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Winter at Southbank Centre guide

Cider, street food and a Christmas market of cute wooden chalets for Winter at Southbank Centre – it’s all happening down by the river this winter

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Photograph: Jimmy Garcia
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Photograph: Mark Leaver
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Photograph: Pete Woodhead
By Time Out London Things To Do |
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The Thames-side arts venue has transformed into a festive wonderland once again in the build-up to the big day. It doesn’t get much more festive than the Christmas market on the South Bank, a line of German-style wooden chalets decorated with fairy lights and full of traders selling treats, gifts and decorations. The igloos have made a return for 2019 too and are available to rent for a sizeable fee if any Londoners fancy drinking and dining inside a dome. New this year is the pop-up Circus Bar outside the Royal Festival Hall, housed in cosy circus-showman tents. 

Aside from the market, there are some brilliant seasonal shows in the mix, like the Bridget Riley retrospective at the Hayward Gallery, impressive live puppetry in the Circus 1903 show at the Royal Festival Hall, an interactive Soundpit for children and the Winter Pop-Up Cinema on Riverside Terrace as well as a whole host of cabaret and comedy nights. No matter what you decide to go to, stick around till sundown so you can walk along the South Bank after dark. It’s hands-down the most Christmassy night-time stroll in the city. 

What is Winter at Southbank Centre 2019? 

Christmas 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 2019?

Southbank Centre’s Winter Festival runs from early November to the first week of January 2020. 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 Winter at Southbank Centre 2019?

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 2019. 

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

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