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Guide to Christmas markets and fairs in London 2017

When it comes to looking for Christmas presents, many of us are tired of the same old stuff flogged at the high street chains and want to find something a bit more original or unique. Well, fortunately Christmas markets are more popular than ever with long-term and one-off and weekend ones popping up all over the capital. As well as giving you the opportunity to browse dozens of stalls, many also have plenty of festive fun and entertainment to really get you in the mood.

Long-term markets 

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2016

Santa’s on his way!

  • 10 November – 4 January 2018 : South Bank Winter Market

Wooden chalets selling festive food, drink, gifts and treats alongside the riverbank on the South Bank. Open Sun-Thu 11am-10pm, Fri-Sat 11am-11pm. Free. Queen’s Walk, South Bank. SE1. Nearest station: Waterloo, Westminster or Embankment. For more information, visit the Southbank Centre website.

  • 10 November – 7 January 2018Christmas in Leicester Square

The West End’s famous square will feature a Christmas market and Santa’s Grotto. A Spiegeltent will play host shows including A Christmas Carol, Al Murray: The Pub Landlord, Austentatious, Black Cat Cabaret, Fascinating Aida, House of Burlesque 2.0 and more. Free entry to Leicester Square, but tickets required for Santa’s Grotto and the Spiegeltent. Leicester Square, WC2H. Nearest station: Piccadilly Circus or Leicester Square. For more information, visit the Christmas In Leicester Square website.

  • 10 November  – 8 January 2018 : Winter Market @ The Winter Forest

Festive market at the new winter installation at Broadgate. Also including food and drink stalls, Tipi cinema, and art exhibitions. Free entry. Exchange Square, Broadgate, EC2. Nearest station: Liverpool Street. For more information, visit The Winter Forest website.

  • 17 November – 1 January 2018 : Winter Wonderland Market

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. 10am-10pm. Free entry. Nearest station: Hyde Park Corner, Marble Arch or Knightsbridge. For more information, visit the Winter Wonderland website.

  • 27 November – 22 December : Christmas Market @ The Cheesegrater

A festive market is opening in the 28m high open atrium of ‘The Cheesegrater’. Featuring German-style wooden chalets selling gifts and street food and a pop-up Champagne and Prosecco bar. Open Mon-Fri 10am-7pm. Free entry. The Leadenhall Buildng, 122 Leadenhall Street, City of London, EC3V 4AB. Nearest station: Bank, Aldgate or Fenchurch Street. For more information, check out the Cheesegrater’s Twitter page.

  • 30 November – 3 January 2018London Bridge Presents Christmas By The River

A market featuring food, drink, craft and gift stalls across The Scoop More London, Hay’s Galleria and London Bridge City Pier. 11am-7pm. Free entry. Queen’s Walk and Hay’s Galleria, SE1 2DB. Nearest station: London Bridge or Tower Hill. For more information, visit the Tudor Markets website.

One-off or short-term Christmas fairs

  • 8 – 12 NovemberCountry Living Christmas

Handmade gifts from hundreds of artisan designers and makers. There will also be a lifestyle theatre with experts giving talks and demonstrations, tea room and Cava bar. Opening times vary. Tickets: Adults £14.50, Children £8.50, Under 5s free. Business Design Centre, Islington, N1 0QH. Nearest station: Angel. For more information and tickets, visit the Country Living Fair website.

  • 9 November : Carnaby Christmas Party

Shopping party including the countdown to the famous Carnaby Christmas lights switch on at 6pm. An exciting and immersive light switch on will take place at 6pm to launch the brand-new Christmas lights, with legendary DJ Norman Jay MBE on the decks. Enjoy a 20% discount at over 100 brands in Carnaby. 5pm-9pm. Carnaby London, Soho, W1F. Nearest station: Oxford Circus or Piccadilly Circus. For more information, visit the Carnaby London website.

  • 16 November : Festive Shopping Event @ Seven Dials

Get into the festive spirit with an evening of fashion, food and more as Seven Dials is closed off to traffic. Featuring live music from Some Voices choir and switching on the Christmas lights. The boutiques and eateries will be offering 20% discount. Register for a free ticket on the website for discounts and freebies. Seven Dials, Covent Garden, WC2H 9HD. Nearest station: Covent Garden or Leicester Square. For more information, visit the Seven Dials website.

