If you hate mulled wine, twinkly lights and talented artisans, look away now.
Because what follows is a list of Christmas markets and fairs that are exceedingly full of festive cheer. There’s pop up villages of traditional Bavarian huts; fleeting marketplaces 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 warming grog and wintry street food. In fact, there’s so many, 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…
Selfridges Christmas Market
Not one to be outdone, Selfridges is enhancing its market of hand-crafted wares and Selfridges stocking fillers with a forest of sustainably grown Christmas trees for sale, bottled mulled wine from Top Cuvée, blowtorched marshmallow hot chocolate by Chin Chin, a giant helter skelter and a street food offering curated by the founder of Street Feast.
Details: Until 24th December | Edwards Mews, at the rear of Selfridges London | Free entry, but book ahead here to guarantee entry
Eccleston Yards Market
For a triple whammy of festive cheer, Belgravia will be home to a Christmas lights trail, 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: Sundays from 14th November, then weekends in December | Eccleston Yards, 21 Eccleston Place, London SW1W 9AZ
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’ll be two pop up bars for this year serving the requisite mulled wine, hot toddies and winter cocktails, as well as private chalets for hire and festive film screenings to be announced soon – find out what’s on HERE.
Details: 16th November – 2nd January, 11am-9pm (10pm Fri/Sat) | London Bridge City, SE1
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, fire-pits for marshmallow toasting, and a sprawling colony of market stalls selling crafted wares.
Details: 18th November – 24th December, 10am-6pm (8pm Thurs-Sat) | Kingston Market Place, Kingston-Upon Thames, KT1 1JS
One of our all-time venues in London, Barge East has steadily expanded from being a restaurant on a barge to having a canalside terrace, a street food caravan and a miniature garden where they grow some of their own ingredients. And over winter they’re bringing back the Wick Wonderland market they held last year, with a clutch of independent stalls and Christmas trees up for grabs by the waterside. And we’ll just say this – bottomless mulled wine brunch.
Details: Weekends from 19th November | Barge East, 98 White Post Lane, Hackney Wick, London, E9 5EN
London Christmas Beer Market
Finding that perfect little spot on the Venn-diagram where ‘festive markets’ overlap with ‘limited edition alcohol’, the London Christmas Beer Market does pretty much exactly what is says on the tin. Or bottle, whatever. It’s taking place at the Truman Brewery, and you’ll find 70 craft barley pop producers vending their cheerful, one-off wares. And just to add a little extra garnish, there’ll be DJs, street food, and gift stalls to boot.
Details: 19th & 20th November | Truman Brewery, 83 Brick Lane, E1 6QR | £20
‘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. READ MORE
Details: 19th November – 3rd January 2022, 10am-10pm | Winter Wonderland, Hyde Park | £5-7.50
Chelsea Physic Garden Christmas Fair
As you’d expect from any self-respecting 16th century apothecaries’ garden, there’ll be dozens of stalls popping up here amongst the frosted plants and berries this winter, selling homeware, accessories and fancy foodstuffs – plus, a whole avenue of hot drinks and festive food to enjoy as you stroll round.
Details: 25th – 28th November | Chelsea Physic Garden, 66 Royal Hospital Road, London SW3 4HS | £7, book ahead
Cockpit Makers Market
Over 150 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: 26th – 28th November (Holborn), 3rd – 5th December (Deptford) | Cockpit Yard, Northington Street, London WC1N 2NP | 18-22 Creekside, London SE8 3DZ | £6 advance/£8 OTD
Bohemia Place Market
Every weekend, the railway arches opposite Hackney Central are filled with over 50 independent traders flogging gifts, homeware, cards and wrapping paper, alongside hot toddy stalls, pine trees, craft workshops and festive food stands. Plus, it all kicks off with a special festive edition of their Black-Owned markets on 26th-28th November.
Details: 26th November – 19th December, Fri 4-10pm, weekends 11am-6pm | Bohemia Place, E8 1DU
The Maltby Street Market is already pretty decent 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: Fridays from 26th November – 17th December, 6-10pm | Maltby Street Market, SE1 3PA
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; free festive workshops and tastings; a special vegan market; a slew of independent purveyors of food, drink and handmade goods; and even a gift crafting weekend as it gets closer to the big day.
