Photograph: Jimmy Garcia

Winter at Southbank Centre 2023 guide

Mulled Wine, street food and a Christmas market of cute wooden chalets will all be at this year's Winter Festival at Southbank Centre

India Lawrence

Just like every year, the arts centre along the Thames is going to be transformed into a festive carnival this Christmas. Winter Festival at the Southbank Centre is back for 2023 with a smashing lineup that of course includes the South Bank Christmas market, a line of German-style wooden chalets decorated with fairy lights and full of traders selling treats, gifts and decorations. It's going to be festive AF. 

Aside from the market, there are some brilliant seasonal shows in the mix, like ‘Hiroshi Sugimoto: Time Machine’ at the Hayward Gallery, which will be the largest survey to date from the award-winning Japanese artist.

‘Love Actually’ fans, we know there are a lot of you, you'll be over the moon to hear that the man behind the romcom, Richard Curtis, will curate ‘Christmas Actually’: a treasure trove of live entertainment, from starry music performances to poetry and comedy.

The igloos are also back for 2023, where you can cosy up with a hot toddy and chow down on cheese fondue as you wave at passers-by from your very own private glass dome. And competitive souls can go head to head against their mates by flinging stones across ice at the Curling Club

Plus, don't miss a jazz rendition of the ‘Nutcracker’; a sublime puppet show based on the Emmy-award winning cartoon ‘Bluey’; a cabaret stand-up performance from Australian comedian Ruben Kaye; a magical musical, ‘The House with Chicken Legs’; and so much more.  

No matter what you decide to go to, stick around till sundown so you can walk along the South Bank after dark. It’s guaranteed to give you all the festive feels. 

What is Winter at Southbank Centre 2023? 

Winter celebrations at Southbank Centre include Yuletide markets, plenty of street food,  dazzling lights, sensational family workshops and a packed programme of Christmas shows. 

When is Winter at Southbank Centre 2023?

Southbank Centre’s Winter Festival runs from October 28 2023 – January 7 2024. The majority of the Centre is open 10am-10pm daily. The Southbank Centre is normally entirely closed on Christmas Day, with outdoor attractions staying closed on New Year’s Eve. 

Where is the Winter Festival at Southbank Centre 2022?

The nearest train and tube station to the Southbank Centre is Waterloo (Bakerloo, Northern, Jubilee and Waterloo & City Underground lines). Embankment (Circle and District lines) and Charing Cross (Northern and Bakerloo) are just a short walk across a big river away. Many bus routes stop nearby or you can even arrive by boat to Festival Pier.

During the festive period, many public transport services will have reduced timetables so make sure you’ve checked how you’ll be travelling around London over Christmas and New Year.

Is there an entry fee? 

The Winter Market is free to wander through, as are many of Southbank Centre’s festive happenings. Some events are ticketed, but there’s a whole host of free ones planned for 2023. 

RECOMMENDED: Find more festive fun with our guide to Christmas in London.

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