Guide to London’s Christmas markets and fairs 2013
Christmas markets and fairs have steadily been growing in popularity every year and this year sees even more than ever. As people move away from big brands in the hope of buying original or homemade presents for their loved ones, many are turning to markets and fairs for their Christmas shopping lists. For the organised among us, some fairs are taking place in November, with plenty in December for some last-minuters [yes dads, I’m looking at you ;-)]. As well as providing a more relaxed way of shopping than high streets and malls, these events also give you encouragement when it comes to getting into the Christmas spirit.
Long-term Christmas markets
- 15 November – 24 December : Christmas Market at Southbank
The German-style market returns to the Southbank as vendors sell food, drink and gifts along the Thames. Wooden huts pop-up alongside the Thames in front of the Southbank Centre. Free entry. While you’re there, you could pop along and have a skate under the London Eye. Nearest tube: Waterloo or Embankment. For more information, visit the Southbank Centre website.
- 22 November – 5 January 2014 : Traditional German Christmas Market at Winter Wonderland
Winter Wonderland features a fun fair, food, drink, circus and an ice rink in Hyde Park over the festive period and includes a German market selling gifts too. Free entry. Nearest tube: Hyde Park Corner. For more information, visit the Winter Wonderland website.
- 28 November – 23 December : Boutique Christmas Market and Christmas Village at Kew Gardens
A Christmas market and village will be open nightly alongside Kew’s illuminated trail. Free entry to the market and village, although will cost to enter the trail. Traditional wooden chalets will sell food, drink and gifts, while visitors can listen to live nightly carols. There’s also a Santa’s Woodland Grotto with the chance to meet the man himself, as well as ride a Victorian carousel. Kews Gardens, Brentford Gate, Kew, TW9 3AB. Nearest tube: Kew Gardens. For more information, visit the Kew Gardens website.
- 28 November – 22 December : Christmas Shopping at the Barbican
The Barbican’s foyers will be transformed into a Christmas shopping extravaganza with independent stalls and toy shops. Free entry. 12-8pm. Barbican Centre, Silk St, EC2Y 8DS. Nearest tube: Barbican or Moorgate. For more information, visit the Barbican website.
One-off or short-term Christmas fairs
- 21 – 24 November : Taste Of Christmas
Sister event to the hugely popular Taste Of London event which celebrates food. Four day festival in Wapping offers tastings, demonstrations, masterclasses and food theatre with Michel Roux Jnr, Mark Hix, Gizzi Erskine, and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall among those giving their tips. Prices start from £23.65 (advance) or £26 (on door). Tobacco Dock, 50 Porters Walk, Wapping, E1W 2SF. Nearest tube: Wapping (overground). For more information, visit the Taste of Christmas website.
- 24 November : Grand Festive Fair at Dulwich College
Christmas fair in the grounds of historic Dulwich College in South London featuring food, gifts, raffle, games, cafe and Santa Claus. 11am-4pm. Dulwich College, Dulwich Common, SE21 7LD. Nearest train: West Dulwich. For more information, check out the Grand Festive Fair Twitter page.
24 November : Hampstead Christmas Festival
As well as stalls serving gifts, food and drink, there will also be a fairground, Santa’s Grotto, reindeer, face-painting, free screening of Up at the Everyman Cinema, circus acts and performances from Mica Paris, Mitch Winehouse, Culture Club’s John Moss and Bjorn Again. Free. 12-5pm. High Street, Hampstead, NW3. Nearest tube: Hampstead. For more information, visit the Hampstead Christmas Festival’s Facebook page.
27 – 28 November : Red Cross London Christmas Fair at Kensington Town Hall
Great British Bake Off star Mary Berry will open this year’s Christmas Fair, in aid of the Red Cross. Includes over 70 stalls and the chance to enter competitions to win great prizes. Tickets £20 (for preview evening on 27 November, featuring drinks and canapés for all guests) or £5 on the door (£4 online) on public day (28 November). Kensington Town Hall, Hornton St, W8 7NX. Nearest tube: High Street Kensington. For more information, visit the Red Cross website.
