Christmas shopping to do? Check out these fabulously festive Christmas markets in London, from Winter Wonderland to Christmas by the River at London Bridge, as well as Peckham’s Pexmas, SAMPLE in Greenwich and Christmas Wednesdays on Columbia Road
Lead image: Christmas by the River at London Bridge City
1 Winter Wonderland Angel’s Market, Hyde Park
It’s hard to beat Winter Wonderland. Celebrating its 13th year in 2019, one of London’s biggest festive attractions has everything for the Christmas lover. It’s free to enter the Winter Wonderland site, so you can browse the 100+ fairy-lit Bavarian-style wooden chalets of the Angel’s Market and pick out gifts for friends and family from jewellery and clothing to handmade crafts and Christmas decorations. Open during the day, but far more impressive at night, you’ll also find a sculptor and a blacksmith live demonstrating their crafts, as well as a rope ladder to try and climb to claim a cash prize. You can also buy tickets to ice skate around the pavilion in Hyde Park or check out one of the many new shows, including the Magical Ice Kingdom presents A Christmas Carol, Paddington on Ice, Mr Men & Little Miss – The Show, Cirque Berserk, ice sculpting workshops and more. Open from 4pm on 21 November and then 10am-10pm daily until 5 January 2020, except Christmas Day.
Hyde Park W2 2UH; hydeparkwinterwonderland.com
2 Christmas by the River at London Bridge City
The iconic Christmas by the River at London Bridge City returns in 2019 with a vintage ski theme and 70+ chalet-style stalls selling gifts, food and drink against the beautiful backdrop of Tower Bridge, and an alpine-themed bar serving hot toddies at The Scoop. Running between the Pier and Tower Bridge, it’s one of London’s most picturesque Christmas markets, with frosted cabins and twinkling fairy lights, and was even voted the best Christmas Market to impress a first date in the UK in a study carried out by OnePoll on behalf of Premier Inn in 2018. As well as a great array of boutique vendors peddling artisan Christmas gifts, there will also be plenty of pop-up food and drink stalls, live music and festive events, and free craft workshops from Christmas wreath making to Christmas jumper decorating at The Pier’s pop-up winter workshop. Running from 26 November until 5 January 2020 from 11am-10pm.
London Bridge SE1 2DB; londonbridgecity.co.uk
3 Christmas in Leicester Square
Leicester Square, London’s home of entertainment since 1670, will be buzzing this yuletide, with a sparkling programme of high energy entertainment and events, as well as a buzzing European-style Christmas Market. Christmas in Leicester Square will see the central gardens transformed into a festive pop-up market with more than 30 stalls purveying a fine selection of yuletide food, drink and gifts, plus a storytelling Santa’s Grotto. There will also be a line up of great shows curated by Underbelly and performed in a beautiful 1920s Belgian Spiegeltent, including La Clique, the exquisite vocal harmonies of The Puppini Sisters, and the Spice Gals, a drag tribute to the Spice Girls. Running from 8 November until 5 January 2020.
4 Southbank Centre Winter Festival and Winter Market
Southbank Centre’s Winter Festival is an all-out celebration of Christmas. The Winter Market will showcase traders from around the world, offering an array of handmade gifts and street food from wooden chalets. Each trader brings their own spin to the feast, with stalls offering Asian, Indian and Greek cuisines, traditional winter favourites like raclette and bratwurst, and sweet treats. The Bar Under the Bridge and Circus Bar pop-ups both return, the former an alpine-style lodge with heated chalet booths, board games, ping pong tables, mulled wine and food from renowned Baggio Burger, and the latter, pitching up in front of Royal Festival Hall, featuring fire pits, fresh-cooked street food and a secret cinema. Jimmy’s Lodge also returns with alpine-themed private igloos, fondue and venison hot dogs, as well as the Applebee’s pop-up serving piping hot fish and chips, freshly shucked oysters and champagne. The Winter Market runs from 8 November until 5 January 2020.
