London's Best Christmas Markets And Festive Fairs

Last Updated 12 July 2024

London's Best Christmas Markets And Festive Fairs
Christmas markets London 2023: Winter Wonderland at night with wooden chalets decorated with fairy lights in the foreground and the fairground rides illuminated in the background.
Hyde Park Winter Wonderland is back - with a slightly different Christmas market this year.

Whether you want to get your Christmas shopping done, or you're looking to buy festive treats and Christmas decorations, London's many festive markets and fairs are the place to be. They're a great chance to shop small and support local and independent businesses. Below is our pick of London's best Christmas markets for 2023 — note that some require advanced booking.

Central London Christmas markets and fairs 2023

The Southbank Centre Christmas market, with wooden chalets and fairy lights alongside the river
The Winter Market at Southbank Centre can get very busy. Image: India Roper Evans

SOUTHBANK CENTRE WINTER MARKET: Once again, wooden chalets and twinkling lights pop up alongside the Thames for Southbank Centre's Winter Market. It usually focuses mainly on food and drink — think mulled wine, hot chocolate and street food — with a few craft traders in the mix too. Be aware that the area tends to get VERY busy, particularly over the weekends, so consider visiting on a weekday or earlier in the season if you can. FREE entry, 2 November-26 December

BETWEEN THE BRIDGES: Following a few successful summer outings, south-London based creative hub SoLo Craft Fair returns to Between The Bridges for a series of Christmas markets. Head for the events venue — between the London Eye and the Hungerford Bridge — on selected Sundays to browse products by up to 60 different makers each time. BTB has plenty of bars and street food traders too, so mulled wine and the like should be readily available. 12, 19, 26 November and 3, 10, 17 December

LEICESTER SQUARE (AND TRAFALGAR SQUARE): Once again, Underbelly brings festive circus show La Clique to Leicester Square, encased in a traditional spiegeltent, alongside which you'll find the Christmas in Leicester Square market, with bars, food and drink and craft stalls. The market spills over into nearby Trafalgar Square too. 8 November-7 January

WINTER BY THE RIVER: Previously known as Christmas by the River, the renamed Winter by the River looks to be offering the same as its predecessor. Taking place in the area known as London Bridge City (between London and Tower Bridges, on the South Bank) offers market stalls selling gifts and treats, along with pop-up bars and entertainment including themed karaoke rooms and live choir performances. FREE entry, 14 November-1 January

Christmas markets London 2023: crowds walking past wooden huts strewn with fairy lights on South Bank
Take a festive stroll through the Southbank Centre Winter Market. © Pete Woodhead

HYDE PARK WINTER WONDERLAND: If you like your Christmas shopping with a side of rides, theatre shows, and even an ice rink, then Hyde Park Winter Wonderland is where it's at. There's a little bit of a change in the Christmas market this year, as it's been taken over by Underbelly, the company behind Christmas in Leicester Square (above), who replace the German-style chalets with a brand new Scandinavian themed Market Square. Be warned though — it gets HECTIC, particularly on evenings and weekends closer to Christmas. If you're just there for the Christmas market, enter via the Blue Gate. Note the entry procedures introduced in 2021 still apply, including an entry fee of £5-£7.50 if you're visiting in peak times (it's still free entry off-peak). 17 November-1 January

CHARTERHOUSE CHRISTMAS FAIR: The beautiful Charterhouse in Clerkenwell hosts its Christmas fair once again. Seasonal refreshments, accessories, crafts, clothes and homewares are available. It takes place on a Tuesday, so is likely to be less busy than other Christmas markets. 21 November

SKY GARDEN CHRISTMAS MARKET: Pair Christmas shopping with incredible views, and head for the Christmas market at the Sky Garden  It's a one-off event, run by the SoLo Craft Fair team (also running the Between The Bridges markets, above), and features 20 London-based makers selling art, fashion, homeware and more on the 36th floor of the Walkie-Talkie. FREE entry but you must book a Sky Garden ticket in advance. 9 December