30 November : Riverford Christmas Fair
Riverford Organic Farms are hosting their Christmas fair at the Cecil Sharp House. Featuring food producers hosting their own stalls and cooking demos with Guy Watson and Kirsty Hale and children’s activities. Tickets: £6. Cecil Sharp House, 2 Regents Park Road, Camden, NW1 7AY. Nearest tube: Camden Town. For more information, visit the Riverford website.
- 30 November : Tottenham Christmas Market
Stalls, food, DJ and the turning on the Christmas lights. On the east side of Tottenham Green. Free. 12-6pm. Tottenham Green, N15. Nearest tube: Seven Sisters. For more information, visit Haringey Council website.
- 30 November – 1 December : Christmas Fair at Chelsea Psychic Garden
Two day festival at London’s oldest Botanical garden. Stallholders will be selling garden paraphernalia, unique jewellery, cashmere clothing, Ceramics, food, and leather goods, amongst others, in heated marquees. Guides will be available to show guests the gardens. Breakfast, lunch and mulled wine will also be on sale. Entry £5, friends of CPG free, Under 16s free. 10am-4pm. Chelsea Psychic Garden, 66 Royal Hospital Road, SW3 4HS. Nearest tube: Sloane Square. For more information, visit the Chelsea Psychic Garden website.
- 1 December : Belgravia Christmas Sunday
Craft stalls, boutique markets, brass bands, choirs, Santa and his reindeer and more festive fun will be spread across Elizabeth Street and Pimlico Road. 12-5pm. Entry free. Nearest tube: Victoria, Knightsbridge or Sloane Square.
- 1 December : Dalston Christmas Market
The new Dalston Square will host a Christmas market, featuring food and gift stalls and live music. 11am – 7pm. Dalston Square, Hackney, E8. Nearest tube: Dalston Junction or Dalston Kingsland. For more information, visit the City Showcase Markets website.
- 2 December : The City Christmas Fair at Drapers Hall
Annual fair in aid of Wellbeing of Women, including stalls, champagne bar and a silent auction. 11am-8pm. Tickets £5. Drapers’ Hall, Throgmorton Street, EC2N 2DQ. Nearest tube: Bank or Liverpool Street. For more information, visit the Wellbeing of Women website.
- 5 December : The Temple Church Christmas Fair
The historic Temple Church hosts its annual fair in the Elizabethan Middle Temple Hall. Featuring stalls and a raffle. Entry: £8 (includes refreshments), free for under 16s. 12-8pm. Middle Temple Hall, Middle Temple Lane, EC4Y 9AT. Nearest tube: Temple. For more information, visit the Temple Church website.
- 6 – 8 December : Vintage Christmas Market and Real Ale Festival at Olympic Park
The north of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park will play host to a vintage-style Christmas wonderland, featuring a market, Victorian funfair and roller disco, as well as DJs and live entertainment. There will also be a Real Ale Festival, featuring tastings, craft workshops and snacks. Free entry. Opening times: 4-10pm (6 December) and 10am-10pm (7-8 December). Queen Elizabeth Park, Stratford, E20 2ST. Nearest tube: Stratford. For more information, visit the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park website.
- 7 – 8 December : Christmas Craft Fair & Santa’s Grotto at Sutton House
This National Trust, Grade II-listed Tudor property will open its doors for two days to host pop-up shops, the chance to eat mince pies and sip mulled wine and visit Santa. Open 11am-6pm. Entry: £1. Sutton House, 2-4 Homerton High Street, Hackney, E9 6JQ. Nearest tube: Homerton (Overland). For more information, visit the Sutton House website.
- 7 – 8 December : Chelsea Christmas Gift Fair
Indoor Christmas fair featuring food, fashion, homewares and lots of our gifts. Entry: £3. Opening times: Sat – 10am-7pm, Sun 11am-5pm. Chelsea Old Town Hall, Kings Road, SW3 5EE. Nearest tube: South Kensington or Sloane Square. For more information, visit the fair’s website.
