The holiday season is a magical time in London. Though the skies are gray and the sun sets at an early hour, the days stay merry and bright with Christmas markets and festivals. Here are our seven favorite Christmas festivals in London.
First, make sure you have a great place to stay in London.
Explore These Beautiful London Christmas Markets
1. Southbank Centre Winter Festival
Turn a bright spin on the cold weather with performances, activities and shows at Southbank Centre. The festival lasts from November until late January, and even features a winter-themed contemporary circus and roller disco skating nights. The chalet-style stalls give the festival an alpine feel, while selling unique and hand-made gifts. Winter has arrived at Southbank, so get into the Christmas spirit!
Photo: Nomadic Vision Photography
2. Leicester Square
The famous tourist destination of Leicester Square celebrates Christmas by transforming into a grotto and market. Take the kids to Santa’s Grotto, or enjoy the Christmas shows of the La Soiree circus. Search for market treats and Christmas goodies while taking in the festive decor. Find all the Christmas cheer you need, right in the centre of London!
Photo: Visit London
3. Hyde Park Winter Wonderland
Hyde Park transforms into an out-of-this-world winter carnival that brings joy into chilly London. A massive ice rink is one of the biggest in the country, and is surrounded by hundreds of thousands of lights. A giant ferris wheel is lit up with twinkle lights so that you can overlook the Wonderland. Santa Land is a hit with the kids, while the Ice Bar keeps the adults coming back for more. While the entry is free, token tickets can get you onto the rides and attractions.
Photo: London Town
4. Monocle Christmas Market
Much less exposed than the likes of Hyde Park and Leicester Square, the Monocle news and radio offices open for their annual Christmas market. If you’re looking for a more intimate market, Monocle is the Christmas fair for you! In Marylbone, live music and steaming food line the stalls. You might even be graced by a visit from Santa and his reindeer!
5. Kingston Christmas Market
A traditional Christmas Market meets you in Kingston, where over a hundred wooden chalets give you a wintry feel. At Kingston upon Thames’ Market Place, there are lines of outdoor bars as well as stalls selling Christmas treats. Sip mulled wine while you stroll, and enjoy Christmas carols and twinkle lights under an impressive Christmas tree. The market runs until New Years Eve, so get there before the season’s over!
Photo: Visit London
6. Greenwich Christmas Market
Meet Santa at the Greenwich Market’s grotto, or attend the festive parade in late November. Watch the twinkle lights illuminate the market for the first time in a ceremonial lighting while you try some tasty Christmas treats. Go shopping for gifts at the market, where you can find jewelery, antiques, and art that will fit well under the tree.
7. Sutton House Christmas Market
In Hackney, one of the oldest homes in London opens its doors for a traditional and cosy Christmas Market. The market runs from late November until mid December, with special events like carol singers and productions. With delectable food and drink, the lines of stalls are tasteful and great for picking out presents.
This article was written by Clara Hudson.