North London Christmas markets and fairs 2023

Christmas markets London 2023: people browsing a ceramics stall at the DIY Art Market
The DIY Christmas Art Market pitches up in Peckham (details below)

COUNTRY LIVING MAGAZINE CHRISTMAS FAIR: Expect high-end goods aplenty at the Country Living Magazine Christmas Fair at the Business Design Centre in Islington, which caters for all aspects of the festivities — think jewellery, gin, cheese, textiles, artworks. There's also a full programme full of talks and workshops, where you can make your own felted baubles or reindeer bunting. 8-11 November

KING'S CROSS: Independent makers are celebrated at the TOAST Festive Market at Coal Drops Yard in King's Cross during weekends in the run-up to Christmas. The line-up of stalls changes each week but at some point will include jewellery designers Corrie Williamson and Sally Lacock, ceramic artists Bert Jones and Grace McCarthy, and leather workers Kate Sheridan and Francli Craftwear. Saturday 2 December is a special edition, with maker demonstrations, live performances and other entertainment. 16 November-17 December (Thursday-Sunday only)

FORTY HALL CHRISTMAS FAYRE: Forty Hall in Enfield hosts a three-day Christmas fayre — both inside the period rooms and out in the courtyard — showcasing local businesses. Mulled wine and mince pies are available to guzzle while you browse. 24-26 November

ANTIXMAS: And now for something completely different. Satanic Flea Market is holding its AntiChristmas Fayre (in Angel of all places), peddling taxidermy, spooky toys, occult books and the unusual like. We went along to one of these events last year, and found everyone to be quite lovely. Good place to find original gifts too. 10 December

CRAFTY FOX CHRISTMAS MARKET: We're fans of Crafty Fox markets, which give local artists and craftspeople a place to sell their wares. It has its usual markets going on throughout the rest of the year, so there are plenty of chances to shop local and support independent, but the special Christmas Market takes place in King's Cross in mid-December. Stalls tend to chop and change every year, with a mixture of jewellery, ceramics, homewares, beauty products, textiles and cards. We've never left empty-handed. FREE entry, 16-17 December

South London Christmas markets and fairs 2023

Christmas markets London 2023: customers chatting to stallholders at the Bow Arts Christmas Market
Bow Arts hosts a Christmas market in Royal Docks (details below)

BLACKHEATH CHRISTMAS FAIR: The Friends of Age Exchange hold their 10th annual Blackheath Christmas Fair at Blackheath Halls, selling books, jewellery, gifts, food and drink. Money raised goes back to the charity. 19 November

FULHAM PALACE CHRISTMAS FAIR: Do your Christmas shopping in the grounds and rooms of Fulham Palace. There's a special adults-only preview evening on the Friday night, before the fair opens to everyone on the Saturday and Sunday. Browse small business stalls selling gifts and food items, tuck into festive refreshments including mince pies and mulled wine, enjoy performances by local choirs in the courtyard, and keep the kids occupied with face painting, swing boats and craft events. 1-3 December

THE GARDEN MUSEUM: The Beautiful & Useful Craft Fair at the Garden Museum in Lambeth has an emphasis on supporting British designer-makers, with a carefully curated selection of small businesses selling their products. Ceramic pots, botanical paintings, and jewellery are the specialities of some of the producers already signed up. 3 December

PECKHAM: A festive edition of the DIY Art Market pitches up at Copeland Park in Peckham, showcasing work by 150 up-and-coming artists and makers. Browse art prints, ceramics, zines, sculptures, jewellery, sewn items, and much more — with mince pies and mulled wine available to enjoy as you browse. 9 December

East London Christmas markets and fairs 2023

Christmas markets London 2023: Two stallholders posing in front of their artworks at a Bow Arts market
Image courtesy Bow Arts, © Rob Harris

