One of the best places in the UK to enjoy the Christmas season is London! From the Oxford Street lights to the ever-impressive Harrods Christmas windows, there’s just so much to get you feeling festive in the capital. Especially all the incredible London Christmas markets. The city is bursting with them and there really is something for everyone.
These markets are one of my favourite things about Christmas in the capital. Gorgeous gifts, hot snacks, mulled wine, hand-crafts, hot chocolate… need I go on? So, here’s a list of some of the best London Christmas markets to visit this year…
Last updated 15/10/2020: This post has now been updated with the latest info and 2020 dates, as well as a few new xmas markets.
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13 of the Best London Christmas Markets
Southbank Centre Winter Market
November 2020 to January 2021 (exact dates TBC)
One of my favourite London Christmas markets can be found along the Thames at South Bank, just down the road from Westminster. Here, beautifully decorated wooden chalets line the river beneath the glittering London Eye.
This is the perfect place to indulge a healthy Christmas appetite; German mulled wine – aka Glühwein – barbecued bratwurst, chimney cake, crepes, waffles – the list goes on and on. There’s also a great range of Christmas gifts including handmade soaps, wooden toys, and unique jewellery.
Alongside the market, the Southbank Centre always hosts a range of events over the winter period – in the past there’s been a Finnish Rooftop Sauna, a Wintertime Rave-A-Roo, and Slava’s Snowshow. Be sure to check the What’s On list to plan your visit.
Somerset House Christmas Arcade
2020 dates TBC. It looks like the Christmas Arcade may not be running this year, but keep an eye on the website for more details.
The Christmas Arcade at the gorgeous Somerset House is a fantastic place to pick up a few bespoke Christmas gifts. Every year, pop-up shops are installed in the opulent rooms of the West Wing, turning the house into a temporary mini-mall, while outside in the courtyard is one of London’s nicest ice-rinks and a beautiful Christmas tree.
Once again, The Christmas Arcade has been transformed into a pop-up version of Fortnum & Mason’s flagship Piccadilly store, with loads of great festive treats including their iconic hampers, food and drink, confectionery, decorations, winter accessories, and games.
Hyde Park Winter Wonderland
Cancelled for 2020 due to Covid.
Every year, Winter Wonderland takes over London’s Hyde Park with glittering lights, snow-covered chalets, and dozens of fairground rides. As London’s most popular Christmas Market, it’s fairly overcrowded and can be pretty expensive, but entry is free and it’s so fun that it’s definitely worth a visit.
Tons of fabulous market stalls are laden with great gifts and gorgeous decorations, but there are loads more attractions at Winter Wonderland – including a funfair, ice skating, the Magical Ice Kingdom (filled with incredible ice sculptures), and some great shows. Some of the attractions and rides are charged and can be very popular, so its recommended to buy the tickets online in advance.
Covent Garden Christmas
2020 dates TBC
For me, Covent Garden is the king of the London Christmas markets. Every year, the lights and decorations are gorgeous; it’s always a sight worth seeing! This lovely festival always boasts a range of treats including craft workshops, special festive menus, and street entertainers.
Covent Garden has some of the best Christmas lights in London so don’t miss the switch-on if you’re in town. The date is usually around mid-November. Alongside the usual street performers, there are a range of events on at Covent Garden throughout the Christmas period.
Zero Waste Market
14th-15th November 2020
Recommended by: Roshni, The Wanderlust Within
Avoiding excessive waste is a challenge, especially during Christmas time. If you’re looking for alternatives head down to the Zero Waste Christmas Market on 14th-15th November 2020. Meet unique brands offering a diverse array of gifts and festive goodies to brighten up your home and deliver Christmas cheer.
Christmas gifts for all the family, stocking fillers, cards, decor…we’ve got everything you need for a wonderful Christmas. Plus enjoy festive food and drink on offer at Old Spitalfields Market, with mulled wine, mince pies, delicious hot eats and treats.
11-5 on Saturday and 10 – 5 on Sunday, Old Spitalfields Market.
READ MORE: This is also the perfect location to try out my Brick Lane street art guide.
Kingston Upon Thames Christmas Market London
12th November to 31st December 2020. Details and times TBC.
Recommended by: Sophie, Travels of Sophie
Every year, the picturesque Ancient Market Place and surrounding pedestrianised streets in Kingston Upon Thames are transformed into a magical, glittering Christmas wonderland. Over 50 traditional wooden cabins appear, selling festive treasures and handmade crafts, making it the perfect place to shop for unique gifts and stocking fillers.
No Christmas Market would be complete without a cup of steaming mulled wine and street food, and Kingston Christmas Market certainly won’t disappoint. There are numerous stalls serving classic street food and all the Christmas favourites. There is also regular live entertainment to help you get into the festive spirit.
