It’s almost Christmas time, so I thought it was time to update this London Christmas Markets post! For a city break to London, I can recommend visiting in November or December, because there are a couple of really atmospheric Christmas markets and jolly Winter festivals around.
Let’s get into the holiday mood with some mulled cider and roasted chestnuts! Here are some of my suggestions:
What we'll cover in this article
BEST LONDON CHRISTMAS MARKETS
#01 – Winter Wonderland London in Hyde Park
There seems to always be a bit of discussion among the locals if Winter Wonderland is worth visiting or not. I’ve never paid a visit, but my friends have told me it is mostly busy and quite expensive. You can get onto the festival for free, but you pay for all attractions, which you have to usually reserve in advance. Besides a Christmas market with over 200 stalls, you can find lots of Christmas shows, a circus, a Spiegeltent, big ice skating rink and a Ferris Wheel. I can see how this festival would be fun to visit for families, but I would try and visit during the week and avoid the weekends if possible!
When: 17 November 2017 to 1 January 2018
Where: Hyde Park
#02 – Southbank Centre Winter Market
Along the river Thames, from roughly the base of the London Eye, you can find the Southbank Centre Winter Market every year. Fun little wooden chalets with handmade gifts and food are lined up. One of the most fun (because… free) Winter activities in London, I think! This market is part of the Southbank Winter Festival, where you can also enjoy lots of music, theater and comedy for all ages.
TIP: don’t miss the Rekorderlig Cider Lodge for a mulled cider. Yummieeeee!
When: 10 November 2017 – 4 January 2018
#03 – Winterville 2017
In previous years, this small festival was held in Victoria Park, but this year, they move to Clapham Common for a few days of riding circles on the ice skating rink and roller disco, hitting balls at the crazy golf course, spinning in the Ferris Wheel and watching films at the Backyard Cinema’s Winter Night Garden. There is enough food and drinks (there is even a pub on site) at the many food trucks. Of course, at the Christmas Market, you can buy many handmade gifts. The famous Spiegeltent hosts many party’s with live music and during the day you can watch comedy, cabaret and Christmas shows for the entire family here. Entrance to the festival is free, but you have to buy a ticket for certain shows.
TIP: there is a heated indoor area for the kids to play, with of course a meet-and-greet with Santa!
When: 23 November – 1 December 2017
Where: Clapham Common
#04 – Christmas at Leicester Square
For the second year, there is a Christmas Festival at the famous Leicester Square in the center of London. Expect a big, traditional Christmas market with good food, drinks and fun gifts to buy, and of course a Santa’s Grotto for the kids. They also put up a Spiegeltent here for lots of shows that will entertain you throughout the festival.
When: 10 November 2017 – 7 January 2018
Where: Leicester Square
#05 – Greenwich Winter Time Festival
This new festival is located on a very special spot: the World Heritage Site of Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich (next to the Cutty Sark). There will be an indoor ice skating rink, a fun Christmas Market (which will be focus on modern handmade products and design, as well as traditional crafts). There will be several music performances. The only downside to this festival is that you have to pay £15 (£8 for kids) to get access. With the ticket, you only have 3 hours on the festival site ánd you pay extra for the ice skating rink and meeting Santa… If this isn’t really part of your Christmas spirit, then Greenwich is definitely still worth a visit this time a year, there are plenty of other attractions to enjoy!
When: 1 – 31 December 2017
#06 – Christmas at KEW Gardens
Follow a beautiful trail through KEW Gardens past over a million lights that light up the old trees and buildings of this garden. The iconic palm house almost comes alive with a show of lasers, light cannons and kaleidoscopic projections. For the kids, there is a Santa with elves at the North Pole Village and you can also enjoy yourself at the Vintage Christmas. Of course while enjoying a hot chocolate or mulled wine!
When: 22 November 2017 – 1 January 2018
Where: KEW Gardens
#07 – Other Christmas Markets
There are many more local markets and bigger fairs in London during Christmas, here are a few popular ones:
House & Garden Spirit of Christmas Fair
When: 30 October – 5 november 2017 – 11:00 to 17:00 (30 oct), 10:00 to 18:00 (31 oct, 1, 3, 4 nov) & 10:00 to 17:00 (5 nov). Late Night on 2 November: 10:00 to 21:00!
Where: Olympia London
Country Living Magazine Christmas Fair
When: 8-12 November 2017 – 10:00 to 17:00 (wed) / 20:30 (thu) / 18:00 (fri & sat) / 15:00 (sun)
Where: Business Design Centre, Islington
Hyper Japan Christmas Fair
When: 24-26 November 2017 – 12:00 to 20:00 (24th), 09:00 to 15:00 (25th) and 15:30 to 21:00 (26th)
Sunday 26th November: 9:00 to 18:00
Where: Tobacco Dock
BUST Christmas Craftacular
When: 3 December 2017 – 11:00 to 18:00
Where: Bethnal Green
Horniman Christmas Market
When: 7 December 2017 – 17.30 to 21.30
Where: Horniman Museum & Gardens
Urban Markers EAST Christmas Makers’ Market
When: 9 & 10 December 2017 – 11:00 to 17:00
Where: Ecology Pavilion in Mile End Park
Renegade Craft Fair
When: 9 & 10 December 2017 – 11:00 to 18:00
Where: Old Truman Brewery
Christmas Night Market – Geffrye Museum
When: 14 December 2017 – 16:00 to 21:00
Where: Geffrye Museum
GREAT LONDON HOTELS FOR CHRISTMAS
London Hotels around Hyde Park
- Amba Hotel Marble Arch
- Stüdyo Paddington by Bridgestreet
- J Hotel London
- Stylotel London
- The Zetter Townhouse Marylebone
- Arbor Hyde Park
London Hotels around Leicester Square
- W London Leicester Square
- The Piccadilly London West End
- The Z Hotel Picadilly
- Thistle Trafalgar Square
London Hotels around the Southbank
- London Bridge Hotel
- citizenM London Bankside
- Novotel London City South
- ibis London Blackfriars
- The Mad Hatter Hotel
- The Wellington Hotel
London Hotels around Greenwich
These hotels are all centrally located, close to the shopping areas and Christmas markets in London. A great base for a weekend Christmas Shopping in London! Many hotels have Christmas deals, so keep a close eye.
Disclaimer:All above hotel links are affiliates, which means we get a small commission when you book through any of those links. This is to no extra cost to you.