Christmas in London just wouldn’t be the same without an array of fantastic festive markets! Each year, the city comes to life with markets which cater to everyone from dedicated foodies to avid last-minute gift-hunters.
Some of our favourite Christmas markets take place all over the city, with many of them taking place throughout the festive season, and others acting as temporary ‘pop up’ events where you can find some extra-special stocking fillers.
In this blog, we’ll take a closer look at the most significant markets you can look forward to on your next visit to the city, helping you get to grips with all the wonderful shopping opportunities they have in store…
Winter Wonderland Christmas Market
21st November 2019 – 5th January 2020
This is without doubt one of the most popular events in London’s Christmas calender, with a market filled with incredible gift options as well as food stalls, beer tents and karaoke huts perfect for a special event. There’s live shows and the largest outdoor ice rink in the UK, as well as fairground rides and all the attractions you would expect from an event of this type.
Winter Wonderland is open from 21st November until early January 2020, so there’s plenty of time to get involved. Peak times and weekends tend to draw in huge crowds, so if you want to enjoy some of the attractions after shopping at the market, try and plan your visit for a time which is a little less busy.
This market makes a fantastic spot for browsing throughout the day, whether you’re in the mood for great shopping or simply want to soak up the festive atmosphere during your stay in London.
Southbank Centre Wintertime Market
8th November 2019 – 5th January 2020
You might have heard of the Southbank Centre Wintertime Market, and even if you haven’t, visitors in London can’t miss it if they travel through this popular district while staying at the Park Grand Hotel.
Free to enter, the market is sure to put you in a festive mood, thanks to the vast array of market stalls and delicious, seasonal treats on offer. Its part of a wider celebration at Southbank Centre, titled ‘Winter at Southbank Centre’, which includes live events and fantastic Christmas-themed activities. The official launch date is 8th November 2019, and visitors can head here between November-January for mulled wine, mince pies and great gifts.
When you’ve finished shopping, you can also head for the London Eye, which is one of the city’s most popular attractions and only a stone’s throw from the market itself.
Kingston Christmas Market
Kingston Upon Thames
Every year, Kingston Upon Thames transforms into a festive paradise, with this splendid Christmas market which dominates the local area. This is a particularly great place to head if you want to grab a few handmade gifts or enjoy festive dishes while you shop. There’s also lots of warming mulled wine available in the wooden cabins which help make London feel more than a little Nordic, if only for Christmas. Thanks to its unique shopping and the beautiful Christmas lights which are another fixture of Kingston’s take on the festive season, this is a particularly popular spot with families.
The market usually appears during November and is ongoing until January, though the official launch date has not yet been announced for 2019.
Christmas by the River
London Bridge City
A fixture of the festive season, Christmas by the River is a lavish market which combines all the best bits of shopping at this time of year, championing a relaxed pace, handmade gifts and yummy food to accompany you as you browse.
You won’t be able to miss it, thanks to the German-style chalets which line the banks of the River Thames in this iconic part of London, nestled close to landmarks such as Tower Bridge and the Tower of London. Atmospheric and lots of fun, here you’ll find 60 independent traders selling something for everyone. This is a great place to search for a few stocking fillers, or to enjoy local craft beer during an evening trip during your stay at the Park Grand London Hyde Park.
Christmas at Flat Iron Square
11th November 2019 – 6th January 2020
This remarkable celebration of all things Christmas is returning to London for another year, giving London visitors the chance to enjoy delicious local street food, free festive film screenings, and a range of incredible workshops sure to help make Christmas 2019 the best yet.
There’s also a one-day festival which includes the event’s Christmas market, scheduled to take place on 30th November 2019. Here you’ll be able to shop at thirty of the city’s finest independent sellers, offering a new way to buy Christmas presents with an ethical edge.
Crafty Fox Market
Brixton / Elephant & Castle / Kings Cross / South Kensington
Crafty Fox is a market which runs throughout the year, but they also run some of the city’s finest Christmas markets throughout November and December. This year will be no different, with an array of festive treats in store in locations such as Brixton and South Kensington’s Natural History Museum.
For fans of an authentic market which ticks all the boxes, this should definitely make their shortlist and is sure to provide plenty of seasonal fun. It would also make a wonderful addition to your plans after enjoying an Indian afternoon tea.
With ample independent food and crafts, Canopy Market will be embracing all things Christmas this year. The dates of the event have yet to be confirmed, but visitors can expect great additions like carol singing, live musical performances, workshops designed to help you learn the latest Christmas crafts, and last but not least, a mulled wine bar.
Maltby Street Night Market
14th & 21st December 2019
Maltby Street offers a market all year round, but at Christmas things get particularly interesting. In 2018, the event offered a vast array of foodie treats and late-night festive shopping, close to many of the best bars in the city.