Belvedere Road, South Bank SE1 8XX; southbankcentre.co.uk
5 Greenwich Market at Christmas
Greenwich Market is great all year round, but with the addition of sparkling Christmas lights, mulled wine, Santa’s grotto and the Late Night Wednesdays Arts & Crafts Gift Market – all set within a World Heritage site – it’s truly magical. Shop for gifts galore at up to 120 stalls with music, mulled wine and street food. It all kicks off on Wednesday 20 November 2019 with the annual Lantern Parade and Christmas Lights On, with the procession starting at 4pm in front of the Tourist Information Centre at the ORNC and the big countdown to lights on at 4.45pm and carol singing. Then, shop through to 8pm on Wednesday 4, 11 & 18 December, or every day from 10am to 5.30pm. Kids can visit Santa’s grotto (tickets £5) on 20 November (3pm-6pm) and every weekend in December from 12.30pm-5pm on Saturdays and 12.30pm-4pm on Sundays, as well as 19-24 December from 11am-5pm (10am-3pm on Christmas Eve).
Greenwich High Road SE10 9HZ; greenwichmarketlondon.com
6 SAMPLE Christmas, Greenwich Peninsula
Greenwich Peninsula’s annual SAMPLE Christmas market returns bigger than ever before as an extended two-day festival. More than 100 trend-setting designer-makers from across the capital and beyond have been handpicked by Wayne Hemingway MBE to bring the joy of Christmas to Greenwich Peninsula, along with an extensive programme of entertainment and activities along London’s first-ever riverside linear park, The Tide. SAMPLE Christmas celebrates slow fashion, hand-made gifts, ethical produce, sustainable designs and locally sourced produce, and visitors can even make their own gifts, decorations and stocking fillers at one of the festive workshops. You’ll also find fairground rides, outdoors games, walkabout artists, a choir with a twist, fire pits for roasting marshmallows and an illuminated avenue of lights. Plus, new eateries surrounding The Tide will host live performances from artists intertwining jazz improvisation and poetry, while DJs keep visitors lively whilst they shop, eat, drink, make and be merry. Running 7-8 December from 11am-7pm.
Peninsula Square, Greenwich Peninsula SE10; greenwichpeninsula.co.uk
7 Christmas Wednesdays on Columbia Road
Christmas Wednesdays at Columbia Road are something to behold. Taking place every Wednesday throughout December, the independent shops and artisan makers of one of London’s most famous flower markets come together for Christmas shopping evenings with serious atmosphere. The wonderfully exuberant carol singers from St Peters in Bethnal Green will also be there in full voice, as will local vicar Adam Atkinson, who is famously wheeled down the street on a piano singing carols every year. The street is a treasure trove of more than 60 independent shops offering a diverse and eclectic range of carefully sourced products, from artisan jewellers and booksellers to homewares, children’s shops, perfumery and fashion boutiques, plus an almost Dickensian atmosphere. Shops open from 5pm to 9pm; carols with St Peters are from 6pm to 8pm.
Columbia Road E2 7RG; columbiaroad.info
8 Crafty Fox Christmas Markets, various locations
Crafty Fox Market will be working its way around London this Christmas, hosting a number of Christmas shopping events championing the UK’s finest designer-makers. First up it’s The Department Store in Brixton from 23-24 November (11am-5pm), complete with a bar, tunes from the Crafty Fox DJs and drop-in workshops; then it’s Mercato Metropolitano in Elephant & Castle from 7-8 December (11am-5pm), where the regular Crafty Fox Market spot will be getting a festive makeover. From 13-15 December you’ll find the crafty tribe at Canopy Market in King’s Cross (Friday 12pm-8pm, Sat-Sun 11am-6pm), as well as a huge one-day market at The Crossing, also in King’s Cross, featuring 80 creative makers in the versatile structure spanning the area between arty Central St Martins and the original Granary Building.
