It might sound cheesy, but I have a very deep and real appreciation for London at Christmas. The winter chill, lashings of mulled wine (at the city’s markets) and, of course, the London Christmas markets that are dotted all around.
It doesn’t matter if you’re staying central or venturing to some of the other neighbourhoods, there’s a whole heap of London Christmas markets, stalls and winter wonderlands for you to find.
With that in mind, I wanted to share some of my very favourite London Christmas markets that I think you’ll love. Each varies in size, what they offer and where they are. But, one thing is for certain, they’re all totally festive and a great way to spend a cheeky afternoon (or evening) in London.
Take a look at some of the best London Christmas markets to visit this year.
1. Winter Market at the Southbank Centre
Each year, the Southbank Centre runs a London Christmas market from around the London Eye all the way towards the Southbank Centre itself. The market has a whole host of carousels, bars, plenty of craft stalls and loads of wood cabins that serve some of the best foods from around the world.
Once here, take a stroll (following the Thames) and soak up the atmosphere (with a mulled wine in hand). In my opinion, it’s that extra bit special in the evening, once the fairy lights and stalls are all lit up. It’s open from the 9th November until the 27th December 2018.
2. Borough Market at Christmas
Although Borough Market is consistently in London as a year-round market, there’s something so special about a visit during Christmas.
Better yet, Borough Market extends their opening hours to enjoy some chilled out evenings of sweet treats, eggnog, mulled wine and piping hot turkey and cranberry rolls.
On top of that, Borough Market will be hosting a heap of events throughout December and in the run-up to Christmas.
3. Winterville in Clapham Common
Based south of the river, Winterville is nestled within Clapham Common and one of the fun-fuelled London Christmas markets to explore in London. Once here, make sure to enjoy their roller parties, Mexican wrestling, the Backyard Cinema and the fairground.
There are hundreds of stalls and places to spend a day having fun. Winterville is open from the 15th November until the 23rd December.
4. Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park
Winter Wonderland is a little bit like Marmite for Londoner’s. You either love or hate it!
For those that love it, it’s a huge London Christmas market that’s filled with hundreds of stalls, shows, acts and rides. It’s one of the largest of the London Christmas Markets, meaning you can literally spend all day here.
The common dislikes of Winter Wonderland usually involve the number of people that visit. It can get very busy and expect tens of thousands of people to be there. Another dislike is the cost, you can easily spend a whole heap of pennies wandering around Hyde Park.
Once here, you can try your hand at ice sculpting, see Peter Pan On Ice and chill out in the ice bar. Just remember to take a coat!
Opening times for Winter Wonderland are the 22nd November 2018 until the 9th January 2019.
5. City Hall Christmas Market
Right in between London Bridge and Tower Bridge (on City Hall side of the river) is the City Hall Christmas Market that goes on every year. Now, this is a much smaller affair, especially when compared to Winter Wonderland, but it’s a totally lovely place to explore whilst visiting Tower Bridge.
There are around 30 log cabin stalls offering foodie goodies, sweet treats and plenty of warm apple cider. Typically, the market stalls open around the 1st of December and last until Christmas Eve.
6. Christmas in Leicester Square
Leicester Square is probably one of the busiest spots in central London, but don’t let that put you off. If you don’t have the time to get to Winterville or Winter Wonderland, pop over to Leicester Square to experience one of the smaller London Christmas markets.
Now, there’s might only be around 30 stalls and a small fair in the square, the thing that makes Leicester Square Christmas market is the shows. This year, you can watch shows like; the Burlesque Carol Concert, Briefs: Close Encounter and Brat Kids Carnival.
Christmas at Leicester Square starts on the 9th November 2018 and finishes on the 5th January 2019.
7. Somerset House at Christmas
Somerset House is, personally, one of my favourite spots to experience a Christmas in London. This year, the ice rink is being built bank within the main court, alongside winter exhibitions from Charlie Brown, Fortnum’s Lodge and Fortnum’s Christmas Arcade.
Somerset House at Christmas is open from mid-November until the 13th January 2019. Just make sure to book your skating online before you go.
Perched in the south west of London, Kingston-Upon-Thames hosts one of London’s Christmas markets for all those that won’t be in central London during the festive rush. Open every day from the 16th of November, there’s a whole heap of stalls, an alpine village and an ancient marketplace to enjoy.