  • 18 November : Christmas Market @ St John at Hampstead

Christmas market in church crypt, featuring gifts, treats and presents, cake, coffee and more. 11am-2pm. Free entry. St John-at-Hampstead Church, Church Row, Hampstead, NW3 6UU. Nearest station: Hampstead. For more information, visit the church website.

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Guide to Christmas markets and fairs in London 2016

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2016

Head to one of the capital’s Christmas markets for festive treats

When it comes to looking for Christmas presents, many of us are tired of the same old stuff flogged at the high street chains and want to find something a bit more original or unique. Well, fortunately Christmas markets are more popular than ever with long-term and one-off and weekend ones popping up all over the capital. As well as giving you the opportunity to browse dozens of stalls, many also have plenty of festive fun and entertainment to really get you in the mood.

For a guide to London’s festive ice rinks, click here.

Fancy a festive cocktail? Here’s where to find London’s Christmas tipples.

Long-term markets

  • 11 November – 8 January 2017 : South Bank Winter Market

Wooden chalets selling festive food, drink, gifts and treats alongside the riverbank on the South Bank. Open Sun-Thu 11am-10pm, Fri-Sat 11am-11pm. Free. Queen’s Walk, South Bank. SE1. Nearest station: Waterloo, Westminster or Embankment. For more information, visit the South Bank London website.

  • 11 November – 8 January 2017 : Christmas in Leicester Square

The West End’s famous square will feature a Christmas market and Santa’s Grotto. A Spiegeltent will play host to La Soiree‘s variety show. Free entry to Leicester Square, but tickets required for Spiegeltent. Leicester Square, WC2H. Nearest station: Piccadilly Circus or Leicester Square.

  • 18 November – 2 January 2017 : Winter Wonderland Market

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. 10am-10pm. Free entry. Nearest station: Hyde Park Corner, Marble Arch or Knightsbridge. For more information, visit the Winter Wonderland website. For a blog post on Metro Girl’s visit to Winter Wonderland, click here.

  • 21 November – 24 December : Islington Christmas Market

Over 60 exhibitors selling gifts and crafts, food stalls and a Santa’s Grotto. Free. The Angel Central Shopping Centre, 21 Parkfield Street, Islington, N1 0PS. Nearest station: Angel or Highbury & Islington. For more information, visit the Islington Christmas Market website.

  • 26 November – 18 December : Sutton House Christmas

Festive event and market will be taking place weekends only in the run up to Christmas in the grounds of the 16th century Sutton House. Featuring live action pantomime characters, artisans, artists, fashion and jewellery designers, ceramicists, card makers and Santa’s Grotto. 12-5pm. Free admission to market, but normal entry fees apply. Sutton House, 2 and 4 Homerton High Street, Homerton, E9 6JQ. Nearest stations: Homerton or Hackney Central. For more information, visit the National Trust website. Check out Metro Girl’s blog post on Sutton House Christmas.

  • 30 November – 3 January 2017 : London Bridge Presents Christmas By The River

A market featuring food, drink, craft and gift stalls across The Scoop More London, Hay’s Galleria and London Bridge City Pier. 11am-7pm. Free entry. Queen’s Walk and Hay’s Galleria, SE1 2DB. Nearest station: London Bridge or Tower Hill. For more information, visit the Tudor Markets website.

One-off or short-term Christmas fairs

  • 9 – 13 November : Country Living Christmas

Handmade gifts from hundreds of artisan designers and makers. There will also be a lifestyle theatre with experts giving talks and demonstrations, tea room and Cava bar. Opening times vary. Tickets: Adults £14, Children £8, Under 5s free. Business Design Centre, Islington, N1 0QH. Nearest station: Angel. For more information and tickets, visit the Country Living Fair website.

  • 10 November : Carnaby Christmas

Head to Carnaby Street as they turn on their Christmas lights and host a shopping party. The Sixties-themed event will feature 20% discount at over 120 brands, exclusive offers and entertainment including DJs, confetti shower and inflatable props. 5-9pm. Register for a free ticket on the website. Carnaby Street, Soho, W1F. Nearest station: Oxford Circus or Piccadilly Circus. For more information, visit the Carnaby London website.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2015

Shop till you drop with a thoroughly festive atmosphere

  • 12 November : Christmas Bazaar @ Dulwich Picture Gallery

Over 40 local artisans will be selling crafts, pottery, jewellery, toiletries and more in bazaar organised by Dulwich Picture Gallery. 10am-5pm. Free entry. St Barnabas Parish Hall, Dulwich Village, SE21 7BT. Nearest station: North Dulwich or West Dulwich. For more information, visit the Dulwich Picture Gallery website.