9 Covent Garden at Christmas
Covent Garden is a shopping destination like no other, with fashion, beauty and lifestyle stores from world-class global brands alongside market traders offering a range of unique handmade crafts and goods from jewellery and prints to watercolours, soaps and sweet treats (find them in the Apple Market and the East Colonnade Market on the east side of Covent Garden). Plus, when the Christmas decorations go up on 12 November its super magical (and Instagrammable). On Thursday 6, 13 & 20 December there will be late night shopping and carol singing, with the stores open until 9pm. Pus, look our for the Covent Garden Christmas Cart, which will be spreading festive joy with a selection of Christmas treats from 9 November until 6 January in Central Avenue.
10 Ealing Christmas Market
Much-loved by locals and named one of London’s best Christmas markets in 2017 and 2018, Ealing Christmas Market returns for a fourth year at Ealing Broadway Shopping Centre for 28 magical days this year. A rotating line-up of weekly pop-ups – including an array of makers working with artisans from around the world like Loominious’ Vietnamese homeware, Mixy Fandino’s Columbian accessories and Tylis Woman’s African-inspired jewellery – will make it easier to tick off the trickier people to buy for on your list. You could treat your mother to a beautiful piece of jewellery by Lettie B, give the gift of cosiness to your sister with a bold knitted scarf by Miss Pom Pom, celebrate the newest addition to the family with kids clothing by Tomlin’s Baby Boutique, and make the man in your life feel extra special with Sweyn Forkbeard’s organic grooming products. There’ll also be sugar-dusted churros with chocolate sauce, buttery mince pies and German bratwurst fresh off the grill to keep those energy levels up. Plus, Santa and his helpers can be found behind The Magical Wardrobe every weekend while carol singers will lift spirits on Thursdays and Saturdays. Running 27 November until 24 December daily from 10am-6pm.
Ealing Broadway Shopping Centre W5 5JY; ealingbroadwayshopping.co.uk
11 Cockpit Arts Winter Open Studios 2019
Cockpit Arts’ celebrated Winter Open Studios takes place over two weekends at two locations – Deptford and Holborn – where you can meet and shop directly from more 140 of London’s finest makers. Whether you’re looking for jewellery, homewares, ceramics or fashion accessories, there are plenty of original gift ideas for the discerning Christmas shopper. New makers in 2019 include Fashion jeweller Ella Fearon-Low, wood-turner Arturo Soto and ceramicist Ula Saniawa. Plus, there are Friday night lates in both Deptford & Holborn with live music from 5pm-8pm and the chance to win a £50 Cockpit Arts voucher with a hidden Golden Ticket. Open in Holborn from 29 November-1 December & Deptford from 6-8 December (Friday 11am-8pm, Sat & Sun 11am-6pm). Free entry for Camden and Lewisham residents for the first hour each day (11am-12pm). Advance tickets £5 (includes entry to both Holborn and Deptford); on the door £6 at Holborn (including free entry at Deptford), and £4 at Deptford.
Cockpit Yard, Northington Street, Holborn WC1N 2NP & 18-22 Creekside, Deptford SE8 3DZ; cockpitarts.com
12 Love Wimbledon’s Christmas Market on The Piazza
Wimbledon’s Market on The Piazza is once again hosting 12 Days of Christmas with 12 markets days across five weekends throughout the festive period. The market is a great place to pick up unique gifts with up to 50 stalls selling original art, homewares, clothing and accessories – much of which is homemade or created by local artists. You’ll also find a wonderful variety of Christmas cakes, bakes and mince pies to enjoy, as well as hot bratwurst and mulled wine to keep the chill at bay. Plus, with different traders each weekend, no two market days are the same, meaning you can take your time to find that perfect gift. Open the weekends of 23-24 November, 30 Nov-1 Dec (Wimbledon Winter Wonderland takes place on this day with street entertainment and festive performances, meaning there’ll be a late 7pm finish for the market), 7-8 Dec, 13-15 Dec & 20-22 Dec. Open 11am-6pm.