WALTHAMSTOW: Christmas begins in mid-November at Big Penny Social, with its Christmas Maker's Market. Focus is on shopping small and local in a traditional craft market setting, with illustration, vintage bric-a-brac, plants, jewellery, sustainable products, food, ceramics and candles among the products on offer. Tickets are available for various time slots throughout the day to try to spread the crowds out, but once you're in, you can stay for as long as you like. 12 November

ROYAL DOCKS: Open the first door of your advent calendar, then head down to Royal Albert Wharf for the Bow Arts makers' market, with local artists selling their wares and running art workshops so that everyone can have a go. FREE entry, 1 December

KINGDOM OF WINTER: Brand new for Christmas 2023 is Kingdom of Winter at ExCeL London, an 'indoor festive experience' complete with ice rink, circus shows, an ice trail, food and drink stalls, and an Alpine-inspired shopping village. Exact details of the traders haven't been revealed yet and you'll need to buy an entry ticket to the whole attraction to access that shopping village (from £5.50 super off-peak), but it's worth considering if you like to make your Christmas shopping into a festive day out. 8 December-7 January

BOW ROAD: Following the event at Royal Albert Wharf (see above), Bow Arts hosts the Bow Road Winter Market at its own headquarters, giving visitors the chance to meet their creative community of artists, makers, and designers and buy locally made gifts and artworks. Expect 20 stalls selling homewares, prints, jewellery and more, plus seasonal food and drink in the cafe, and a free, drop-in festive art workshop. FREE entry, 10 December

West London Christmas markets and fairs 2023

Christmas markets London 2023:  A young child reaching for a cookie at a Christmas market stall
Kingdom of Winter at ExCeL London is new for 2023 (details above).

SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS FAIR: If you're the sort of weirdo who's already started counting down to Christmas by September, the Spirit of Christmas Fair at Olympia is very much for you. It's a great excuse to officially begin the festivities in late October (!), and goes on for a whole week — ample time to browse the 700+ independent brands selling everything from clothes, health and beauty products, and food and drinks to Christmas decorations and other festive paraphernalia. 30 October-5 November

KINGSTON CHRISTMAS MARKET: A European-style Christmas market takes over the centre of Kingston, including the Ancient Market Place. Think wooden chalets, twinkling lights, a carousel for kiddies... all very photogenic. 16 November-31 December

Christmas markets London 2023: Wooden chalets lit by fairy lights at Town Square in Ealing Broadway
Ealing Broadway hosts a Christmas market again this year.

EALING BROADWAY: Once again, the Town Square at Ealing Broadway is taken over by wooden chalets peddling Christmas gifts, crafts and decorations. Food and drink are plentiful, including mulled wine, bratwurst sausages and waffles. Every day at 4pm, 'snow' will fall on the market, and there's live music every Saturday afternoon, raising money for two local charities. FREE entry, 18 November-24 December

IDEAL HOME SHOW AT CHRISTMAS: Head to Olympia for the Ideal Home Show At Christmas. The focus is on getting your home ready for the festive period, with a plethora of decorations to browse, but there are also gift ideas, foodie items, festive theatre and live music performances — plus plenty of talks giving interior design inspo. 22-26 November

HAMPTON COURT PALACE: Food is the theme at the Hampton Court Palace Festive Fayre, a three-day event in the courtyards of Henry VIII's former pad happening on two consecutive weekends. Stock up on Christmas gifts for the foodies in your life, and keep yourself well-refreshed with street food and warming bevvies. Festive singalongs take place in front of the bandstand throughout the weekend, as well as carol services in the Chapel Royal. 1-3 and 8-10 December. Psst... the Hampton Court Palace ice rink is open by then, in case you want to make a completely festive day of it.

WEMBLEY PARK: Market Square and Olympic Way  in Wembley Park are taken over by stallholders for the Festive Market, selling gifts, crafts and foodie treats. At the same time, there's live music and entertainment. Every weekend from 2 December