Details: 26th November – 23rd December (Tues-Sun, plus Mon 20th Dec) | West Handyside Canopy, N1C 4BH
Lower Stable Street Christmas Market
The arches running alongside Coal Drops Yard are getting stuffed with festivity for a few weekends – the line up of 40+ traders changes each time, but you can expect stalls from the likes of Kindred (zines, books and records); artisan pickle and hot-sauce makers Good Morning Neighbour & Kold Sauce; plus artwork from students at the neighbouring Central St. Martins.
Details: Fri-Sun 12-6pm, between 26th November – 19th December | Lower Stable Street, Kings Cross, London N1C 4LW
Independent Label Market
Sort out gifts for the beer lover and vinyl lover in your life in one go at the Independent Label Market, which is teaming up with the London Brewers’ Market to bring you the best of both worlds. You’ll find new releases from indie recording studios as well as merch, test pressings and rare finds (Hot Chip, Erol Alkan and Gilles Peterson have all popped down to man their own stalls previously); while on the beer side you’ll be able to chat to the producers themselves while scooping up some suds. Plus, the whole thing’ll be soundtracked by live music and DJs, and there’s an after-party at Spiritland.
Details: 27th November, 11am-6.30pm | Coal Drops Yard, London N1C 4DQ
Kiln Rooms Christmas Sale
Peckham’s Kiln Rooms counts some 80-100 ceramic artists amongst its number, and for one weekend you can browse their wares in the studio itself. After which, you can head to Forza Wine or Mike’s for a little refreshment…
Details: 27th – 28th November, 10am-6pm | Railway Arch 198, Bellenden Road, London, SE15 4QJ and Unit 3, Copeland Park, 133 Rye Lane, London, SE15 3SN | Free, just turn up
Wild by Tart Christmas Fair
Wild by Tart are known for their fantastic cooking, so it’s really worth coming here for the choux buns, chocolate pecan brownies and mulled wine alone. The fact that there’ll also be a dozen hand-picked traders, gin cocktails and live music is just a bonus, really.
Details: 27th – 28th November, 10am-6pm | Wild by Tart, 3-4 Eccleston Yards, London SW1W 9AZ | £2 donation on the door, just turn up
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): 4th & 5th December; Downstairs at The Department Store (Brixton): 27th & 28th November; The Crossing (King’s Cross): 19th December
Spitalfields Market has got your Christmas shopping all wrapped up. They’ve got over 50 traders hawking their wares every day between now and the big day, with mulled wine stands, street food, and three giant, twinkling wreaths adding to the festive air.
Details: Open daily | Old Spitalfields Market, 16 Horner Square, E1 6EW
Hackney Bridge Festive Markets
Over the festive season Hackney Bridge is running markets on Thursday evenings and on Saturdays, where you can scoop up Christmas decorations; handmade wreaths; mulled wine and gifts from ceramics to jewellery.
Details: Thursdays 5-9pm and Saturdays 9am-4pm throughout December | Hackney Bridge
Christmas on the Hill
If you’re ready to branch out with your Christmas tree this year, look no further than Christmas on the Hill, who rent out living Christmas trees year after year to help reduce the number going to landfill. You can even call dibs on your one again for the following year, so you’ve basically adopted it.
Details: 1st – 22nd December | Alexandra Palace Park, Alexandra Palace Way, London, N22 7AY
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 (this year accompanied by a brass quintet), Christmas trees and shops open till 9pm.
Details: 1st, 8th, 15th & 22nd December, 5-9pm | Columbia Road, E2 7RG
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…
Details: 3rd – 5th December | Hampton Court Palace, Hampton Court Way, KT8 9AU | £25.30
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 colourful stocking fillers from Evka Home; one-off dresses made from vintage quilts at Freya Simmone; and graphic art from East End Prints.