Wimbledon Piazza SW19 1QB; lovewimbledon.org
13 Christmas at Canopy Market, King’s Cross
As part of the Christmas by Design season at King’s Cross, Canopy Market will have a design makeover. As well as all the best bits of a Christmas market – hot and crumbly mince pies, the scent of mulled wine in the air, and a wistful rendition of Fairytale of New York from live performers – you can expect pop up stalls from incredible independent design makers, talks on the history of design from experts at the V&A and the Royal Academy and a host of special design-themed events. The covered weekend market will showcase top artisan food, drink, fashion, art and design pieces from indie creators. Best of all, in the run-up to Christmas, from late November, the market with be open daily from 12pm-6pm and Fridays from 12noon-8pm. You can also buy your Christmas tree at Canopy Market, with proceeds going to charity.
West Handyside Canopy 1 Wharf Road, Kings Cross N1C 4BZ; kingscross.co.uk
14 Pexmas Festive Market, Peckham
The Pexmas Festive Market returns for its ninth Christmas market on Saturday 7 & Sunday 8 December 2019, this time rocking up at the legendary Peckham cultural hotspot, Copeland Park. You’ll find more than 100 independent boutique stalls peddling prints, plants, bath products, ceramics, clothes, accessories, jewellery, homewares, foodie gifts, craft beers and wines and textiles, as well as street food, DJs and Pexmas’ infamous mulled wine. New for this year is the chance to pick up a Pexmas Parcel – an excellent deal on a beautifully curated and presented selection of items from the Pexmas Stallholders to take the stress out of Christmas shopping – available to buy online in advance of the festive market. Sustainability is the key focus this year, partnering with Plastic Free Peckham to consider to lower the environmental impact of the event and the community over the festive period. There will be a waste-free wrapping station to recycle old items and turn out stylish packing for your presents.
Unit 8, Copeland Park, 133 Copeland Road, Peckham SE15 3SN; pexmas.com
15 Buyagift’s Sustainable Christmas Market, Clapton
Buyagift is bringing together the UK’s most exciting sustainable brands and innovators for their very first Sustainable Christmas Market in east London this year. The marketplace will showcase brands that are trailblazing new ways to live and give sustainably, with the likes of Upcircle, Buff Natural Bodycare, Sunday and Greater Goods offering everything from sustainable scents and skincare to conscious fashion and upcycled jewellery. You’ll also be able to wrap gifts using eco-friendly materials at Buyagift’s free Sustainable Gift-Wrap Station, and make the most of free manicures and massages designed to soothe and slow down visitors at this busy time of year. Bring tupperware to buy waste-free produce from refillable store Patoka. There will also be vegan and sustainable food and drink including festive mulled cider from the food waste pioneers at Rejuce, and you can try your hand at a number of free minimal-waste workshops (registration required), such as wreath-making, creative jumper upcycling and terrarium making. Entry is free. Sunday 1 December from 10am-5pm.
Core Clapton, 161 Northwold Road, Cazenove E5 8RL; buyagift.co.uk
16 pebblefestive at Flat Iron Square, Southwark
pebblefestive at Flat Iron Square in Southwark – just down the road from Borough Market – is a conscious Christmas festival for those looking for a more sustainable approach to the festive season. The line up includes a massive ethical high street for conscious Christmas gifts, inspiring talks and free hands-on workshops (including How to make it a leftover Christmas and What if we harness the power of positive advertising?), vegan and organic beer tasting with Freedom, and a few yet-to-be-announced special surprises! This conscious Christmas market is a great place for #EverydayActivism inspiration and to set up 2020 to be your greenest year yet. Tickets are £5-7.50 (under 12s free). Saturday 30 November 2019 from 11.30am-5pm.
