When you think of London, no doubt images of cobbled streets, busy markets, and the sound of street vendors spring to mind. Borough Market, Greenwich Market, Portobello Road, Brick Lane – there are literally hundreds of markets scattered around the capital, and during Christmas time they all know exactly how to celebrate in a quintessentially British manner.
If you’re looking for some stocking fillers this year, look no further than London’s street stalls. Whether you’re after some new decorations, festive food or hand-crafted gifts, these six fairs and markets are definitely worth a visit.
Dusty Fingers German Winter Wonderland
The Dusty Fingers Christmas market couldn’t get any more traditional. This year it will set up around Hackney’s beautiful Round Chapel, and as always, will have a wide selection of stalls selling everything from vintage arts and crafts and home wares to authentic German cuisine. Along with Santa’s grotto and a lot of fake snow, it’ll also be housing an outdoor movie theatre. This will project black and white Christmas movies onto the walls for those who want to simply relax, take in the atmosphere, and warm their bones with a shot of mulled wine.
Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland
No trip to London during the Christmas season would be complete without visiting Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland. Here you’ll find over 200 chalets selling traditional handmade arts and crafts, culinary delicacies, fancy decorations, and everything in between. If you want to do some last minute shopping – and experience a few heart pumping rides in the process – it’s definitely worth checking out.
Southbank Christmas Market
The Southbank is one of the most iconic districts of London and from the 5th November it’ll be one of the hottest spots in the city. The Winter Festival features live music shows, circus performances and festive burlesque dancing; and to top it all off, in the heart of it all will be a pleasant little Christmas markets with stalls serving everything from Scandinavian cakes to German sausages until the 5th January.
Kew Gardens Christmas Market
If you’re looking for a fair that’s away from the hustle and bustle of the city, Kew Gardens will tick all the right boxes. This boutique market will be tucked away among the woodland, and will house Santa’s grotto, a Victorian carousel and plenty of stalls serving hot drinks and tasty treats. For a family friendly day out, without hoards of Londoners or tourists getting in the way, there’s simply nothing better.
Hyper Japanese Christmas Market
The Hyper Japanese Christmas Market is probably one of the most intriguing markets of all. It’s surprising how much Christmas celebrations can vary across different cultures, so if you want to try something new, pop by for some traditional Japanese cuisine and entertainment. Aside from stalls selling festive food and exotic gifts, this year’s event will have martial arts performances, nail art workshops, and even Taiko drumming.
White Christmas Fair
The White Christmas Fair in Battersea has over 40 stalls stocked with decorations, wreaths, trees, greeting cards and jewellery. Highlights include the legendary Doodle Bar, which will be set up inside and serving mulled wine and snacks, and the London Distillery Company, which will be providing whisky sampling and tours. All-in-all the White Christmas fair is fairly small and charming in comparison to the others; however, that doesn’t make it any less special.