Christmas markets in London
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This free weekend market will showcase over 90 ceramicists, including current students, up-and-coming graduates, and established ceramicists from various studios. With a diverse range of original ceramics for sale from lamps, tableware and vases to sculptures and unique pieces, this is the ideal location for discovering a new wave of ceramic artists and picking up quirky Christmas presents.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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