This is an event best enjoyed by adults, thanks to the late opening hours and great location. There’s only going to be two Christmas-themed markets this year throughout mid-late December, so if you’ve left your shopping a little late, don’t despair! Maltby Street Night Market is the perfect way to catch up.
Leicester Square Christmas Market
8th November – 5th January 2019
Ideally situated in one of London’s major tourist hubs, Leicester Square Christmas Market is an event not to be missed, with incredible food on offer and plenty of chances to grab a few stocking fillers during your browse.
In addition to providing great shopping, the event is also focused strongly on entertainment, helping to get visitors in the Christmas spirit with everything from fire-breathing street performers to the latest girl bands all taking part. A trip here is a great opportunity to visit a true London landmark, while also enjoying something which is designed for true festive enthusiasts!
The event will run from early November until early January, meaning there’s lots of chance to soak up the atmosphere.
Ally Pally Christmas Carnival
1st December 2019 – 16th December 2019
Alexandra Palace will be hosting a variety of different Christmas themed events this year, which include everything from street food celebrations to live DJ sets, film screenings of festive favourites and a funfair. There’s also lots of family-friendly events within the carnival.
The palace itself was once designed to twin with Crystal Palace, but out of the two venues it’s the only one which still remains, and regularly hosts all kinds of fantastic events for the general public.
The Ally Pally Christmas Carnival is one to look out for if you’re in the mood for some retail therapy, particularly with the upcoming craft market weekend – which will include not only some of the city’s finest arts and crafts, but also a Santa’s Grotto – perfect for younger visitors to enjoy some Christmas fun and meet Santa during their stay in London.
Renegade Craft Fair
14th – 15th December 2019
A cosy, festively-themed craft fair in trendy Brick Lane, this is a great spot for fashion-conscious shoppers visiting Shoreditch. The craft fair is a great opportunity to find something unique, thanks to its support of 20 skilled designers and craftspeople who have stalls here throughout the event.
It’ll only be hosted for two days this year, so there’s also a sense of exclusivity about the event which is sure to appeal to visitors looking for unusual gifts. To make sure you’re in the city during the fair, try booking accommodation by searching for hotels to book now, pay later.
Bohemia Place Christmas Market
30th November 2019 / 1st December 2019 / 7th-8th December 2019 / 14th – 15th December 2019
Situated in Bohemia Place (opposite Hackney Central Station), this Christmas Market is a real highlight of the season, with all you would expect from a traditional festive event. There’s ample festive food and drink, great gifting options and seasonal music.
Food and drink will be served up by local supplier ABQ London, and visitors can shop with more than 50 traders and creators. In a philanthropic twist, last year’s market also included a clothes bank drop for leaving items for the homeless, and a space to donate to a local soup kitchen.
Christmas at Greenwich Market
4th, 11th and 18th December 2019
Another of London’s year-round markets which really pulls out all the stops at Christmas, Greenwich Market is also located in one of the city’s most beautiful areas (and a World Heritage site, no less).
There are 120 stalls offering all the festive treats you could imagine, as well as fairy lights setting the scene and free-flowing mulled wine to help shoppers get in the mood! The market is offering late-night shopping on Wednesdays throughout December, so its a great spot to find some gifting inspiration after a day exploring the city.
The London Artisan’s Winter Edition
Brixton & Brick Lane
1st December 2019 / 20th – 21st December 2019
There is no better place to purchase an organic or sustainable gift this Christmas. The London Artisan’s Winter Edition is a real treasure trove for fans of ethical gifts, and there’s lots of variety on offer, too – including jewellery, ceramics, homewares and beauty gifts. As an added bonus, there’s also the chance to meet the designers and find out more about the inspiration before each piece.
If you’re buying a present for someone who loves to hear the story behind each purchase, then this event is definitely not to be missed. The market will be taking place in Brixton on 1st December 2019, before relocating to Brick Lane for two days (20th-21st December 2019), so there’s a few chances to find something truly special.
Christmas at Camden Market
Camden Market is a popular market in London all year round, as well as being located in one of the most popular areas of London, noted for its fashion-conscious, avant-garde flair. The annual Christmas market is no different, and offers an elaborate festive theme each year; in 2018, the event was centred around the North Pole, complete with large-scale installations and fantastic gift options. Back again for 2019, there’s sure to be the same dedication to fun and great shopping.
Brass bands are a regular fixture at this market, as well as fairground games and workshops to improve your crafting skills, which could come in particularly handy for anyone eager to create their own Christmas decorations. Visitors can also expect carol singers to help really make this a market to remember. The theme and dates of the market have yet to be announced, but the event is likely to begin in November 2019.