Leicester Square Christmas Market London
2020 dates TBC
Recommended by: Chris, More Life in your Days
There is a great Christmas Market at Leicester Square, right in the heart of London. It is a relatively new market having only started in 2015 but it has quickly become a favourite for locals and visitors alike. From 8th November to 5th January, Leicester Square is transformed into a wintery paradise complete with Christmassy music and market stalls selling all sorts of gifts (handmade wooden toys, Christmas decorations, etc) as well as warming drinks and comforting food.
Little ones will be spellbound by the Santas Grotto (need to book tickets in advance), whilst adults are also well catered for thanks to the wide range of entertainment offered in the Spiegeltent.
Greenwich Market Christmas Lates
Wednesday 2nd, Wednesday 9th, Wednesday 16th and Wednesday 23rd December 2020
Recommended by: Rose, Where Rose Goes.
Charming Greenwich is atmospheric around the year, and Christmas is no exception. Unlike some parts of London where a Christmas market pops up in November, Greenich Christmas Market is like a caterpillar to a butterfly as the normal market receives a spectacular Christmas makeover. The inside hall is decorated with hanging lights and Christmas decorations while the usual food stalls are replaced with bratwurst, gingerbread cookies and mulled wine.
Greenwich Market is open 7 days a week from 10am-5.30pm. But every Wednesday in December (before Christmas), it’s open until 8pm for sepcial Christmas Market Lates. Perfect for an early evening mulled wine. Not that anyone would judge you for having one with lunch!
Christmas by the River at London Bridge City
24th November 2020 – 3rd January 2021
Recommended by: Rai, A Rai of Light
Set against the backdrop of some of London’s most iconic sights, Christmas by the River has been a part of the festive scene for the past 6 years. Wooden cabins line the riverside stretching along Queen’s Walk from London Bridge City Pier to the Scoop at More London.
I particularly enjoy the wide variety of good food and drink stalls, sampling cuisine from around the world. London Bridge City market is also a good stop for some Christmas shopping where you’re able to find everything from artisan gifts to traditional souvenirs in London. The market also hosts a number of storytelling events, tastings, and free craft workshops to ensure all visitors are fully prepared for the festive season.
Country Living Fair London
Cancelled for 2020 due to Covid
Recommended by: Lydia from Africa Wanderlust
Jumpstart your holiday shopping this November with a trip to the Country Living Magazine Christmas Fair. You can spoil your loved ones with the most exquisite gifts like a dillisk flavour soft goat cheese hand-rolled into pearls or a carefully crafted artwork of a glanced scene of birds made with glass kiln fired enamel. The Country Living Fair is an excellent Christmas Market in the area because it carries a wide range of shopping items.
Treat yourself with a VIP experience to save you time by bypassing the queue, convenience with access to the private lounge, and a treat as you indulge in bottomless Prosecco. If you make this event a family affair, there is a group discount for parties of 10 or more. Tickets go on sale in November so start creating your wishlist because the event will be here before you know it!
Maltby Street Night Market
2020 details TBC
Recommended by: Leo, Safarinomad.com
Maltby Street Night Market is a winter market that usually commences each Friday in December in the run-up to Christmas. Delicious flavours under the beautifully festooned with lights of the Ropewalks’ Victorian railway arches makes this event perfect.
What can you expect there? Exclusive festive menus from around the world, mulled wine, street food, cocktails and other winter feasts, all accompanied by traditional sounds of carolers.
Bloomberg Arcade Winter Market
2020 details TBC
Last year, Bloomberg Arcade hosted their first-ever Winter Market in the heart of the Square Mile. This was the newest of the London Christmas markets, so hopefully it will return for 2020 – but we’re still awaiting details at the moment.
The market showcases a collection of carefully curated brands, so you can support local craft and artisan producers who champion a positive and sustainable ethos. Located in the all-weather Bloomberg Arcade, the market is ideal for gifts, stocking-fillers and indulgent treats.
A highlight from last year was the award-winning Sancta Lucia Choir spreading festive joy with a one-off magical performance to close the market!
Winterville was meant to be replaced by the Electric Winter event for 2020, but it appears plans for this have been placed on hold.
Recommended by: Eniko, Travel Hacker Girl – check out her list of off the beaten path destinations in London for some extra exploring while you’re in the capital.
Winterville is a very special Christmas experience in London on Clapham Common. It is not just a Christmas market with cute little stalls with handmade products and delicious food. There are many pop-up events, including magic performances, puppet shows and concerts.
If you are adventurous you can go ice skating or try one of the many rides on site. The PLONK mini golf is another fun experience in Winterville, but perhaps the highlight of a visit is the Backyard Cinema. They have a cool theme every year, including going through a Christmas tree labyrinth and then you can watch a festive movie.
What are your favourite London Christmas markets? Have I missed any off this list?