The best Christmas markets in London: 2019 edition
Twinkling lights, hand-made decorations and steaming mugs of mulled wine: we round up the best Christmas markets London has to offer this winter
Trafalgar Square Christmas Market
Location: Trafalgar Square, Charing Cross, London WC2N 5DN
Open now – end date TBC
Trafalgar Square is hosting its first-ever Christmas market this year. (Yep, we’re as surprised as you are that there hasn’t been one here previously.) The inaugural market features over 20 stalls selling everything from Christmas decorations and hand-crafted jewellery to bratwurst and chocolate-covered treats. There’s a central bar, too, serving hot chocolates and mulled wine – head here to keep your energy levels up and stay warm while you shop. Visit from 5 December onwards and you can enjoy the market with a backdrop of the glorious 82ft Christmas tree, an annual gift to London from Norway.
Location: Flat Iron Square, 53b Southwark Street, London SE1 1RU
30 November, 11am-5pm
At Pebblefestive’s Christmas market, it’s all about shopping consciously and embracing some #EverydayActivism. As well as stocking up on ethical gifts, visitors can take part in hands-on workshops (including one on how to wrap presents with fabric), listen to talks, indulge in vegan and organic beer tastings and learn how to make exquisite festive tipples with Abel & Cole. You’ll leave feeling inspired to make 2020 your greenest year yet.
Columbia Road Christmas Wednesdays
Location: Columbia Road, Bethnal Green, London E2 7RG
Wednesdays from 27 November - 19 December, 5pm-9pm
While you’re bound to have jostled your way along Columbia Road’s Sunday flower market at some point, you might not be aware of its Christmas offering. Every Wednesday evening in December, the street comes to life with residents selling mulled wine out of their homes, shops staying open late and shoppers gathering around a piano – which is wheeled out onto the street – to sing carols. If you’re looking for a cosy pub to duck into on your visit, the Royal Oak with its garish decorations, craft beer selection and rollicking-good-time atmosphere is the one to go to.
Christmas Canopy Market at King's Cross
Location: West Handyside Canopy, just off Granary Square, King's Cross, London N1C 4BZ
Friday 29 November - Sunday 22 December (Fridays, 12pm-8pm; Saturdays and Sundays, 11am-6pm)
Canopy Market, run by Real Food Festivals, is serving up festive treats aplenty in the run-up to Christmas. Their December market is open on Fridays as well as weekends and offers great Christmas gift ideas as well as the chance to shop locally for seasonal foods to bulk out your festive celebrations. Check out the market's programme of workshops while there, or stay late on Friday to enjoy live music and DJ sets.
Crafty Fox Christmas Market
Locations include: Brixton, Canopy Market and the Mercato Metropolitano
Saturday 23 November - Sunday 15 December (11am-5pm)
This year, there are a number of Crafty Fox markets held across London, including a Christmas collaboration with Canopy Market in King's Cross (13-15 December). A second Crafty Fox Christmas market is taking over southeast London's foodie paradise Mercato Metropolitano (7-8 December), while a third can be found a little earlier at the Department Store in Brixton (23-24 November). Expect gorgeous clothes, hand-crafted toys, homeware and accessories from quirky artists and designers. Fuelling the festive vibe will be live DJs, Christmas drinks and expert-led workshops.
Zero Waste Christmas Market
Location: The Boiler House, 152 Brick Lane, London E1 6RU
7 December, 10:30am - 8:30pm
Christmas can be a tricky time if you’re trying to live waste free. Thankfully, the Zero Waste Christmas Market has you covered. In fact, with 50 zero-waste brands under one roof, you might even manage to buy all your Christmas presents in one go. While you're there, take advantage of a sustainable gift-wrapping session, or listen to a sustainability seminar. There’s also Christmas card-making sessions and even a pub quiz to enjoy. If you find yourself in need of some sustenance, treat yourself to a sustainably sourced mulled wine, or food from the likes of Shakey Shakey Vegan. The best bit? All profits made from the market are donated to planting trees.
Renegade Craft: London
Location: Truman Brewery, G4 Event Space, 15 Hanbury Street, London E1 6QR
14-15 December, 11am-5pm
Trendy US craft market Renegade is once again voyaging across the pond to host a festive fair at the Truman Brewery. Here, you’ll find an achingly cool selection of local and international creatives selling prints, vintage jewellery, clothing and more.
Venn Street Saturday Market
Location: Venn Street, Clapham, London SW4 0AT
While not exclusively a Christmas market, Venn Street Saturday market in Clapham is especially lovely to browse during the festive season. Stock up on choice cuts of meat and quality cheeses for your spread; search for stocking fillers and decorations from the market's broad range of independent and artisan producers; and enjoy a hearty pastry and steaming cup of mulled wine while you're there.
Location: Hyde Park
21 November - 5 January, 10am-10pm
Between the fairground rides, glittering ice rink, circus entertainment and new-for-2019 Giant Wheel, it’s easy to overlook the fact that Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland hosts its own twinkling market housed in over 100 Bavarian-style wooden chalets. Here, you can shop for everything from jewellery and Christmas decorations to hand-made gifts and steaming plates of bratwurst, churros, crêpes and more. Visit on a weekday to avoid huge crowds.
