London’s Best Christmas Markets 2023
November 01, 2023 11:03am
London’s Christmas markets are back and better than ever! There’s festive shopping, and so much more – even Mexican wrestling, giant puppets and a roller disco! Here’s a rundown on the best of the many Christmas markets.
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This Christmas extravaganza in Hyde Park combines yuletide wonder with theme park fun. There’s an ice rink (book in advance), Zippos Christmas Circus, a Santa’s grotto, an ice slide, fairground attractions and rides that range from kiddie carousels to heart-in-the-mouth high-flying contraptions.
Where: Hyde Park, London W2 2UH
When: 17th November 2023 — 1st January 2024. Closed Christmas Day.
Cost: Free to enter but tickets must be booked in advance. Rides can be expensive.
Website: Home – Hyde Park Winter Wonderland
Southbank Centre’s Winter Market and Wintertime Events
It’s lovely to wander down the Thames in the shadow of the Eye eating everything from Thai food to raclette to fish-shaped pastries filled with cream (why? We don’t know, but we love them). The ornate carousel here is great for pictures and you can pick up gifts, drink seasonal cocktails, and soak up the festive spirit.
At the Southbank Centre’s Winter series, there’s Christmas-themed culture of every kind. Its Rumpelstiltskin performance puts a new spin on the classic fairy tale, Circus 1903 recreates a turn-of-the-century circus using life-sized elephant puppets from the War Horse team, and The Snow Ball invites everyone to don their fancy dress and hit the floor to seasonal hits, just to name a few of the options. Plus there’s storytelling, classical music, Caribbean Christmas, a drag show and more.
When: 28th October 2023 – 7th January 2024
Cost: The market is free; events are either free or various prices. Check website for details.
Tips: It’s worth taking time to scan through all the Southbank Centre’s Winter offerings, as they showcase such a wide variety of uplifting performances, cultures and arts.
Christmas in Leicester Square
The compact Leicester Square market has a Santa’s grotto, fairy lights and buzzy atmosphere. Visit the vintage Spiegeltent for the programme of Christmas shows, pantomimes and kid’s theatre.
Where: Leicester Square, WC2H 7NA
When: 8th November 2023 – 7th January 2024
Cost: Tickets start at £24
Tips: Go early to avoid the crowds, which build up in the evenings
Festive accommodation in London fills up faster than the Christmas markets! So don’t miss out — book your stay with us today!
Christmas by the River
What could be more English than browsing twinkling stalls next to Tower Bridge? Christmas by the River stretches from Hay’s Galleria to London Bridge City Pier with than 50 independent traders. Plus, there is a bar carved from ice in Eis Haus. (Say that in your best German accent.)
Where: 2A More London Riverside, London SE1 2DB
When:Dates for 2023 are TBC, however are likely to fall from 14th November 2023 – 2nd January 2024.
Tip: With older kids, try late-night shopping til 8pm on Thursday, Friday and Saturday
London’s only market set within a World Heritage site is open 7 days a week and is stuffed full of the kinds of distinctive gifts friends and family love to discover under the tree: vintage maps, creamy linen, and bona fide antiques sit next to original fashion and jewelry both classic and modern. Since it’s open all year, Greenwich is technically not a Christmas market but it’s one you won’t want to miss, especially after the Christmas lights get turned on on the 17th of November.
Where: Greenwich Town Centre, SE10 9HZ
When: Open every day
Website: Greenwich Market, London
Tip: The nearby Staycity Greenwich High Road puts you minutes away from the market and Greenwich town centre.
Country Living Christmas Fair
The popular magazine arrives in London to bring style to the season. Designers, makers and regional food purveyors sell their wares as well as share their secrets in talks, demos and hands-on workshops. For a fee in the Crafting Studio, you can decorate gingerbread, block print your own Christmas card, weave with sari strips and more.
Where: Business Design Centre, 52 Upper Street, Islington, N1 0QH
When: 8th – 11th November 2023
Cost: Advance tickets start at £22 adults. Some special entry packages include extras like drinks or a goody bag.
Website: About – Country Living Fair
Tip: Check out the Crafting Studio schedule and book a place before you go. Sessions run all day!
A Taste of London Winter 2023
Yes, yes, Christmas is a time to give gifts to your loved ones — but it’s also a time to eat. Here you’ll see cooking demonstrations, hands-on masterclasses, small dishes and wine and whisky tastings (skip those for the kids) along with boutique food gift stalls. This is the perfect place to ensure you’re raising another generation of gourmands.
Where: Tobacco Dock, Wapping
When: 2023 dates TBC
Tip: Come hungry!
Hampton Court Palace Festive Fayre
Prepare yourself for a royal treat at this Christmas food festival and market at this gorgeous palace that was a favourite of Henry VIII. You’ll wander around the courtyards tasting artisan food and drink, watching cookery demonstrations and enjoying carol singing.
Where: Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey KT8 9AU
When: 1st – 3rd December and 8th – 10th December 2023
Cost: Members go free as do under 5s, adult tickets start at £26.30, children at £13.10
Tip: Don’t miss the festive classics at the Courtyard Bandstand and sing along!
Festive accommodation in London fills up faster than the Christmas markets! So don’t miss out — book your stay with us today! But be sure to join our new Stay Sweet loyalty club first to enjoy 10% off all rates as well as a range of exclusive member benefits you won’t get anywhere else! Merry Christmas y’all!