The best Christmas markets in London: 2020 edition
We know – Christmas looks different in 2020. Yet these Christmas markets, in person and online, give us what we love from the festive season
This year, many Christmas markets have gone online, while others will be in-person, albeit in a mask-wearing, socially distanced fashion. We're excited about both versions.
From the established markets making their annual return, to a little-known gem hidden down the cobbled streets of a sleepy neighbourhood, it's time to get exploring. Here are the best London Christmas markets to explore this festive season.
Old Royal Naval College Christmas Market
Location: King William Walk, Greenwich, London SE10 9NN
Friday 18-Sunday 20 December
We'll be heading to Greenwich to stock up on some gorgeous handmade wares from a variety of makers like Betty Crochetty (think irresistible crochet headbands, knits, bralets and festive jewellery – there's something to appeal to all ages), funky stickers from Epionette and Mari Burkinshaw's exquisite Christmas cards.
While you're in the 'hood, don't miss Winter at Greenwich Peninsula, with live jazz and gingerbread-building workshops, on until 12 January.
Selfridges Christmas Market on the Mews
Location: Edwards Mews, at the rear of Selfridges London
Until Sunday 3 January
This brand-new festive market from Selfridges promises insane street food (food stalls were done in collaboration with Street Feast founder, Dominic Cools-Lartigue), as well as plenty of cool brands to discover: sustainable trees from Moyses Stevens, vegan sweets from Ask Mummy & Daddy and wreaths from Your London Florist. There are also fairground rides and a hot chocolate and mulled wine bar for festive sipping.
Columbia Road Late Night Shopping Wednesdays
Location: Columbia Road, Bethnal Green, London E2 7RG
Wednesdays until 23 December
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. You'll find a load of independent shops with their wares, but sadly you'll have to wait until next year for highlights like the carol singers and live piano in the street action.
Location: Vinegar Yard, St Thomas Street, London SE1 3QU
Weekends until Sunday 20 December
Mulled wine, churros, and a selection of sustainable and hand-crafted goodies. Not to mention tons of secondhand amazingness, from vintage books to fashion.
Christmas Canopy Market at King's Cross
Location: West Handyside Canopy, just off Granary Square, King's Cross, London N1C 4BZ
Friday 18-Sunday 20 December
Canopy Market, run by Real Food Festivals, is serving up festive treats aplenty in the run-up to Christmas. Their December market is open the weekend of December 18 and offers great Christmas gift ideas as well as the chance to shop locally for seasonal foods to bulk out your festive celebrations.
Crafty Fox at Canopy Market
Location: Canopy Market, King's Cross
Friday 11-Sunday 13 December
Crafty Fox has once again collaborated with Canopy Market in King's Cross for Christmas. Expect gorgeous clothes, hand-crafted toys, homeware and accessories from quirky artists and designers, including Mountain and Molehill's home furnishings, Victoria Williams' recycled silver jewellery and Vui Vui's botanic skin and body care.
Lower Stable Market at Coal Drops Yard is also hosting its own festive market, with wreath-making kits from Fluoresse, fresh juice from Trapfruits, fizz from Top Cuvée and sandwiches from Dom's Subs.
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.
Eccleston Yards Christmas Market
Location: 3-4 Eccleston Yards, Belgravia, London SW1W 9NF
Fridays to Sundays in December
From vegan candles to eco Christmas cards and DIY craft sets to enjoy with the whole family, Eccleston Yards Christmas Market is full of music, festive scents and amazing food. Grab something yummy from Wild By Tart or Jones Family Kitchen, as well as Elephant Gin and Diggle Chocolates for the stockings.
Location: Copeland Gallery, Peckham, London SE15 3SN
Until Sunday 20 December
With over 50 small stalls at weekends, and a boutique-style Pexmas Emporium in the week with 25 traders (you'll need to book a timed ticket), Pexmas is the go-to place for gifts from independent artisans, makers and food producers. You can also shop the products online - you'll want it all.
Christmas in Leicester Square
Location: Leicester Square, London WC2H 7LU
Until Tuesday 5 January
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.
Online Christmas markets
Whether you're shielding so you can visit relatives, or don't fancy an in-person Christmas market experience, there are plenty of virtual Christmas markets to enjoy. Here are some to click onto this month:
- Monica Grose-Hodge: less Christmas market, more virtual advent calendar, the designer and curator is showcasing her favourite makers each day of advent. We want it all.
- Virtual Bath Christmas Market: With delightful local food and drink, health and beauty, fashion and accessories, and even items for little ones and the kids, Bath's Christmas Market has it all. Enjoy it from the sofa this year, and plan a weekend getaway to enjoy it in December 2021.