Christmas markets and fairs in London
Wrap up your festive shopping at London's best Christmas markets and fairs
Looking for gift inspiration? Look no further than London's Christmas markets and fairs. Among a raft of special festive events you'll find foodie gifts, hand-crafted pressies and usually a bit of glühwein to help you get into that merry spirit. Whether you're shopping for a special gift or a stocking filler, London's many Christmas markets are sure to please.
Our five favourite Christmas markets
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The magical woodland setting
During the evening openings of Kew's lovely Christmas celebrations there are plenty of family-friendly attractions, including a Victorian carousel and vintage rides, Santa's grotto, a boutique Christmas market with foodie treats and live festive music. These lates, set within Kew Gardens, promise to be a perfect way to get into the Christmas spirit.
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One-off crafty treats
Avoid the mad rush in the week before Christmas to gather up your presents and head to the Handmade Christmas Fair at the O2, where there'll be one-of-a-kind pieces made by independent designers, crafters, hobbyists and food and drink connoisseurs. To peruse the brochure, visit www.handmadechristmas.co.uk.
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Over-the-top festive spirit
Hyde Park gets glammed up once again with its annual Christmassy additions. The park will be kitted out with rides and attractions, including a Giant Observation Wheel and two circuses, plus the famous ice rink. The market sells decorative sweets and festive treats as well as traditional German crafts and lashings of glühwein.
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The traditional German-style wooden huts of the Southbank Centre Christmas Market return to Queen's walk along the river this season. Browse a large selection of toys and gifts, and sample a variety of festive food and drink, including glühwein, bratwurst and gingerbread. The Designers Makers Christmas Market is also on (Dec 16-22, open daily 11am-8pm) with over 50 British designers selling jewellery, ceramics, textiles, homewares, and prints.
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Meeting local creatives in the tea room
Peckham Rye Overground
The Peckham branch of Crafty Fox’s Christmas market is a slightly larger affair than its Brixton counterpart, with over 70 handpicked designers and crafters, offering a wide range of handmade local Christmas gifts – each with a special story. No need to worry about giving a generic gift here, folks. As in Brixton, you can join in on workshops and indulge in a cuppa in the tea room.
The best of the rest
Nestled in the busy heart of Stoke Newington's Church Street, Hackney Flea Market offers an array of handmade and vintage gifts to help you find something for everyone. On the 21st and 22nd of December the market is moving indoors and offering free entry, with stalls packed full of mid century glass and ceramics, vintage clothes, furniture, maps, records, kitchenalia, homeware and much more. Carol singers will be on hand as well as a cafe piled high with homemade Christmas cakes, puddings and mulled wine.
Aiming to celebrate 'the independent and original spirit of Soho', Berwick Street Market has been a Soho fixture for years, earning it the label of one of the capital's oldest markets, if not the most abundant in stalls. Now, Berwick Street is inviting hand picked traders to form the first ever Christmas edition of the market. The line up will feature the arrival of new seasonal fresh produce, gifts, craft and fashion from independent retailers across the country.
To celebrate the festive period, Shoreditch's pop-up mall Boxpark will be hosting a series of events in its refurbished shipping containers. London based jewellery brand Love Bullets will be kicking off the festivities by unveiling their Christmas tree adorned with jewellery on the 28th of November. Following this, on the 2nd to the 8th of December Ganache Macarons will be popping up in the Boxpark, offering classes on how to make your own version of their sweet treats.
There are few more festive spots in London than this. Set is Somerset House’s West Wing overlooking the skating rink, this impressive pop-up features a Narnia-esque corridor bedecked in lights and foliage. Dozens of airy rooms are occupied by micro-shops with the emphasis on Brit-brands so you’ll find rooms devoted to Brora cashmere, Murdock grooming products and BoBelle London bags and leather goods.
The road famous for its travel-worthy flower market is fast becoming known for its annual late night Christmas events too. Now in its eighth year, this Wednesday evening (plus a bonus Saturday) shopping event boasts over 50 participating shops including a place to stop off and pick up the newest (green, piny) addition to your household. Expect appearances from Father Christmas and carollers.
The Peckham branch of Crafty Fox’s Christmas market is a slightly larger affair than its Brixton counterpart, with over seventy handpicked designers and crafters, offering a wide range of handmade local Christmas gifts – each with a special story. No need to worry about giving a generic gift here, folks. As in Brixton, you can join in on workshops and indulge in a cuppa in the tea room.
The Creative Clerkenwell Pop-up will offer a curated selection of Christmas gifts from UK designers and makers from as far as the Yorkshire Dales, to Clerkenwell itself. Jewellery, ceramics, homeware, wool accessories, handfinished cushions and much more will be on available from brands such as Amanda Li Hope and Kate Clarke London. Head down for some unique Christmas shopping.
Following the success of their Christmas event last year, The Finnish Institute of London and the Finnish Church of London are teaming up once more to host a Pop Up Christmas Shop at the Institute in Holborn. Traditional Finnish fare including rye bread, herring, Fazer chocolate will be on offer, as well as salted liquorice for the very brave. Finnish design such as littala glasswear will also be available, along with healthy doses of mulled wine and gingerbread.
Avoid the mad last-minute rush to find presents in the week before Christmas and instead plan a more thoughtful excursion to the Handmade Christmas Fair, where there will be one-of-a-kind pieces made by independent designers, crafters, hobbyists and food and drink connoisseurs. As well as hundreds of stalls there will be demonstrations, plus crafty workshops to take part in.
Following a popular first event last Christmas, Mama Brown's Pop-Up Experience moves to a more ambitious venue – commandeering an old Victorian postal sorting office, and decking it out with specially curated graffiti, art, fashion and food. 72 emerging and established designers and artists will be on offer over three weeks, alongside organic food homemade by founder Suzi Brown every day.
The More London Christmas Market is back this year, boasting a winning combination of homemade gifts and delicious food. This time More London, the Thames business estate, has teamed up with the family-run Shepherds Markets to bring a local vibe to the event. Browse accessories and handmade crafts including pottery, toys, and pashminas, in addition to a variety of cheeses, chocolates, and chutneys. There will be local choirs performing and Santa's reindeer will indeed be present - along with a Christmas grotto to boot. With views of Tower Bridge and Tower of London, the location couldn't be 'More London'.
Set in the courtyard directly behind the Royal Festival Hall, the Real Food Market serves up its regular selection of fine foods, plus seasonal goodies including charcuterie, cheese, chutneys and pickles, and ready to consume treats such as mince pies and mulled wine.
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Discover all the festive activities to be enjoyed in London this Christmas, including markets, Christmas lights, pantomimes and carols.
- Southbank Centre Christmas Market
- Christmas at Kew Gardens 2013
- Hello, My name is Paul Smith
- Harrods Christmas Grotto
- Hyde Park's Santa Land
- The London Zoo Christmas Journey
- Westfield London's 5D Christmas Grotto
- Kew Gardens: Santa's Woodland Grotto
- Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore! At Somerset House
- Club to Catwalk: London Fashion in the 1980s