It’s one of the festive period’s great ironies that nothing is less likely to foster peace and goodwill amongst humankind than Christmas shopping.
Unless you’re doing it right, that is – because tucked away from all the crowds and mayhem of the high streets are a bounty of wonderfully festive Christmas markets, where the stalls have been hand-picked to provide you with everything you need: interesting stalls selling one-of-a-kind gifts that you actually want to give (and more importantly, someone actually wants to receive); cheering live music; Christmassy snacks and warming winter grog.
So what follows here is a list of the best Christmas markets in London for 2022: pop up villages of traditional Bavarian huts; makers’ markets showcasing hand-made wares; boozy knees-ups (where you might manage to save a bottle or two for someone else) and night markets teeming with mulled wine and wintry street food. In fact, there’s so many markets in this list, you could quite easily spend every day between now and Christmas at a different one.
So if you’re in the market for a little Christmas shopping, read on…
‘Winter Wonderland’ would, frankly, be an embarrassment of a name if it didn’t include an entire transplanted Bavarian village, complete with 100 festoon-lit chalets filled with gifts and decorations, bratwurst, beers served in steins, and live music every night.
Details: 18th November – 2nd January, 10am-10pm | Winter Wonderland, Hyde Park | £5-7.50
Turning Earth Ceramics Christmas Market
East London’s preeminent pottery studios always put on a smashing Christmas market. Some 100 independent ceramics makers will showcase their wares alongside neighbouring furniture makers, vintage stores and plant shops, and there’ll be all the usual live music, demos, mulled wine and street food to put you in the festive mood.
Details: 19th-20th November: Turning Earth Tottenham, 38 Crawley Road, N22 6AG | 3rd-4th December: Turning Earth Leyton, 11 Argyll Avenue, E10 7QE
Tired of pounding the pavements? Hit the KERB. Specifically, the one that’s outside the National Theatre, because over the next few weeks the street food market is taking on a decidedly festive flavour, with stalls hawking raclette, Christmas crumbles and mulled wine…
Details: 24th November – 8th January 2023 | Outside the National Theatre, Upper Ground, South Bank, London SE1 9PX
Chelsea Physic Garden Christmas Fair
As you’d expect from any self-respecting 16th century apothecaries’ garden, there’ll be over 100 stalls popping up amongst the frosted plants and berries of Chelsea Physic Garden this winter, selling homeware, accessories and fancy foodstuffs – plus, a host of hot drinks and festive food to enjoy as you stroll round.
Details: 24th – 27th November, 10am-4pm (3pm Sunday) | Chelsea Physic Garden, 66 Royal Hospital Road, London SW3 4HS | £8, book ahead
Cockpit Makers Market
Over 160 amazingly talented craftspeople are in the driving seat at Cockpit – and over two weekends this winter you’ll be able to browse everything from millinery to Moroccan Zouaq art, while meeting the artists themselves.
Details: 25th – 27th November (Bloomsbury), 2nd – 4th December (Deptford) | Cockpit Yard, Northington Street, London WC1N 2NP | 18-22 Creekside, London SE8 3DZ | £6 advance
Kiln Rooms Christmas Sale
Peckham’s Kiln Rooms counts some 100 ceramic artists amongst its number, and for one weekend you can browse their wares and watch demos in the studio itself (with £1 cups of mulled wine on offer). After which, you can head to Forza Wine or Levan for a little further refreshment…
Details: 25th-27th November, (6-9pm Fri, 11am-5pm Sat & Sun) | Railway Arch 198, Bellenden Road, London, SE15 4QJ and Unit 3, Copeland Park, 133 Rye Lane, London, SE15 3SN | Free, just turn up
The Hackney Christmas Market
Every weekend over the festive season, the railway arches opposite Hackney Central will be filled with over 50 independent traders flogging gifts, homeware, cards and wrapping paper, alongside Christmas cocktail stands, craft workshops and festive food stalls. And on Fridays, there’ll be a festive night market running, with DJs and stalls from over 20 breweries in tow.
Details: 26th November – 18th December, Fri 6-10pm, weekends 12-6pm | Bohemia Place, E8 1DU
Eccleston Yards Market
For a double whammy of festive cheer, this year Belgravia is hosting both an entire city made out of gingerbread, and a Christmas market in the secluded Eccleston Yards, where you’ll be able to browse independent stalls while bopping your head to live music and sipping spiced mulled wine.