  • 16 – 20 November : Finnish Church Christmas Fair

Christmas market featuring live music, Finnish treats and gifts, food and drink from the cafeteria. Opening hours vary. Free entry. Finnish Church, 33 Albion Street, Rotherhithe, SE16 7JG. Nearest station: Rotherhithe. For more information, visit the Finnish Church website.

  • 17 November : Festive Shopping Event @ Seven Dials

Get into the festive spirit with an evening of fashion, food and more as Seven Dials is closed off to traffic. Featuring live music from Old Dirty Brasstards, free wreath making and S’mores, pop-up alfresco winter bar, outdoor winter BBQ, gelato demos, free Prosecco and switching on the Christmas lights. The boutiques and eateries will be offering 20% discount. Register for a free ticket on the website for discounts and freebies. Seven Dials, Covent Garden, WC2H 9HD. Nearest station: Covent Garden or Leicester Square. For more information, visit the Seven Dials website. Read the rest of this entry

Guide to Christmas markets and fairs in London 2015

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2015

Get into the festive spirit at one of London’s Christmas markets

When it comes to looking for Christmas presents, many of us are tired of the same old stuff flogged at the high street chains and want to find something a bit more original or unique. Well, fortunately Christmas markets are more popular than ever with long-term and one-off and weekend ones popping up all over the capital. As well as giving you the opportunity to browse dozens of stalls, many also have plenty of festive fun and entertainment to really get you in the mood.

For a guide to open-air ice rinks in London, click here.

To read about London’s best festive cocktails, click here.

Long-term markets

  • 19 November – 3 January 2016 : Winter Wonderland Market

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 station: Hyde Park Corner, Marble Arch or Knightsbridge. For more information, visit the Winter Wonderland website. For a blog post on Metro Girl’s visit to Winter Wonderland, click here.

  • 20 November – 24 December : South Bank Winter Market

Wooden chalets selling festive food, drink, gifts and treats alongside the riverbank on the South Bank. There’s also the Rekorderlig Cider Lodge pop-up bar in the car park. Free. Open Sun-Thu 11am-9pm, Fri-Sat 11am-10pm. Queen’s Walk and Hungerford Car Park, South Bank. SE1. Nearest station: Waterloo, Westminster or Embankment. For more information, visit the South Bank London website.

  • 20 November – 3 January 2016 : Weekend Christmas Market @ Wembley

Every weekend in the run-up to the Christmas and New Year period, there will be a festive market with food and drink. Free entry. Wembley Park Boulevard, Wembley, HA9 0QL. Nearest station: Wembley Stadium or Wembley Park. For more information, visit the Wembley website.

  • 26 November – 23 December : Christmas Markets @ Winterville

Christmas markets and bazaar will be on at the alternative festive wonderland in East London. There will also be an ice rink, pantomime, cinema, circus, crazy golf, fairground and Spiegeltent. Free entry. Opening hours vary. Winterville, Victoria Park, Grove Road, Bow, E9 7DD. Nearest station: Hackney Wick, Mile End or Cambridge Heath. For more information, visit the Winterville website.

  • 30 November – 3 January 2016London Bridge Festive Market

A market featuring food, drink, craft stalls and live entertainment across The Scoop, Hay’s Galleria and London Bridge City Pier. Free entry. Open 10am-8pm. Queen’s Walk and Hay’s Galleria, SE1 2DB. Nearest tube: London Bridge or Tower Hill. For more information, visit the More London website.

  • 4 – 20 December : Barbican Christmas Market

The Barbican’s foyers will be transformed into a (indoor!) Christmas shopping extravaganza with independent stalls selling quality vintage and designer clothes, arts and crafts, jewellery, books and toys. Free entry. 12-8pm. Barbican Centre, Silk Street, EC2Y 8DS. Nearest tube: Barbican or Moorgate. For more information, visit the Barbican website.

