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Christmas markets and fairs in London

Ditch department stores and wrap up all your Christmas shopping at London’s best festive markets and fairs for 2019

Christmas markets in London
By Ellie Walker-Arnott and Things To Do Editors |
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Whether you’re looking for festive food, classic decorations, arts and crafts or that last-minute gift, you can find all you want for Christmas at a London market.

Come the festive season, London’s streets are transformed. From unique events beneath twinkling lights to pop-up ice rinks playing catchy pop-tunes, it’s a far cry from the usual concrete metropolis. 

Whatever your take on Christmas shopping, the crowds on Oxford Street are enough to make even the jolliest shopper say humbug. Luckily, we can offer you the best of alternatives: a festive frolic through one of London’s magical markets.

Here’s our pick of London’s best Christmas markets and fairs to help you check off your seasonal shopping list – with enough festive delights to make Santa eat his jolly old heart out. 

We’ll be updating this page with more events for Christmas 2019 as they are announced.

Recommended: Your ultimate guide to Christmas in London 

Christmas markets in London

Things to do, Markets and fairs

The London Artisan

icon-location-pin Old Truman Brewery, Brick Lane
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Each season, the London Artisan curates a nifty lineup of designer makers, packing the Old Truman Brewery with jewellers, ceramicists, textile designers, graphic artists and heaps more creative types for two whole days. Get your festive fix and your mitts on items for your home, or commission one-off gifts direct from the makers. Perfect just ahead of Christmas.  

Things to do, Festivals

Winterville

Clapham’s Winterville usually goes way beyond the usual chalets and bratwurst combo – last year they had musical bingo, Mexican wrestling and a Xmas show on a double decker bus. Expect outdoor ice skating, delicious streetfood and even crazy golf. In 2018, entry was free with an advanced ticket or event; otherwise, it cost around £2.

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Things to do, Markets and fairs

Southbank Centre Wintertime Market

Fondue, igloos, fire pits and fairy lights – what’s not to like about Southbank Winter Festival. Foodies will love it, as all the winter favourites (raclette, bratwurst etc) will be served up alongside international cuisine. Entry is free, just head for Hungerford Bridge.

Kingston Christmas Lights Switch on Parade
© Claire Williams
Things to do, Festivals

Kingston Christmas Market

Each year Kingston upon Thames undergoes a kitsch makeover, with over 50 stalls in wooden chalets and an Alpine Village appearing to add to the festive cheer. Get in there early to source some lovely Christmas tree decorations. 

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Things to do

Christmas by the River

The banks of the River Thames are home to the annual Christmas by the River. With views of Tower of London and Tower Bridge, plus a combination of gifts and hot food sold from German-style chalets, it’s a festive way to spend an hour or so. 

Christmas in Leicester Square
David Jensen
Things to do, Event spaces

Christmas in Leicester Square

Traditional Christmas market stalls, a Santa’s Grotto and festive fairytales are on the cards in bustling Leicester Square this winter. If you're looking to break up your intake of food and booze treats, book your tickets for cabaret delights La Clique. 

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Things to do, Markets and fairs

Winter Wonderland

icon-location-pin Hyde Park, Hyde Park
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Even the Grinch would have a real job stealing all the Christmas from Hyde Park's annual tribute to festive fun. Entry to Winter Wonderland is free, and a wander past the fairground rides, around child-friendly Santa Land (including a grotto, obviously) or through the markets is a real treat for Christmas megafans. For access to the other festive activities, attractions and themed bars you’ll need to book tickets.

Things to do, Markets and fairs

Zero Waste Christmas Market

Christmas might be the most wonderful time of the year, but it’s also one of the most wasteful times of year. Find ethical alternatives at London's Zero Waste Christmas Market. This year the festive eco-friendly extravaganza will host 45 ethical traders flogging their zero-waste, plastic-free, sustainable and vegan-friendly wares. There will be mulled wine, vegan food, deposit mug schemes and churros. Be there. 

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Asya Gefter
Things to do, Markets and fairs

DIY Art Christmas Market

Why not think outside the box when buying Christmas presents? Browse and buy affordable artworks direct from a diverse community of artists from a wide range of artistic backgrounds, that includes established illustrators, designers, independent publishers, ceramists, all exhibiting alongside their up-and-coming contemporaries. There's really no excuse for you to give someone rubbish novelty socks this year.