Details: 26th & 27th November | Eccleston Yards, 21 Eccleston Place, London SW1W 9AZ
Columbia Road Market Christmas Wednesdays
If you’re looking for an excuse to miss the Sunday morning crowds at Columbia Road flower market, their late Wednesday openings are the perfect opportunity – you’ll find carollers accompanied by a brass quintet, Christmas trees and shops open till 9pm.
Details: Wednesdays from 30th November, 5-9pm | Columbia Road, E2 7RG
Decking its Victorian steel and glass hall with fairy-lights and a giant Norwegian spruce, Canopy Market is opening almost every day for three weeks. You can expect live Christmassy music; a special vegan edition on the opening weekend; and a slew of independent purveyors of food, drink and handmade goods, with an emphasis on artisan makers from the 9th onwards.
Details: 1st – 22nd December, Tues-Sun (plus Mon 19th Dec) | West Handyside Canopy, N1C 4BH
Maltby Street Market is a pretty wondrous sight during the day… but at night the Ropewalks’ Victorian railway arches are beautifully festooned with lights, there are carollers providing a little ambient festiveness, and some barrels of mulled wine adding a little warmth. If you want to get some fancy food & drink for the special people in your life this Christmas, look no further.
Details: 2nd, 9th & 16th December, 5-9pm | Maltby Street Market, SE1 3PA
Hampton Court Palace Festive Fayre
You’d be hard pressed to find a more extravagant setting for a Christmas market than Hampton Court Palace – and this year they’re filling the courtyard with festive food and drink, dozens of stalls selling seasonal gifts, a bandstand with live music,
and jousting. You could even combine it with a little ice skating or their winter lights trail…
Details: 2nd-4th December | Hampton Court Palace, Hampton Court Way, KT8 9AU | £26.10
The Drops Christmas Market
Coal Drops Yard’s monthly market gets a festive edition at the start of December, where you’ll be able to browse hand-made and unique wares from over 40 independent traders. Amongst the confirmed line-up you’ll find the amazing sequin art of Kate Gwilliam, Japanese homeware from Nimi Projects and recycled jewellery by Ara the Altar.
Details: 2nd-4th December (Fri 12-8pm, weekend 11am-6pm) | Coal Drops Yard, London N1C 4DQ
The London Illustration Fair
It’s the biggest artist-led illustration market in the city, where you’ll be able to browse affordable prints from dozens of printmakers and designers to find a truly unique gift for that special someone… and drop heavy hints about what they might get you in return.
Details: 2nd-4th December | Bargehouse, Barge House Street, London SE1 9PH | £13.52
Benk + Bo
This makers’ market generally features hand-crafted jewellery, prints, foodie gifts and more (last year featured Top Cuvée and The Shag Rooms in the line up). Plus there’ll be mulled wine and Scandinavian snacks to keep you powering through.
Details: 3rd December, 11am-5pm | Benk + Bo, –
Crafty Fox Markets
As present-giving D-Day draws ever nearer, you’re going to need the DJs and bars at the Crafty Fox Markets to see you through. Popping up at The Crossing in King’s Cross and street food wonderland Mercato Metropolitano, Crafty Fox showcases a motley crew of independent designers, artists and makers, selling everything from unique illustrations to pottery and textiles.
Details: Mercato Metropolitano (Elephant & Castle): 3rd-4th & 17th-18th December | The Crossing (King’s Cross): 11th December
Peckham’s blessed with a bounty of interesting small businesses, and you’ll conveniently find 100 of them under one roof at Pexmas (alongside mulled wine, Christmas music and street food).
Details: 3rd & 4th December | Copeland Gallery, London, SE15 3SN
Beautiful & Useful Craft Fair
The Garden Museum’s Christmas fair takes its inspiration from William Morris, who famously said you should only own things you either know to be useful or believe to be beautiful. Which basically means you’re going to score a home run with whatever gifts you buy here, from hand-woven baskets to sustainably made knitwear.
Details: 4th December, 10.30am-5pm | The Garden Museum, Lambeth Palace Road, London, SE1 7LB | £7
Mexican Christmas Market
Christmas list lacking pizzazz? Head to Coal Drops Yard where Casa Pastor is hosting a Mexican market, featuring Mexican traders, piñatas, a live Cumbia band, hot chocolate and churros.
Details: 9th-11th December | Casa Pastor, Coal Drops Yard, N1C 4DQ
The Illustrators’ Christmas Fair
Picture this: over 100 talented illustrators and artists hawking their beautiful wares, from zines and T-shirts to wall prints and gift wrap, in the vast canalside playground that is Granary Square in King’s Cross. And once you physically can’t carry any more bags? Take a load off at The Drop or Vermuteria.
