Throughout London, lively, quirky, and glittery Christmas Markets take centre stage in spreading seasonal happiness. There is no better venue to impart a festive vibe to your holiday season than Christmas markets in London! The December Market held in Vienna in the middle ages (1292) is regarded as the predecessor of the Christmas Market, which initially just offered meat and ordinary items.
The first “Christkindlmarkt” with seasonal food, decorations, and crafts was documented in 1384. In Germany. As they developed in popularity, adopting a festival and gift-giving attitude, churches encouraged the markets to be hosted nearby with the goal of growing their congregations but instead found themselves competing for attendance. When gift-giving became an annual event, the Christmas Market exploded in popularity.
Christmas markets are a beautiful location to explore and shop for souvenirs, spend time with friends and family, eat delicious cuisine, and get into the Christmas mood! In addition, Christmas markets include some of the greatest Christmas light displays in London, with tens of thousands of dazzling lights dancing and twinkling all around.
Since Lincoln hosted the first conventional Christmas Market in the United Kingdom in 1982, the number of locations hosting their brand of market has grown year after year, providing more options for companies and tourists alike. London hosts some of the best Christmas Markets in the UK.
What is the best way to celebrate the holiday season in London?
Visit the craft-filled wooden stalls, see Christmas carolers perform, or just enjoy the lights at these charmingly festive markets.
Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park
Hyde Park, one of the capital’s eight Royal Parks, is a favourite site for both Londoners and visitors. It spans 350 acres and is home to several iconic sites, such as Serpentine Lake, Speakers’ Corner, and the Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain.
Make a day of it by arriving early to tour the park and ending the day on a high note with a visit to Winter Wonderland. Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park offers a fantasy ice kingdom, many foods and shopping booths, and more. There’s something for everyone in the family, from performances for very young children to some terrifying-looking roller coasters for older youngsters.
Southbank Centre Winter Market
The South Bank is gorgeous all year, but it’s especially nice for Christmas if you want to bypass the frenetic throngs of downtown London’s High Street shopping for something a little more charming. The fragrance of hot food and mulled wine fills the air as you browse the vendors at the riverbank Christmas market. Warming street food favourites include truffle burgers, duck wraps, lobster rolls, and gourmet cheese toasties, as well as sweet delicacies like toasted marshmallows, Dutch pancakes, and hot cocoa.
This year, you can warm up at Jimmy’s Winter Lodge, which has heated riverbank snow globes for al fresco cheese fondue sessions without the chill. Beltane & Pop, located farther down, will have you covered for cider, mulled wine, and hot toddies. If you want to try your hand at a traditional winter activity, head to the alpine-themed pop-up, The Curling Club. The annual Southbank Winter Christmas Market is on from 3rd November 2022 until 8th January 2023
Finnish Church Christmas Fair
The Finnish Church in London is a friendly church and community for all Finns who live in the United Kingdom and Ireland (permanently or temporarily), as well as their friends and relatives—and all friends of Finland!
The Finnish Church Christmas Fair is a great opportunity to pick up some Nordic cuisine, presents, and warm glasses of Glögg.
The fair is open from Friday, November 25th, through Sunday, December 2nd–4th. The hours of operation are Friday noon to 8pm, and Saturday and Sunday noon to 6 p.m.
Covent Garden Christmas Markets
It doesn’t get much more festive than Covent Garden’s yearly 60-foot Christmas tree adorned with over 115,000 colourful lights. Head down to view it in all its splendour, and while you’re there, see the enchanting Christmas Village strewn throughout the market building’s East Piazza.
Browse the artisan booths for Christmas gifts, warm up with one of the 25 kinds of mulled wine on sale, and assure a white Christmas with the daily artificial snow showers. There’s even talk of a Christmas Sandwich Festival…
Hundreds of thousands of shimmering lights adorn Covent Garden, home to three daily markets selling homemade goods and one-of-a-kind Christmas presents. Other nearby events include the Winter Warmer Festival (8–20 November), festive-themed photo ops, and even a daily snowfall.
Covent Garden Christmas Markets are open from November 8th, 2022, and the entrance is free.
Trafalgar Square Christmas Market
This year, Trafalgar Square will not only boast the massive Christmas tree (an annual gift from the wonderful people of Norway to thank the U.K. for assistance during the war), but there will also be a Christmas Market in Trafalgar Square for the first time.
On the top tier of Trafalgar Square, immediately in front of the National Gallery, there is a line of around 25 to 30 Christmas market booths and festive huts, with an outdoor drinking and dining area overlooking the main square. This is a great addition to Trafalgar Square and a great place to buy handcrafted Christmas gifts and eat holiday food.
The Christmas market opens on November 11 and runs through January 2.
Leicester Square Christmas Market
Every winter, a wonderful holiday pop-up appears right in the heart of one of London’s most famous venues, complete with a full-fledged Leicester Square Christmas Market, seasonal lights, numerous food and drink options, and entertainment selected by Underbelly. For the 2022 winter season, Leicester Square hosts its famous Christmas Market from November 9 to January 7.
The major draw is the alternative circus and cabaret play “La Clique,” which will take up residence in a massive tent for eight weeks in 2022 with a whole new cast. When ‘La Clique’ isn’t on (from Wednesday to Sunday and certain Tuesdays), there are a slew of other kid-friendly activities scheduled, such as ‘Baby Loves Disco’ and “The Bubble Show.” Tickets for “La Clique” start at £21,00.
The Leicester Square Christmas Market is free to attend. Tickets for any performances or activities will, of course, be extra.
Each Christmas Event in London is unique. Everyone, young and old, should go to the Christmas markets and take a stroll through the streets lined with booths that are decorated for the holiday. Allow yourself to get swept up in the amazing world of colourful and festive London Christmas Markets and become overwhelmed by the Christmas spirit.
Almost all Christmas markets are held outside, so dress comfortably and warmly. There will also be plenty of food to sample, so come hungry. It’s an excellent idea to eat there for supper because there will be plenty of hot food and drinks to select from. Furthermore, because it will be dark, the mood will be lovely with all the lights and decorations.
Apart from the above-mentioned locations, there are many more Christmas Markets to choose from in London. Some of them are Chelsea Physic Garden Christmas Fair, Christmas Independent Ceramics Market, Fulham Palace Christmas Fair, Christmas At Portobello, Cockpit Makers Market, DIY Christmas Art Market, Pexmas and Crafty Fox Markets.
Regardless of where you decide to go, one thing is sure: You will have a wonderful time visiting a Christmas Market!