Bizarre Bazaar x Christmess
Location: The Vaults, Leake Street, London SE1 7AD
24 November - 17 December
Debauched. Decadent. Delicious. It sounds like an odd way to advertise a Christmas Bazaar, but the Marbles and Ware version of a Christmas market is anything but ordinary. Young artists and designers showcase their wares in the Victorian arches at the Vaults, while live music and acts keep visitors entertained as they browse. But that's not all that's on offer this year. Marbles and Ware has teamed up with Slap Ya Papa to host an immersive dining experience: Christmess. Those who want to end their Christmas shopping with a night of feasting, can call in at 'St Nick’s gaff' for a 12-course feast. Leave your table manners at home and prepare for a wild night, featuring trips to twinkling absinthe bars and the ominous-sounding 'Nicky’s little grotto'.
Gift of Sight Fair
Location: Chelsea Old Town Hall, King's Road, Chelsea, London SW3 5EE
Tuesday 19 November (general fair: 12pm-6pm; champagne reception, 6pm-8pm)
A classy Christmas shopping experience awaits at the Gift of Sight Fair. The gorgeous Chelsea Old Town Hall plays host to some of the best festive finds in fashion, homeware and jewellery. Its beautiful surroundings will put you at ease as you search through some of the more personal, unusual Christmas gifts on offer. What's more, it's all for a good cause, with all entry fees and 10 per cent of sales going to the St John of Jerusalem Eye Hospital Group.
Tickets can be bought here
Southbank Centre Winter Market
Location: The Queen's Walk, Lambeth, London SE1 8XX
Friday 8 November – Sunday 5 January (Sunday-Thursday, 11am-10pm; Fridays and Saturdays, 11am-11pm)
Wander along South Bank at this time of year and you'll find stalls standing shoulder to shoulder, providing a warming glow to passing visitors. Take refuge from the harsher elements by hunkering down between the cosy Alpine lodges. Here, you can take your pick of handmade gifts and warming street food from around the world, which is served until 10pm. Beneath the twinkling lights and with a venison hot dog in hand, the winter chill will soon melt away.
Mayfair Christmas Market
Location: Mayfair Place, London, W1J 8AJ
Thursday 28 November - Sunday 1 December (11am-9pm)
Are artisan gifts and hand-crafted baubles your thing? Then look no further than the Mayfair Christmas Market, hosted by Novikov Restaurant and Bar. The whole of Mayfair Place is being closed to traffic for one wonderful weekend of winter delights. Between the stalls, you'll find all sorts of gifts and delicious snacks, including Novikov’s own Asian and Italian delicacies. Spare some time to sing along to your favourite Christmas carols and if you're visiting with youngsters, be sure to find Santa.
Wild by Tart Christmas Fair
Location: 3-4 Eccleston Yards, Belgravia, London SW1W 9NF
Saturday 30 November (11am-11:30pm) and Sunday 1 December (11am-7pm)
Tart London, caterers to some of the biggest names in fashion, are bringing back their Wild by Tart Christmas Fair for a second year running. Ideal for those of us wanting to enjoy market shopping without missing out on big-name brands, the collection of stalls (curated by Tart founders Jemima Jones and Lucy Carr-Ellison) includes everything from beauty products to pet accessories. The Wild by Tart kitchen is catering the event, providing street food and a range of warming winter drinks.
There’s more on offer here than a chance to shop for beautiful gifts for your loved ones. On Saturday 30 November, celebrated florists Wild at Heart is hosting a wreath-making masterclass (£85pp), providing you with all the willow-based foliage and weaving techniques you need to make a bespoke wreath for your front door. Then on Sunday 1 December, our attention turns to the kitchen, where Wild by Tart’s pastry team is hosting a gingerbread house workshop (£75pp).
Christmas in Leicester Square
Location: Leicester Square, London WC2H 7LU
8 November - 5 January, various times
Amid the flashing lights and blaring music of the West End is Leicester Square’s Christmas market, where a more pared-back experience lies in store. Wander between Bavarian-style wooden huts and admire the traditional toys, festive ornaments and hand-knitted clothes on offer, while enjoying a glass of mulled wine or plate of something warming.
Ealing Christmas Market
Location: Ealing Broadway Shopping Centre, The Broadway, Ealing, London W5 5JY
24 November - 27 December, 10am-6pm
Dodge the everyday chains of Ealing Broadway Shopping Centre and instead head to the square, where pop-up chalets offering everything from jewellery and knitwear to decorations and children’s clothing can be found. This year, the market is championing British craftsmanship – from locally produced ceramics to skincare products – as well as showcasing the wares of makers from around the world, including Colombian accessories and African-inspired jewellery.
Reward your shopping efforts with a plate of something delicious (sugar-dusted churros, mince pies and bratwurst are among the offerings) and, if you’re visiting on a Thursday or Saturday, join the merry band of carol singers in belting out your favourite seasonal songs.
Location: The Tide, Greenwich Peninsula, London SE10 0ES
7-8 December, 11am-7pm
Get cracking on your Christmas shopping at SAMPLE Christmas. The riverside design market is hosting a festive weekend showcasing exciting names in fashion, design, homewares, food and more. Curated by Hemingway Design, SAMPLE Christmas is a shopping experience with a cultural twist: visitors can enjoy live music, street theatre and family-friendly festivities while shopping for slow fashion, sustainable design and ethically sourced produce.