Details: 3rd – 5th December | Coal Drops Yard, London N1C 4DQ
Benk + Bo
This makers’ market features hand-crafted jewellery, prints, foodie gifts and more, with 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: 4th December, 12-6pm | Benk + Bo, –
Christmas Graphic Art Fair
This market from independent artist collective They Made This is the poster child for graphic art fairs,. You’ll be able to browse affordable prints from 50 global printmakers and designers, as well as net a prize in the art tombola, have a go at screen printing, and commission your own bespoke print.
Details: 4th & 5th December | Protein Studios, 31 New Inn Yard, London, EC2A 3EY
Turning Earth Ceramics Christmas Market
East London’s preeminent pottery studios are back in action after two difficult years, and they’re celebrating the opening of their third studio (in Haringey) with two weekends of Christmas markets. Some 150 independent ceramics makers will showcase their wares, and there’ll be the usual live music, mulled wine and street food to put you in the festive mood.
Details: 4th-5th December: Turning Earth Leyton, 11 Argyll Avenue, E10 7QE | 18th-19th December: Turning Earth Haringey, 38 Crawley Road, N22 6AG
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-turned wooden bowls to sustainably made planters.
Details: 5th December | The Garden Museum, Lambeth Palace Road, London, SE1 7LB | £6
Peckham’s blessed with a bounty of interesting small businesses, and you’ll conveniently find them under one roof at Pexmas (alongside mulled wine, Christmas music and festive workshops).
Details: 10th – 12th December | Copeland Gallery, London, SE15 3SN
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 mariachi band, hot chocolate and traditional sweet bread.
Details: 10th – 12th December | Casa Pastor, Coal Drops Yard, N1C 4DQ
Green Rooms Market
If you love a wrapping challenge, you should head to Green Rooms Market. You’ll find hundreds of indoor and outdoor plants on sale as well as terrariums, pots and hangers – plus, they’re popping up at Mercato Metropolitano which means you’ll have plenty of choice for mid-market sustenance.
Details: 11th & 12th December, 11am-5pm | Mercato Metropolitano, –
Go East Vintage Flea
This brand new flea market is popping up at Leyton warehouse Patchworks this December, with an appropriate patchwork of midcentury furniture, vintage clothing and bric-a-brac on sale. They’re also stepping up the market fare ante with mulled wine, wood-fired pizza and roasted chestnuts.
Details: 12th December, 11am-5pm | Patchworks, 258 Church Road, Leyton E10 7JQ
Christmas Independent Ceramics Market
Here’s a nice little market to potter around: you’ll find over 100 different traders here, from professional ceramicists to students and emerging artists – and it’s all eminently affordable.
Details: 12th December | Truman’s Social Club, 1 Priestley Way, E17 6AL
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: 12th December | Elektrowerkz, 7 Torrens Street, EC1V 1NQ | £3
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-8pm | Borough Market, 8 Southwark Street, SE1 1TL
The London Artisan
Nothing beats giving your loved one a thoughtful, hand-made gift. And if it was hand-made by somebody who really knows what they’re doing, all the better. The London Artisan gathers dozens of designer-makers in one place, and you’ll even be able to commission bespoke products if you can’t find the perfect gift.
Details: 18th – 19th December, 11am-6pm | Old Truman Brewery, Entrance in Ely’s Yard, Off Hanbury Street, London, E1 6QR
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: 18th & 19th December | Abney Public Hall, 73A Stoke Newington Church Street, N16 0AS
Southbank Winter Market
The Southbank Centre’s putting on a slightly smaller market than usual this year – we counted two stalls selling (very beautiful) gifts, while the other huts are hawking hot food and festive drinks. It’s packed in beneath Hungerford Bridge and had some fairly long queues on a Saturday night – maybe a market best saved for when you’re in the area, and fancy something warm to enjoy while checking out the Southbank’s light trail.
Details: Until 24th December, open daily 11am-10pm (11pm Fri/Sat) | Southbank Centre Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX
Main image: Canopy Market, King’s Cross
Still not feeling festive enough? Check out our guide to the best London ice rinks