  • 4 – 20 December : Islington Christmas Market

Over 60 exhibitors selling gifts and crafts, food stalls and a Santa’s Grotto. Free entry. Islington Green, Islington, N1. Nearest station: Angel or Highbury & Islington. For more information, visit the Islington Christmas Market website.

One-off or short-term Christmas fairs

  • 11 – 15 November : Country Living Christmas

Handmade gifts from hundreds of artisan designers and makers. There will also be a lifestyle theatre with experts giving talks and demonstrations. Tickets: Adults £10-£14, Children £8. Opening times vary. Business Design Centre, Islington, N1 0QH. Nearest station: Angel. For more information and tickets, visit the Country Living Fair website.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2012

Get ready for Christmas and head to a festive market

  • 18 – 19 November : Operation Smile Christmas Fair

Over 40 stalls selling gifts, clothing, decorations, gourmet food and drinks at the historic Fulham Palace. Admission: £20 on 18 Nov preview (including wine and canapés), £5 on 19 Nov. Open for 18 Nov preview 6.30pm-9.30pm, Open 19 Nov 10.30am-8pm. Fulham Palace, Bishop’s Avenue, Fulham, SW6 6EA. Nearest station: Putney Bridge. For more information, visit the Operation Smile website.

  • 20 and 22 November : Made In Blackheath Christmas Fair

Local craftmakers and artists sell their wares at an indoor Christmas market. Open Fri 20 9am-4.30pm, Sun 22 9.30am-2pm. Bianco 43 Restaurant, 1-3 Lee Road, Blackheath Village, SE3 9RQ. Nearest station: Blackheath. For more information, visit the Made In Blackheath Facebook page.

  • 21 November : Christmas Market @ St John at Hampstead

Christmas market in Hampstead, featuring gift, treats and presents and children’s activities. 11am-2pm. St John-at-Hampstead Church, Church Row, Hampstead, NW3 6UU. Nearest station: Hampstead. For more information, visit the church website.

  • 21 November : Christmas Bazaar @ Dulwich Picture Gallery

Over 40 local artisans will be selling crafts, pottery, jewellery, toiletries and more. Free entry. 10am-5pm. St Barnabas Parish Hall, Dulwich Village, SE21 7BT. Nearest station: North Dulwich or West Dulwich. For more information, visit the Dulwich Picture Gallery website.

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Guide to London Christmas markets and fairs 2014

This is the 2014 guide – for the new 2015 guide to London’s Christmas markets, click here.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2012

Get ready for Christmas and head to a festive market

There’s no denying it, these days the run up to Christmas kicks off a lot earlier than 1 December. With more of us looking for more unique and special gifts for our loved ones and friends, there’s no surprise that many of us are turning to fairs and markets to find something different. Here’s a guide of both long-term and one-off Christmas shopping events in London, kicking off this November onwards.

Long-term markets

  • 11 November – 4 January 2015 : Southbank Centre Christmas Market

Wooden chalets selling festive food, drink, gifts and treats alongside the riverbank on the Southbank. There’s also a Christmas Tree Maze for £4 or the Rekorderlig Cider Lodge pop-up bar in the car park. Free. Open Mon-Thu and Sun 10am-9pm, Fri-Sat 10am-10pm. Closed on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Queen’s Walk and Hungerford Car Park, SE1. Nearest station: Waterloo, Westminster or Embankment. For more information, visit the Southbank Centre website.

  • 14 November to 28 December : Christmas Market @ Wembley Park

Get in the festive spirit with the market and accompanying ice rink. Free entry. 10am-8pm. Outside the London Designer Outlet, Wembley Park Boulevard, Wembley, HA9 0QL. Nearest station: Wembley Stadium (National Rail) or Wembley Park (tube). For more information, visit the Wembley website.

  • 21 November – 4 January 2015 : 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. For a blog post on Metro Girl’s visit to Winter Wonderland, click here.

  • 25 November – 28 December : Christmas at the N1 Centre

Wooden chalet style Christmas market will be in Islington in the weeks running up to Christmas. Free entry. Opening hours vary. N1 Centre, 21 Parkfield Street, Islington, N1 0PS. Nearest tube: Angel. For more information, visit the N1 Centre website.

  • 8 – 21 December : More London Festive Market

The Scoop – located next to City Hall on the Southbank with views of Tower Bridge – hosts a two week market featuring food, drink, craft stalls and live entertainment. Santa is also expected to make a cameo appearance. Free entry. Open 11am-7pm. Queen’s Walk, SE1 2DB. Nearest tube: London Bridge or Tower Hill. For more information, visit the More London website.

