Get us in your inbox


5 alternative Christmas markets for inventive gift givers


Know someone who is impossible to buy for? Put down the two-for-one bath bombs and go niche at these specialist fairs

For environmentalists

Christmas might be the most wonderful time of the year, but it’s also one of the most wasteful. Find ethical alternatives at London’s first Zero Waste Christmas Market where you can shop and browse sustainable, principled and high-quality brands. See if you can start the new year completely plastic-free. Hoxton Arches. Hoxton Overground. Sat Dec 8. £6.50.

For furry shoppers

Get your mind out of the gutter you dirty pup. The Doggy Style Christmas Market is all about canine spending. Billed as the largest indoor market for hounds and their owners, you’ll find Leake Street’s arches packed with stalls full of dog treats. There’ll also be a pop-up groomer, a professional pet-portrait artist and drinks on tap. It’s the best mutt market around. 26 Leake St. Tube: Waterloo. Sun Dec 9. £4 in adv, £5 on the day.

For art collectors

Forget fusty ’boot sales. At the Art Car Boot Fair Christmas Wrap Party you can meet well-known UK artists like Bob & Roberta Smith, Mr Bingo, Juno Calypso and Gavin Turk. Barter for original prints and paintings sold from the back of a VW, win mystery prizes in messy raffles, play pass the art parcel and art bingo, or have an evening of regret at the Secret Santa Casino. The Workshop. Tube: Lambeth North. Sun Dec 9. £10 in advance.

Mark Farhall

For pottery people

Pick up mini artworks sculpted from clay at the Independent Ceramics Market, which will fill Rich Mix with a community of 90 innovative ceramicists and DIY potters. Look out for spiky porcelain vases from Ikuko Iwamoto, colourful storytelling plates from Laura Bird and mugs from Fenek Studio. Rich Mix. Shoreditch High St Overground. Sun Dec 9. Free entry.

Natsko Seki

For sketchbook fillers

The House of Illustration Winter Fair will see the museum space packed with 100 stalls, each piled high with illustrated prints, handmade zines and artists’ books. At the very least, you’ll find an original Christmas card for once, and there’s two-for-one entry into the current gallery exhibition ‘100 Figures: The Unseen Art of Quentin Blake’ on the day. When you’re done, visit Barge Fiodra on the Regent’s Canal towpath for on-board exhibition ‘Illustration Afloat’. The House of Illustration. Tube: King’s Cross. Sat Dec 8. Free entry.

After more of a mulled wine and mince pie day? Find trad London Christmas markets here

And check out the best Christmas light displays in the city

Popular on Time Out

    Latest news

      Read next