©La Cabine de Margaux-84 - Ilka Dickens
Things to do, Markets and fairs

Urban Makers Christmas Market

Join Urban Makers for a weekend of festive frivolity and plenty of unique stocking-filler opportunities at their special Christmas market where you can buy directly from carefully curated, handpicked local and independent makers. You can also take workshops on how to make your own Christmas fairy lights, macrame plant hangers and festive wreaths. Basically a how-to in festive cheer.

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Rich Lehmann
Things to do, Markets and fairs

Animal Aid Christmas Fayre

Have yourself a merry little cruelty-free Christmas and celebrate a wonderful array of ethical companies and gorgeous vegan food. Browse around the fayre and find your next Christmas present while supporting amazing organisations.

Things to do, Markets and fairs

Jolly Hobbies Japanese Christmas Market

Head to Hornsey for the ninth edition of this Japanese Christmas market where you can get your hands on traditional homeware, accessories, arts and crafts, pottery and food. Feast on sushi, bento, cake, green tea and more.

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Things to do, Markets and fairs

Etsy Made Local

Crafty e-tailer Etsy comes to London for the latest in its series of offline shopping events where you can cram your bags full of unique stocking-fillers. Everything on sale has been ethically and sustainably made, from toys and clothes to artisan foods and one-off homewares. 

Things to do, Markets and fairs

Cockpit Arts Christmas Open Studios

These open studios are a great chance to support independent designer-makers and pick up unique Christmas gifts you won't find on the high street. With more than 170 designers taking part, there's bound to be something here for your loved ones, including furniture, lighting, jewellery, fashion accessories, clothing, ceramics, silverware and tree decorations. 

 

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Things to do, Markets and fairs

E17 Designers' Christmas Market

Swap the clamour of Oxford Street for an afternoon browsing the wares of independent designers, artists and local crafters. Expect contemporary jewellery, ceramics and prints.

Ivan Mindov
Things to do, Markets and fairs

SoLo Craft Fair: Dulwich Christmas Market

Looking for unique Christmas gifts that the whole family will love? Then look no further than the Christmas Craft market at Dulwich Village. Filled with 60 independent traders selling handmade crafts you'll be guaranteed to find something – even for those who are notoriously hard to buy for. 

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Things to do, Markets and fairs

Scandinavian Christmas Market

Rotherhithe’s Finnish and Norwegian Churches provide the backdrop for this annual festive fair lined with stalls selling Scandinavian treats, decorations, toys and gifts. Tuck into hearty dishes and sip a warming mug of Nordic glögg. There’ll also be musical performances all weekend to get you in the Yuletide mood.

Things to do, Food and drink events

Taste of London: The Festive Edition

Taste of London is back for a three-day Christmas nosh-fest. The ultimate foodie festival is parking up at Wapping’s Tobacco Dock with a selection of exciting London restaurants for you to try dishes from.

 

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Things to do

Spirit of Christmas Fair

Just when you thought Christmas couldn't get any bigger, as holidays go, it gets its own consumer show at Olympia. The vast exhibition centre will be packed with more Christmas shopping opportunities than you can shake a sleigh bell at (around 900 stalls this year), and workshops in festive food and gift wrapping will have you prepared for the big day itself. 

Things to do

Christmas By The River at London Bridge

The banks of the River Thames are home to the annual Christmas by the River market once again. It's a festive winner, with views of Tower of London and Tower Bridge and an ace combination of homemade gifts and delicious food, sold from German-style chalets. Get your mitts on handmade crafts from tons of independent traders and peruse pop-up food stalls and bars serving Christmas cocktails, mulled wine, hot cider and craft beers. 

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Things to do

The Swedish Church Christmas Fair

Have a very Scandi Christmas with the help of this traditional fair selling all sorts of festive Swedish treats, crafts and gifts. A pop-up café in the church hall will serve open sandwiches with meatballs and cheese and the Swedes' take on mulled wine: glögg.

Find more festive fun in the capital

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