Whether you buy into the birthday of baby Jesus, cave in to the commercialisation or attempt an atheistic avoidance of the event, it’s difficult to ignore the shopping when loved ones are angling for gifts. Top load on mince pies and mulled wine and feel the spirit of Christmas shopping filter down to your wallet at these cheerful and often charitable events.
By Buckaroo Kid
The Cologne Christmas Market brings shopping, Santa, Glühwein and Bratwurst to the Southbank by the London Eye between 19 Nov – 23 Dec. Sun-Thurs: 11am-8pm, Fri-Sat: 10am-10pm.
The traditional German Christmas Market returns to Hyde Park on the edges of the Winter Wonderland between 19 Nov – 3 Jan. Entry to the market is free and it’s open 7 days a week between 10am-10pm.
Curtain Up Festive Market raises money for Sands (sudden and neonatal death syndrome) charity with a TV themed shopping experience on Sunday 21st November between 11am and 5pm at St Mary Abbots Centre, Kensington W8 4HN. Entrance £1.50 donation.
Paddington Christmas Market Week runs 29 Nov – 3 Dec with a late night on Weds 1 Dec when Paddington Bear will turn on the Christmas lights on Praed Street at 6pm. Norfolk Square Gardens and Praed Street, W2.
Clerkenwell Christmas Market is hosted by St John’s Ambulance on Friday 3rd Dec in the middle of Smithfield Market, EC1A 9LH between 4-8pm. Free admission but you know you’ll want to buy some mince pies.
Orange Dot Christmas Market at Orange Dot Gallery, 54 Tavistock Place WC1H 9RG combines late night shopping, gallery viewing and mulled wine sipping from Friday 3rd – Saturday 18th Dec at the following times: evenings: Wed / Thurs / Fri: 5pm -8.30pm and all day: Sat & Sun: 11am – 7pm. With a great selection of purse-friendly handcrafted creations, gifts and goodies.
Belgravia Christmas Sunday brings reindeer to Elizabeth Street and Pimlico Road SW1 on 5 December between 11am-4pm, specialising in handmade craftwork.
Brockley and Ladywell Christmas Market happens on Saturday 11 Dec in Coulgate Street next to Brockley Station SE4, midday till 6pm.
Columbia Road Market E2 runs Christmas Wednesdays between 5-9pm on 1st, 8th, 15 and 22 Dec.
Crafty Fox Christmas Pop-up Market will be on at The Dogstar in Brixton, SW2 on Saturday 11 December from 11am-6pm proffering the cream of South London’s local craft makers and designers.
St Katharine’s Dock Christmas Market E1 is open for seasonal edibles between 11am-5pm between 13-17 Dec.
Chelsea Physic Garden is the place to pick up garden paraphernalia and unusual gifts at their 2 day Christmas Fair 27-28 November in a heated marquee in the garden. £5 admission (will get you in both days).
The Bust Craftacular goes Christmassy at York Hall, Bethnal Green E2 9PJ on Sunday 28th November between noon-6pm. Buy something, make something, have tea and cake. Entry £2.
The Alternative Press Fair, also on Sunday 28th November, offers alternative Christmas shopping for comic and zine fans at St. Aloysius’ Social Centre Corner of Eversholt Street and Phoenix Road London NW1 1TA, midday to 6pm.
The Temple Church Christmas Fayre not only helps solve some gift issues but allows you a mooch around Inner Temple Hall, off Strand EC4Y 7HL, a very special place. Tuesday 30 November, midday till 8pm, book £8 tickets in advance (in aid of Temple Church Organ Appeal).
The Red Cross Christmas Fair sells its festive wares with over 70 stalls at Kensington Town Hall, W8 on 2 December, 10am-4.30pm. Entry £5.
The Fair Christmas Fayre is run by the Salvation Army at 275 Oxford Street, W1 on Saturday 4th December, 12-8pm for ethical, green and craftilicious shopping.
We Make London Christmas Fair is also on Saturday 4th December punting handmade things at Chelsea Town Hall, Kings Road, SW2 between 11am-5pm. Adults £2, kids free.
Santa goes to Maggie’s Annual Christmas Fair at Maggie’s Centre, Charing Cross Hospital, Hammersmith W8 on Saturday 4th December too. Open noon-4pm. Entrance £3 for adults, £1 for children (all money goes to Maggie’s London).
Greenies go to the Eco-Design Christmas Fair on Saturday 4th Dec, 10am-5pm and Sunday 5th Dec, 10am-4pm at the Assembly Hall, Islington Town Hall, Upper Street, N1. Entry £2. Concessions £1.
Get gifted up at The Museum of London Festive Fair on Thursday 9 Dec at Museum of London Docklands, West India Quay, Canary Wharf, E14 4AL between 6-9pm with some of the city’s best craftspeople – including Amelia Parker who creates jewellery from fragments of clay pipe stems found along the banks of the River Thames – plus carol singing, mince pies and mulled wine.
The London Wetland Centre’s having a Winter Wonderland Weekend in Barnes, SW13 on 11-12 December with huskies, Santa and wildlife themed shopping.
Cate Halpin tells us that The Outside World Christmas Fair will take place on Monday 13th December, 44 Redchurch Street E2 7DP from 5-9pm with some of the highlights of this year’s amazing shows, including, The Photo£Shop, OLIMAX, michael Hess, Justin Westover and other surprises.
London Review Bookshop opens late on 1st, 7th, 15th and 21st December
Our annual Santa’s Lap series starts in December. Please send suggestions for Londony gifts to email@example.com. Thanks and happy shopping!