Southbank Centre Winter Festival

Things to do, Festivals Free
4 out of 5 stars
(8user reviews)
 (Clem Onojeghuo)
Clem Onojeghuo
 (Rikard Osterlund)
Rikard Osterlund
© Tom Leighton (Tom Leighton)
Tom Leighton

Time Out says

The Southbank Centre Winter Festival is back for 2019 with another sparkling programme of festive shows and performances, family fun and music. The riverside venue will celebrate the coldest season with a fistful of fun pop-ups and activities. The annual Winter Market will be back with mulled wine and seasonal treats galore, while other highlights include a musical puppet version of ‘Black Beauty’ (Dec 14-Jan 5), retro circus show (Dec 19-Jan 5), Christmas-themed concerts from the Philharmonia Orchestra (Dec 15), seasonal gigs from Rufus & Martha Wainwright's (Dec 6), Ian Shaw & Claire Martin (Dec 8) and Kate Rusby (Dec 10). See Nadiya Hussain celebrates the publication of her memoir (Dec 1) and join in a series of brilliant LGBTQ+ events including ‘Burgerz’  by Travis Alabanza (Nov 29 – Dec 1), ‘A Very Polari Xmas’ (Dec 9), Drag Syndrome at Christmas (Dec 15). 

Find out more with our guide to the Southbank Centre Winter Festival



Users say (8)

4 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

3.5 / 5

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Staff Writertastemaker

The food stalls are consistently good at the back of the SBC and its good to see that the quality doesn't drop over the colder months, if you go at 4pm or after you can get some really great discounts too!

I find the larger scale events at SBC, like Winter Festival quite hard to navigate, you have to go to a central point to collect a map/programme that leads you around the buildings, once you find that it's easier! 

The venue looks lovely this year lots of lights, looks great from the balcony bar (which you're permitted to take your own booze to to drink). Lots to see for free if you're in the mood for an explore so worth a visit if you're close!


If you’re already along the Southbank visiting the Southbank Wintertime Market, why not pop into the Festival too?

Inside this quaint pocket of space, you’ll find even more food vendors and even more bars serving everyone’s favourite Christmas beverage, mulled wine. You’ll also find the 2-floor Rekorderlig ski lodge where you can cosy up on one of the many faux-lather clad couches. You can sit outside by one of the many live campfires to keep warm.

It does get busy so get there early to secure a decent spot by the fire.

This year, I have to admit was a tad of a letdown. It certainly isn’t as big as previous years and usually, there is a whole host of shows going on in a Spiegeltent, but for some reason this year it hasn’t happened. One can only hope that it will return for 2018.


A quaint little set up along the Southbank made up of mostly food stalls and pop up bars. Although slightly smaller than previous years, the market looks magical with all the fairy lights and beautifully decorated Christmas tree. The Rekorderlig Cider Lodge is definitely worth checking out and even has fire pit picnic benches overlooking the London Eye, where you can sit and warm up.


A lot of people are comparing this year to the previous years, unfortunately I am unable to do so as it is the first time I go. As a first time goer I genuinely enjoyed it, although not a lot of variety when it comes to actual things for sale there was a fair share of food stalls available. It was a very cute setup and you can see the London Eye when you're eating which is always nice. It's a great, relatively safe thing to do in the center. 

I love southbank and I know a lot of effort goes into these events and I think they are really fun!


Smaller than previous years but it remains a fabulous Christmas wonder so I’m all for that! I loved it even more this year because I visited it with my boyfriend on my birthday as part of the beautiful surprises he had planned for me. After a cup of mulled cider and a walk around the market stalls, we headed towards the Rekorderlig Cider Lodge, pretty cool chalet-looking almost-indoors bar surrounded by tons of beautifully smelling street food market stalls. Christmas tree and fairy lights are, of course, part of the party (see what I did there?).

Very small compared to previous years. I was really let down because every year I go and love this market. I'm really not sure why they changed it this year.


Not as good as previous years, a focus more on food and pop up bars than events and markets likes it better siblings - Winter Wonderland and Winterviile.

Not much selection on Winter drinks.

I visiting the Rekorderling pop up which was fun and La Soiree is back which is a great show .

I am looking forward to trying out the roller disco :) 

Worth a visit but bottom of my list

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