53A Southwark Street SE1; fleaflatironsquare.co.uk
17 The Rugby Portobello Trust Christmas Market, Notting Hill
The Rugby Portobello Trust is holding its 30th annual Christmas Market this November. Transforming the Rugby Portobello Trust’s centre on Walmer Road into a festive market, the two-day Christmas spectacle is one of the charity’s key fundraising events of the year. A handpicked team of discerning shoppers has been busy all year sourcing the best group of unique traders for the market, from fashion, textiles, homewares and toys to artisan food stalls. There’s also a Christmas Party and Shopping Evening with a booking signing from beloved children’s author Abi Elphinstone (12 November 2019, 6pm-9pm, tickets are £25 including drinks, canapes and music). As in many parts of London, Notting Hill is an area with both affluent residents and those living in poverty. RPT, embedded in the local community for 134 years, has helped thousands of children and young people get the support they need to reach their potential and live lives free from crime and deprivation with homework clubs, sports academies, youth clubs and more. The Christmas Market takes place on 13 November from 9.30am-5pm, tickets £5.
Rugby Portobello Trust, 221 Walmer Road, Notting Hill W11 4EY; rptchristmasmarket.co.uk
18 Chelsea Physic Garden’s Annual Christmas Fair
Chelsea Physic Garden will be holding its merriest Christmas Fair yet this November. The annual celebration will host more than 100 stands, showcasing the finest British suppliers – from Coco Runners Chocolates to handmade decorations – within the beautiful surroundings of the garden. For those looking for an experience that extends beyond shopping, Chelsea Physic Garden is also hosting festive activities throughout the weekend, including a gift-wrapping masterclass with British designer Jane Means, wreath-making, a Santa’s Grotto for the little and festive crafts and activities for all ages. Mulled wine will be in plentiful supply at the garden’s pop-up bar and carol singing will add to the festive atmosphere. Founded in 1673 by the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries of London, the botanical garden is renowned for its collection of rare medicinal plants and houses Europe’s oldest rockery. Tickets £7 or free to Friends of the Garden. Running 22-24 November from 11am-4pm on Friday and 10am-5pm on Saturday and Sunday.
66 Royal Hospital Road, Chelsea SW3 4HS; chelseaphysicgarden.co.uk
19 Wandsworth Friends of Royal Trinity Hospice Christmas Fair, Balham
Wandsworth Friends of Royal Trinity Hospice Christmas Fair returns to take care of all your Christmas shipping needs, get you in the festive spirit and raise money for Royal Trinity hospice, which provides end-of-life care and support funded by the NHS and charity donations. The fair will have 40 exciting stallholders, more than half of which are new for 2019, selling jewellery, toys, gadgets, decorations, fashion items, beauty products, books, gifts and more, Royal Trinity Hospice Christmas cards, a Christmas giving tree and a silent auction. Last year’s Christmas Fair raised more than £34,000 – enough to sponsor a Trinity nurse for six months – and since 2010 this well loved event has raised over £240,000 for Trinity. The Preview Evening takes place on Tuesday 12 November from 6.30pm-9.30pm (tickets £12 on the door) with wine and nibbles, while the Christmas Fair takes place on Wednesday 13 November from 8.30am-3.30pm (tickets £5 on the door).
St Luke’s Church, 194 Ramsden Road, Balham SW12 8RQ; trinityhospicechristmasfair.org
20 Novikov’s Mayfair Christmas Market
Novikov Restaurant & Bar’s annual Mayfair Christmas market returns in late November, turning Mayfair Place into a traffic-free winter wonderland. This year the Yuletide extravaganza is set to be even bigger and better than before, with a hand-picked range of stall holders presenting a veritable cornucopia of luxury gifts from jewellery and clothing to handmade crafts and Christmas decorations. There will also be carol singers, roaming minstrels, Father Christmas and Novikov DJs creating a festive vibe. With the whole of Mayfair Place W1 closed off to traffic all day long, you can shop, eat and drink – in no particular order – at your leisure. Entrance is free of charge. Running from Thursday 28 November 2019 until Saturday 30 November from 11am-9pm.
