Originally Published: December 8, 2013

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in London. Everywhere you go lights are twinkling, chestnuts are roasting and a festive chill fills the air. If you thought the capital couldn’t get any more exciting then you’re in for a treat this month. December marks the start of the festive season and the arrival of many spectacular Christmas markets in London.  If you’re looking for beautiful gifts, tasty treats or just some good old festive fun then make sure you wrap up warm this winter and follow our guide to the best Christmas markets in London.

London’s Top 5 Christmas Markets & Fairs

Winter Wonderland

Fun for all the family, Winter Wonderland is the perfect way to celebrate this Christmas. From the 23rd November to the 5th of January, Hyde Park transforms into London’s most spectacular Christmas destination ensuring hours of festive fun. The park welcomes the most dazzling Christmas markets in London, the UK’s largest ice rink and even its own Bavarian Village, but the fun doesn’t stop there. This free event is bustling with festive attractions including hundreds of rides, a world class circus, and Santa Land for the young at heart.

Winter Wonderland

The Southbank Centre Christmas Market

Experience a traditional German Christmas at The Southbank Centre’s Winter Festival. This December, beautifully lit wooden chalets line the River Thames selling charming gifts, unique jewellery and seasonal ingredients. The Winter Festival is one of the best Christmas markets in London for foodies. Throughout December, visitors are invited to taste delicious cheese, wine and chocolate daily. Also, the festive season welcomes the Chocolate Festival and the Real Food Christmas market ensuring that you enjoy the tastiest treats this Christmas.

Southbank Centre Christmas Market
Winter Festival at the Southbank Centre – Photo by Ged Carroll

The Vintage Christmas Market and Real Ale Festival

Get into the Christmas spirit and head down to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park for a festive extravaganza. From the 6-8th December, the park welcomes one of the only vintage Christmas markets in London. The traditional market stalls promise seasonal goods, fantastic food, and vintage treats. But there’s plenty more for you to enjoy once you’ve shopped – you can grab a drink at the Real Ale Festival or take a ride on the Victorian funfair. Make sure that you visit the roller disco, with festive music and live bands you’ll want to skate the night away.

Christmas Markets in London - Hyde Park's Winter Wonderland

Handmade Christmas Fair at The O2

From the 13-15th December, the O2 is host to one of the most creative markets in London. The Handmade Christmas Fair will showcase beautifully original hand-crafted gifts created by Britain’s most talented designers, hobbyists, and food artisans. Throughout the day visitors are invited to browse the stalls, chat to the experts, or take part in workshops and demos. Whether you’re looking for that truly unique gift or to pick up a delicious festive treat, the Handmade Fair is not to be missed.

Christmas at Kew
Christmas at Kew – The Illuminated Trail. Photo by RBG Kew.

Boutique Christmas Market at Kew Gardens

Visit Kew Gardens this December and experience an enchanted Christmas. For the first time, Kew Gardens is inviting visitors to an illuminated trail through the gardens to explore its beautiful winter landscape. Before embarking on your tour, you’ll have the chance to wander around The Christmas Village. Here you can grab yourself a mulled wine, listen to live carol singing, or visit the trendiest Christmas shopping markets in London. Kew Garden’s Boutique Christmas Market is full of unusual gifts created by local designers, crafters, and food connoisseurs celebrating London’s vibrant market culture.

So if you’re struggling to find your Christmas spirit this December, step away from the tin of chocolate, put down that Home Alone DVD, and make sure you visit one of these Christmas fairs. Not only are they guaranteed to send you into festive frenzy, but they are the perfect way to spend time with your loved ones over the festive season.

Merry Christmas from everyone at Eating London!

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Trying to come up with gift ideas for friends and family?  Why not give the gift of food?  A food tour, that is!  Join us for one of our scrumptious East End walking tours – a winner in any season!

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