Kingston Christmas Market

Kingston Ancient Market Place, Kingston-Upon-Thames, London KT1 1JS

This ones a little further out from the centre of the city, but totally worth it. Every year the riverside town has a European-style picturesque Christmas market in a traditional British setting. With a location named 'Ancient Market Place', you know that the Kingston Christmas Market will be nothing short of magical. 

Wander around under twinkling fiary lights whilst exploring the cosy cabins for a range of handmade crafts, delicate decorations and small trinkets perfect for stocking fillers. If you've brought the little ones, keep them entertained with a ride on the traditional carousel

After you're done browsing and buying why not perch on a bench and enjoy the seasonal entertainment whilst tucking into some delicious street food and a glass of mulled wine?

The Christmas market is open from the 10th November to the 24th December. If you want to read up more on what the stalls have to offer, click here.

Leicester Square Christmas Market

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Leicester Square, London, WC2H 7DE

Normally the bustling centre of London's arts and theatreland scene, cinemas, casinos and an overall West End tourist hive, over Christmas, Leicester Square is transformed into a lively Christmas market, paired with Christmas entertainment in surrounding venues to really immerse you in the festivities. 

The Leicester Square Christmas market is a great alternative to Winter Wonderland. Here you can exlpore over 30 stalls, a small fair, traditional decorations and flickering fairy lights along with a huge Christmas tree that towers into the sky. Browse through the hand-crafter goods, snack on some delicious food and drinks and then head on over to see one of their many jaw-dropping shows (you'll need a ticket for this though). 

The market runs from the 12th November to the 9th January and entry as absolutely free. 

Borough Market

Borough Market via Facebook

8 Southwark St, London SE1 1TL

From the 1st of December you can take yourself on a culinary Christmas adventure at Borough Market. This foodies dream-come-true boasts international street food, British classics and a whole array of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. There's also a bunch of ingredients available for purchase so you can re-create the festive dishes at home and begin perfecting your Christmas dinner...and if you're not so much the chef but want to learn a thing or two, there's even cooking classes to learn how to make shortbread cookies and an 'Evening of Cheese' helping you curate your perfect cheeseboard... did someone say host with the most? 

Focused all around food, the market becomes adorned with decorations, Christmas trees line the halls and sparkling wreaths hang from the ceiling, whilst fairy lights and festive ribbons are draped pretty much everywhere. Although the market runs all year round, we have to say, there's something truly special about it during the Christmas period. Cranberry rolls and eggnog, freshly shucked oysters and piping hot turkey, you can gorge until your hearts content-calories don't count at Christmas right?