50 Berkeley Street W1; novikovrestaurant.co.uk
21 Guildhall Christmas Market, the City
Guildhall’s annual Christmas Market is a fundraiser for the British Red Cross, where you can shop unique gifts in a the grand, historic setting. Many of the stalls are run by London’s livery companies, including the Worshipful Company of Glovers, the Gardeners, the Tallow Chandlers and the Feltmakers. Some of the best vintage designer stock from Red Cross charity shops is put aside for the renowned Kindness Wardrobe, and sustainable brands Pause Fashion Hub and Kmana are also donating stock. On the Tuesday evening, London Fashion Week-accredited producer Becky Mullins presents a catwalk show, and chef, restaurateur and MasterChef presenter Monica Galetti is appearing to sign her books Monica’s Kitchen and The Skills. Plus, prison catering scheme The Clink will be serving Christmas lunches and champagne afternoon teas in the crypt below the Guildhall.
Guildhall, Gresham Street, the City EC2V 7HH; redcross.org.uk
22 Two Terriers Social Club Christmas Market, Trafalgar Square
Santa Paws is coming to town and he’s bringing gifts for all doggies – even the naughty ones. Two Terriers Social Club presents a Christmas shopping experience for dog lovers at St Martin-in-the-Fields this November. The indoor market will host more than 25 independent pet businesses, including Teddy Maximus, Scrumbles and Hiro + Wolf, all showcasing their fabulous products for dogs of all shapes and sizes. There will also be a silent auction offering some fantastic products and experiences to raise money for DOTSLONDON – AKA – Dogs on the Streets, the excellent volunteer-run charity that helps rough sleepers take care of their dogs with free veterinary care. 30 November 2019 from 11am-4pm. Free entry. All dogs welcome but must be kept on lead.
St Martins Hall, Trafalgar Square WC2N 4JJ; twoterrierssocial.com
23 SoLo Craft Fair, Dulwich & Balham
SoLo Craft Fair returns to south London for two Christmas fairs this winter. First up is the Dulwich Christmas Market at St Barnabas Parish Hall, which will be transformed into a winter wonderland with 60 independent traders handpicked from some of the best artists, designers and crafters in the UK. As well as high quality handmade gifts, there will be refreshments on offer, and a kids corner to keep the little ones occupied with toys, books and crafts. Taking place on Saturday 30 November from 11am-4pm. SoLo Craft Fair’s Balham Christmas Market takes place at Balham Bowls Club, which will be adorned with fairy lights and full of Christmas song. There will be more than 30 traders, a kid’s corner, festive workshop and mulled wine at the bar. Taking place on Saturday 7 December upstairs in the ballroom from 12pm-5pm. Free entry and sweets for all guests.
St Barnabas Parish Hall, Dulwich Village SE21 7BT & Balham Bowls Club, Ramsden Road, Balham SW12 8QX; solocraftfair.com
24 Rare Birds Christmas Bazaar, Brick Lane
Rare Birds is loading its Brick Lane nest full of festive treats for a big Christmas bazaar with plenty of unique treasures from bohemian fashion to artisan craft and homewares. Or, if you want to give a gift that money can’t buy, you can even try your hand at making your own in one of the festive craft workshops with Lizy Bending from The Feel Free Company. The resident DJs will be doing what they do best – blending the finest soul, Afro beat and house to get you in the festive mood, and you’ll find street food from Yorkshire Burrito and Falafel Queen, as well as cocktails, mulled wine and mulled cider. Free entry. Taking place on 1 December from 11am-6pm (with bar and DJs till 10pm.
93 Feet East, 150 Brick Lane E1 6QL; rarebirdsmarket.com
25 Love West Dulwich Christmas Fair
The Love West Dulwich Christmas Fair returns on Saturday 30 November. Organised by local residents and businesses, it’s a great community event with a Santa’s grotto, live music, carol singing, dancing, arts and crafts stalls, street food, local beer and wine. There’ll be plenty of offers and promotions on in the shops on the day, so it’s a great chance to kick start your Christmas shopping and support local business. The kids will love it too, with the chance to meet Santa, Miss Christmas and Snowflake, makes some Christmas decorations, face painting, storytime and face painting. Free entry. 11am-4pm.
Croxted Road / Park Hall Road / Rosendale Road SE21; facebook.com