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 2018
Christmas markets in London
By Ellie Walker-Arnott and Things To Do Editors |
Advertising

Come Christmas, London’s streets are transformed. From pop-up ice rinks playing catchy pop-tunes to unique events beneath twinkling lights, it’s a far cry from the usual concrete metropolis. But let’s be honest - whether you love or loathe Christmas shopping, the crowds on Oxford Street can make even the jolliest shopper say humbug. Luckily, there’s an alternative: a festive frolic through one of London’s magical markets.

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. Here’s our pick of London’s best Christmas markets and fairs to help you check off your seasonal shopping list. Eat your heart out, Santa.

Recommended: Your ultimate guide to Christmas in London 

Christmas markets in London

Things to do, Markets and fairs

Blackhorse Workshop Christmas Market

icon-location-pin Blackhorse Workshop, Higham Hill
icon-calendar

Pay this lovely Walthamstow workshop a visit and find stalls brimming with products perfect for Christmas presents made by local designer-makers. Mulled wine and beers will be available from the bar while Walthamstow Dogs serve up hot dogs and Peter’s Jerk dishes up plates of chicken. 

Things to do, Markets and fairs

Deck the Howls

icon-location-pin The Blacksmith and the Toffeemaker, Finsbury
icon-calendar

Deck the Howls at this doggie christmas market and get together raising funds for Cinque Ports Rescue and Staffordshire Bull Terrier Rescue. Get ready for a Christmas raffle, stalls full of pooch-friendly wares, live pet illustration. It's gonna be the Christmas pawty of the season (sorry). 

Advertising
Things to do, Markets and fairs

The London Artisan

icon-location-pin Old Truman Brewery, Brick Lane
icon-calendar

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, Markets and fairs

Green Rooms Christmas Market

icon-location-pin Gipsy Hill Brewing Co. Tap Room, West Norwood
icon-calendar

Cultivate your green fingers at this festive edition of the botanical market filled. Green Rooms Christmas Market which has more businesses than ever selling indoor and outdoor plants, pots, botanical art and horticultural supplies. 

Advertising
Things to do, Festivals

Ally Pally Christmas Carnival

icon-location-pin Alexandra Palace, Muswell Hill
icon-calendar

Alexandra Palace is going big on the festivities this year, to mark the opening of the Alexandra Palace Theatre and East Court. Venture up the hill for a weekend Christmas market and Santa’s Grotto, as well as a festive funfair and a winter edition of the StrEATlife street food festival. 

Christmas Canopy Market, King's Cross
John Sturrock
Things to do, Markets and fairs

Christmas Canopy Market at King's Cross

icon-location-pin Canopy Market, King's Cross
icon-calendar

Now it’s mulled wine season we're super grateful for this covered-Christmas market, which means you can get on with browsing handmade gifts, graduate art from UAL, vinyl records and more, without the risk of getting rained on. Make sure you do the rounds of the artisan Real Food stalls and end up at the heated seating area to assess and eat your goodies. 

Advertising
Things to do, Markets and fairs

Maltby Street Christmas Night Market

icon-location-pin Maltby Street Market, Bermondsey
icon-calendar

Guzzle Christmas dishes from around the globe as the iconic food market’s finest traders set up their stalls after dark beneath Bermondsey’s fairy-light-festooned Victorian railway arches. There'll be carolling, hot mulled wine and mince pies to make you feel like you've wandered into Dickens' ‘A Christmas Carol’. 

Things to do, Markets and fairs

Christmas at Netil Market

icon-location-pin Netil Market, South Hackney
icon-calendar

We love this quaint mini market, which has stalls for artisan coffee, baked goods, crafts and even a rotisserie, just a gourmet loaf's throw from Broadway Market. To usher in the yuletide season, Netil Market is running a series of Christmas fairs. Head along to find one-of-a-kind gifts. 

Advertising
Things to do, Festivals

Winterville

icon-location-pin Clapham Common, Clapham
icon-calendar

Clapham’s Winterville goes way beyond the usual chalets and bratwurst combo – think live djs, musical bingo, magicians, Mexican wrestling and a Xmas show on a double decker bus. Oh wait, there’s more - outdoor ice skating, food courtesy of Street Feast, a Backyard Cinema maze, Roller Disco and even crazy golf. Entry is free with an advanced ticket or event and on Tuesdays; otherwise, it costs from £2.

Things to do, Markets and fairs

Southbank Centre Wintertime Market

icon-location-pin Southbank Centre, South Bank
icon-calendar

Fondue, igloos, fire pits and fairy lights – what’s not to like about Southbank Winter Festival, which is popping up beside the Thames this November. Foodies will love it, as those Winter favourites (raclette, bratwurst) will be served up alongside Indian, Greek and Asian cuisine. Entry is free, just head for Hungerford Bridge.

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

Kingston Christmas Market

icon-location-pin Kingston Market Place, Kingston Upon Thames
icon-calendar

Each year Kingston upon Thames undergoes a kitsch makeover, with over 50 stalls in wooden chalets and a big heated marquee taking over the market place. Get in there early to source lovely Christmas tree decorations. Kids won’t want to miss the Candy Cane Forest, a space dedicated to rides and competitions. Energy levels can be seasonally replenished with a swift German street food fix.

Things to do

Christmas by the River

icon-location-pin More London, London Bridge
icon-calendar

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. A selection of indie traders will have stalls laden with handmade craft items, while bars will be serving Christmas cocktails, mulled wine, hot cider and craft beers.

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

Christmas in Leicester Square

icon-location-pin Leicester Square, Leicester Square
icon-calendar

Traditional Christmas market stalls, a Santa’s Grotto and festive fairytales are on the cards in bustling Leicester Square this Winter. The Underbelly team (who bring performers to the Southbank each Summer) are turning their hands to the Spiegeltent, where Yuletide drama will unfold. There will even be a little Burlesque on the agenda. Entry is free. 

Things to do, Markets and fairs

Winter Wonderland

icon-location-pin Hyde Park, Kensington
icon-calendar

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 Santa's grotto) 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.

Find more festive fun in the capital

Snap up exclusive discounts in London

Time Out's handpicked deals — hurry, they won't be around for long...

Advertising