Christmas markets in London

Date Posted: 25/11/14

Christmas markets in London

There's a definite chill in the air, but that doesn't mean you have an excuse to lie on the sofa all day. London's plethora of Christmas markets is just getting underway, with dozens of them just waiting to warm the cockles of your heart.

So whether you're looking to wrap up your Christmas shopping or just enjoy the festive atmosphere, we've lined up a selection of the best ones for you to explore.

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland

Hyde Park is once more transformed into a glittering Christmas paradise, and that naturally includes an extensive festive market made up of dozens of individual stalls selling all kinds of exciting treats and handcrafted presents. These are complemented by a solid selection of themed bars with real fires where you can have a warming drink of mulled wine or spiced cider. The Ice Bar, for obvious reasons, is the only venue where there isn't a roaring open fire.

Once you've finished wandering the stalls in search of that elusive gift, be sure to pay a visit to Santa if you've got children, or even take to the sky on the giant observation wheel. Hyde Park Winter Wonderland is open until January 4th.

Southbank Centre Christmas Market

London's spectacular South Bank provides an idyllic view across the Thames. You can spot many a landmark here, as well as the cruel, icy waters of the river itself. These have famously frozen over several times in the past, and bold Londoners even held Christmas markets on the ice.

While we can't promise a recurrence in 2014, the Southbank Centre Christmas Market will likely equal or even excel previous incarnations in Christmas spirit. Baubles and gingerbread will tempt you to the fantastic collection of attractive wooden chalets this year, as well as sheepskin rugs, local mead, door wreaths and even lobster mac ‘n’ cheese. There will also be a programme of exciting performance events, including live music and acrobatics as part of the festive calendar running until January put on by the Southbank Centre.

Real Food Christmas Market

Christmas is always a great time to indulge yourself on tasty goodies, so get into the spirit of things in the run-up to the big day by attending the Real Food Christmas Market. Taking place at the Royal Festival Hall, its regular selection of sustainable and ethically-produced fine foods will include charcuterie, cheese, traditional sweets and craft beer for the hungriest and thirstiest family members. Tuck into tasty treats such as mulled wine and mince pies while you shop. The Real Food Christmas Market runs from December 19th until the 23rd.

St John's Hospice Christmas Fayre

Christmas is an important time of the year when we remember those less fortunate than us. The St John's Hospice Christmas Fayre goes out of its way to make sure we remember this. Taking place at St John's Wood High Street, you can count on finding oodles of festive cheer, with more than 50 stalls selling a tempting range of jewellery, clothing, gifts and food. There will be Christmas carols and fairground rides aplenty, and it's all in the name of the needy. So dig deep and remember you're buying for someone else's loved ones, as well as your own.

Posted by Michael Middleton

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