- 7 – 8 December : Crafty Fox Christmas Market at Brixton
Goods from over 120 designers will be on sale at the Crafty Fox Christmas Markets in Brixton (7-8 December) and Peckham’s Bussey Building (14 December). As well as stalls, there will also be DJs, workshops, gift-wrapping and a pop-up tea room. Free entry. 11am-5pm. 389 Coldharbour Lane, Brixton, SW9 8LQ. Nearest tube/rail: Brixton. For more information, visit the Crafty Fox website.
- 7, 8, 14 and 15 December : Christmas Market at Morden Hall Park
Over two consecutive weekends, the Natural Trust run Morden Hall Park will host a Christmas market, featuring local food and craft tables, live music and carols, mulled wine and roasting chestnuts and the chance to visit Father Christmas. 11am-4pm. Morden Hall Rd Morden, Surrey, SM4 5JD. Nearest tube: Morden or Phipps Bridge tramlink. For more information, visit the Morden Hall Park website.
- 11 – 15 December : More London Christmas Market
The Scoop – located next to City Hall on the Southbank with views of Tower Bridge – hosts a five day market featuring food, drink, craft stalls and live entertainment. Santa is also expected to make a cameo appearance. Free entry. Open 11am-6pm. Nearest tube: London Bridge or Tower Hill. For more information, visit the More London website.
- 13 – 15 December : Secret Emporium Christmas Market
The Secret Emporium’s market showcases creations from independent British designers and features entertainment. There will also be an onsite food festival from Wilderness. Nicholls & Clarke Building, 3–10 Shoreditch High Street, E1 6PG. Nearest tube: Liverpool Street or Shoreditch High Street (overground). For more information, visit the Secret Emporium website.
- 13 – 15 December : Handmade Christmas at The O2
The UK’s biggest craft fair comes to London’s O2, featuring 100s of artisan producers of gifts, food and wine. Entry: £5. Opening times: 1-8.30pm (13 Dec), 12-8.30pm (14 Dec) and 1-8.30pm (15 Dec). The O2, Peninsula Square, SE10 0DX. Nearest tube: North Greenwich. For more information, visit the Handmade Christmas website.
- 13 – 15 December : Islington Christmas Gift Fair
Indoor fair with stalls featuring everything from fashion to homewares to toys. Opening times vary. Free entry on Friday 13th, £2 on Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th. Islington Assembly Hall (beside Town Hall), Upper Street, N1 2UD. Nearest tube: Angel or Highbury & Islington. For more information, visit the fair’s website.
- 14 December : Herne Hill Christmas Fair
The Herne Hill businesses are gradually bouncing back after the flooding of the high street in August so this event will be a great boost for those still waiting to re-open their premises. As well as market stalls, there will also be children’s entertainers, arts and crafts workshops, school choirs, dance, live music and lots of food and drink. Free entry. 11am-5pm. Half Moon Lane, Herne Hill, SE24. Nearest train station: Herne Hill. For more information, visit the Herne Hill forum.
- 14 December : Crafty Fox Christmas Market in Peckham
Following on from the Brixton one a week earlier, goods from over 120 designers will be on sale at Peckham’s Bussey Building. As well as stalls, there will also be DJs, workshops, gift-wrapping and a pop-up tea room. Free entry. 11am-5pm. 133 Rye Lane, Peckham, SE15 4ST. Nearest rail: Peckham Rye. For more information, visit the Crafty Fox website.
- 21 December : Brewhouse Christmas Fair All Dayer
London Fields Brewery hosts a ‘grumpy grotto for discontented adults’, spiced cocktails, food stalls, face painting, live music and dancing from Bad Santa DJs. Free entry. 12pm-12am. The Brewhouse, London Fields Brewery, 370 Helmsley Place, E8 3SB. Nearest train station: London Fields. For more information, visit London Fields Brewhouse website.