London Winter Markets For 2012

Tired already at the prospect of another last minute Christmas shopping shuffle in between the Oxford Circus crowds, all just to settle on an uninspired bath set? Set your sights on some of London’s best winter markets for some unique gift ideas or just amble along with a mug of mulled wine and quiet feeling of yuletide merriment. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah or Elvis’s birthday there are some great markets to visit throughout November and December.

We Make London Christmas Show
We Make London takes over the inside of Battersea Arts Centre for a much anticipated Designer-Maker show of affordable home-made handy-crafts. There’s a cafe, crèche, and a range of workshops including tote bag screen printing and the opportunity to make your own festive fascinator. 1 December, 11am-5pm (free)

Belgravia Christmas Sunday
Elizabeth Street and Pimlico Road are transformed into a wonderland of winter celebrations, with craft stalls, balloon modellers and carols. Be sure to catch the traditional brass band, so it really feels like Christmas. 2 December, 12pm-5pm (free)

Winter’s Most Wanted
Fashionistas looking to stock up their winter wardrobes can get some extra inspiration as leading brands host fashion shows and showcase ideas at Canary Wharf’s annual festive shopping event. There’s the opportunity to save up to 20% and snag a free goodie bag in the process. 29 November, 9am-8pm (free)

Petersham Nurseries Candlelit Christmas Market and Carols
Those looking for some authentic candlelit Christmas cheer can head on down to twinkling lights of Petersham Nurseries. Partake in a bit of Christmas shopping while cracking into some roast chestnuts, all to the sounds of the local choir. There’s nothing to make you feel more festive than a garden centre at Christmas. 5 and 12 December, 6pm-9pm (free)

Royal College of Art Christmas Fete
The Royal College hosts its first ever Christmas market with work on show from former and current students. A great opportunity to pick up a truly unique Christmas gift from artists specialising in all mediums from jewellery to ceramics to print. There are plenty of refreshments on sale too. 6-9 December, noon-7pm, Saturday and Sunday, 12pm-5pm (free)

Chatsworth Road Christmas Market
Roam freely and festively across a pedestrianised Chatsworth Road as it presents a range of stalls and street food. There’ll be the usual vintage offerings as well as sample sales with clothes donated from Topshop/Topman. 11 December, 11am – 4pm (free)

Real Food Christmas Market
Weary Christmas shoppers can indulge in a bit of culinary R&R at Southbank’s bountiful food market. There’ll be mince pies, cheese and chutneys galore, all washed down with a few lashings of mulled wine of course. 14-16 December, 12pm-6pm (free)

Festive Feast Indoor Market
What better location to take the stress out of Christmas shopping than the beautiful stone walls of Clisshold House? There’s plenty of mulled wine and stalls to browse though, all inside the newly restored mansion house. 7-8 December, 10.30am-3pm (free)

Red Cross Christmas Fair
Shop in the name of a good cause at over 70 luxury stalls nestled in Kensington Town Hall/ Book in advance and be entered into a champagne prize draw. 29 November, 10am-4pm (£4 in advance, £5 on the door)

Christmas Kensal Flea
The fabulous interior of the Paradise Pub will be the venue for a range of stalls displaying vintage fashions, homewares, cakes and more. Profits from the door will go towards the Kids Company charity. 24 November, 12pm-5pm (£1)

Secret Emporium’s Christmas Market
Shoreditch warehouse, Factory 7, turns into a urban winter bazaar showcasing wares from the best of British independent designers. Christmas markets don’t get any more stylish than this. 15-16 December, 10:30am-8pm (free)

Eel Pie Island Christmas Open Studios
Well known for its association with legendary movers and shakers of the music world such as David Bowie and The Rolling Stones, Eel Pie Island flings open its studio doors, all in the name of Christmas. Browse an array of stalls selling arts and crafts for the home and garden. 8-9 December, 10:30am-6.30pm (free)

The Social’s Christmas Market
Situated in the upstairs bar, arts and culture website Caught by the River and will host a shop filled with books, maps and records as well as an exciting range of exclusive clothing and accessories from independent retailers. There’s a fully stocked bar including a special Social Christmas ale, hot food and impromptu DJs. From 1 December and each Saturday until Christmas, 12pm-6pm (free)

Christmas Fair at The Water Poet Spitalfields
A merry Hackney extravaganza of ukulele sing-a-longs, wild boar roasts and local ales. Be sure to bring along your most flamboyant festive jumper too, as there’ll be prizes for the best and worst. If you fancy a bit of a sit down after all that, check out the Underground Picturehouse, which is screening much-loved seasonal favourites all day. 1 December, 12pm-7pm (free)

Norwegian Christmas Fair
Pick up some truly wintry gifts at this annual celebration of all things Norwegian. There’s even a traditional gløgg to warm up on. It’s also an excellent opportunity to fill up of a delicious range of Scandinavian foods from caviar to cloudberry jam. 23-25 November, 11am-5pm (free)

Kilburn to Kensal Winter Market at The Albert
A great chance to pick up some unique and sustainable gifts from local artists and traders. There’s a whole programme of family fun including ping-pong to letter writing to Santa, while the night market offers workshops and shopping for adults – fuelled by various mulled delights. There’s some rather alluring street food on offer too. Every Saturday from 1–15 December, 11am-3pm, night markets 6 and 13 December, 5pm-10pm (free)

Finnish Church Christmas Fair
Rummage through the quaint faux-snow topped stalls to find a range of gift ideas from jewellery to furniture. There’s a well-stocked array of Christmas decorations to have your house looking like the set of Santa Claus: The Movie in no time. 23-30 November, 10.30am-6pm, Sundays noon-6pm (free)

Horniman Museum Fayre
There are thousands of ethical gifts for sale across a whole weekend of festive cheer. The market, Christmas carolling and a Santa’s grotto all take place against the backdrop of the Horniman’s stunning Victorian conservatory. 8-9 December, 10.30am-5.30pm (free)

By Jodie Shepley

Photo by mumphalee from the Londonist Flickr pool

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  • the swede

    How about the swedish chirch christmas market? http://vimeo.com/33750858

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