Details: 10th December | Granary Building, Granary Square, N1C 4AB | Free entry
DIY Art Market & Christmas Independent Ceramics Market
Day 1: A collection of brilliant print & illustration artists showcasing their exceptionally creative wares. Day 2: another nice little market to potter around, with over 100 stalls from professional ceramicists, students and emerging artists. Oh, and it’s all eminently affordable.
Details: 10th & 11th December | Rich Mix Arts Club, London, England, E1 6LA
The Anti-Christmas Fayre
Know someone who doesn’t like Christmas? Then here’s the perfect place to find them something for Christmas. They’ll have dozens of left-field vendors slinging banned books, taxidermy, creepy curios, vintage jewellery, posters, prints, badges, patches and so much more… including serving up a nice Sunday roast downstairs.
Details: 11th December | Elektrowerkz, 7 Torrens Street, EC1V 1NQ | £3
Borough Market’s Evening of Cheese
Borough Market is getting spruced up (quite literally) with Christmas trees and garlands for the festive season, and – cutting straight to the chase with what everyone really wants from a Christmas market – hosting a night dedicated entirely to cheese, with pairing tips, tastings, and carol singing.
Details: 15th December, 6pm-9pm | Borough Market, 8 Southwark Street, SE1 1TL
London Christmas Beer Festival
Finding that perfect little spot on the Venn-diagram where ‘festive markets’ overlap with ‘limited edition alcohol’, the London Christmas Beer Festival does pretty much exactly what is says on the tin. Or bottle, whatever. It’s taking place at Tobacco Dock in Wapping, and you’ll find over 50 craft barley pop producers vending their cheerful, one-off wares alongside indie cider, spirit & cocktail makers. And just to add a little extra garnish, there’ll be street food from the likes of 10 Greek Street, Tendril and Tacos Padre, plus firepit BBQ from the Tiny Rebel brewery.
Details: 16th & 17th December | Tobacco Dock, Wapping, London E1W 2SF | £20
Hackney Flea-Mas Market
Give festive cheer from yesteryear with the eclectic array of vintage goods – from clothes and accessories to atomic age electronics and mid century furniture – on offer at the Hackney Flea-Mas Market. Plus, they’re dog friendly.
Details: 17th & 18th December, 11am-5pm | Abney Public Hall, 73A Stoke Newington Church Street, N16 0AS
Big Penny Social’s Festive Night Market
‘Twas the week before Christmas, and all through the city, people were going completely feral in Central London, fighting over the last pack of gin crackers. You, meanwhile, could be having a perfectly civilised time at Big Penny Social in Walthamstow, perusing an after-work night market filled with local, independent traders, mulled wine & mince pies.
Details: 19th-23rd December, 6pm-9pm | Big Penny Social, 1 Priestley Way,London, E17 6AL
Old Spitalfields Market has got your Christmas shopping all wrapped up. They’ve got over 50 independent makers hawking their wares every Wednesday between now and the big day, with mulled wine stands, street food, and giant, twinkling wreaths adding to the festive air.
Details: Urban Makers market every Wednesday, 10am-5pm | Old Spitalfields Market, 16 Horner Square, E1 6EW
Kingston Christmas Market
They say you are what you eat.
And if you’re a fan of German sausage, that officially makes you the wurst.
But it also means you’ll have a whale of a time at the Kingston Christmas market, where German street food will be served up alongside mulled wine, live music, a vintage carousel, curling, a candy cane forest, and a sprawling colony of market stalls selling handcrafted wares.
Details: Until 2nd January | Kingston Market Place, Kingston-Upon Thames, KT1 1JS | Book curling here
Southbank Winter Market
Huddled under the (less-than-picturesque) Hungerford Bridge is the Southbank Centre’s winter market; two rows of festoon-lit huts hawking hot food and festive drinks. Stock up on fondue, toasted marshmallows or a hot toddy, and it’ll warm your cockles as you check out the Southbank’s winter light trail.
Details: Until 26th December, open daily 11am-10pm (11pm Fri/Sat) | Southbank Centre Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX
Christmas By The River
Keep walking far enough from the Southbank market, and you’ll come to Christmas by the river; another Bavarian-inspired market with twinkly huts selling street food and handcrafted gifts. There’s a couple of pop up bars serving the requisite mulled wine, hot toddies and winter cocktails, as well as pop up choir performances and free festive film screenings on Tuesdays & Thursdays.
Details: Until 2nd January, 11am-9pm (10pm Thurs-Sat) | London Bridge City, SE1
Looking for even more festivity? Check out our guide to the best London ice rinks
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