  • 12 – 21 December : Barbican Christmas Market

The Barbican’s foyers will be transformed into a (indoor!) Christmas shopping extravaganza with 35 independent stalls selling quality vintage and designer clothes, arts and crafts, jewellery, books and toys . Free entry. Mon–Fri 4pm–8.30pm, Sat & Sun 12-8.30pm. Barbican Centre, Silk Street, EC2Y 8DS. Nearest tube: Barbican or Moorgate. For more information, visit the Barbican website.

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Guide to what’s on in London this Christmas 2013

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2012

Tourists drinking mulled cider underneath giant candy canes in Covent Garden

December is one of the best months to be in London. Yes, the weather is rather cold, but there’s so much going on. Obviously, most of it involves Christmassy stuff. Just because  the temperatures have plummeted, it doesn’t mean outside is totally off-limits – there’s plenty of fairs, winter wonderlands and other places to have fun in the fresh air. Or if you can’t stomach being outside, there’s also tons of activities and places to visit in the warm too.

For the 2014 guide to what’s on in London this Christmas, click here.

  • 3 – 7 December : Pig’s Ear Beer Festival

Annual beer festival in conjunction with CAMRA at the Round Chapel in Hackney. Over 200 beers, food stalls and unique festival brews. Round Chapel, Powerscroft Road, Hackney, E5 0PU. Admission £2 for CAMRA members, £4 for non-members. Open from noon until 11pm. Nearest rail station: Hackney Downs or Hackney Central. Visit the Pig’s Ear website for more information.

  • 3 December : Candlelight evening opening at Sir John Soane’s Museum

The former home of 19th century architect Sir John Soane is a treasure trove of sculptures, painting and antiquities which he collected over his lifetime. Once a month, the museum is open on the first Tuesday of the month for an evening candlelight opening Bookings are not taken in advance, with tickets only issued to the first 200 people. Open from 6-9pm, however tickets are issued at 5.30pm. Sir John’s Soane Museum, 13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, WC2A 3BP. Nearest tube: Holborn. For more information, visit the Sir John Soane website.

  • Now until 4 December : Nordic Film Festival

A celebration of the best films to come out of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden at various locations across London, including Riverside Studios, ICA and Ciné Lumière. For more information, visit the Nordic Film Festival website.

  • 5 – 8 December : East London Design Show

Showcasing the best in UK contemporary design, including homewares, ceramics, furniture, jewellery, lighting and fashion. Shoreditch Town Hall, 380 Old Street, Shoreditch, EC1V 9LT. Nearest tube: Old Street, Shoreditch High Street or Hoxton. For more information, visit the East London Design Show website.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2012

Norwegian Wood: The Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square

  • 5 – 22 December : Christmas at Trafalgar Square

After the lighting of the Christmas Tree on December 5 (a gift from Norway), there is annual carol singing in the Square. Carol singing weekdays 4-8pm, weekends 2-6pm. Trafalgar Square. Nearest tube: Charing Cross, Piccadilly Circus, Leicester Square or Embankment. For more information, visit the London.gov.uk website.

  • 6 – 17 December : Spitalfields Winter Festival

Music festival in the Spitalfields area of the East End featuring music old and new. For listings and more information, visit the Spitalfields Music website.

  • 7 December : Great Christmas Pudding Race

Watch or take part in the annual Great Christmas Pudding Race in Covent Garden, which sees participants dressing up and raising money for Cancer Research UK. Covent Garden Piazza, WC1. Nearest tube: Covent Garden, Charing Cross or Embankment. For more information and details on entering, visit the Xmas Pudding Race website.

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Guide to London’s Christmas markets and fairs 2013

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2012

Christmas in Covent Garden

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.

This guide is for the 2013 markets – click here for the 2015 guide

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

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2012

Tis the season for mince pies

  • 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.

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Shop til you drop: Guide to London’s Christmas markets and fairs 2012

I don’t like to do anything Christmassy until at least 1st December, and even then it feels too early. However the past few years I have made an exception to this rule when it comes to starting my Christmas shopping. As everyone knows, it can be a pretty stressful – and expensive – experience, so I like the spread the cost and dilute the stress by starting in November. I have a large bunch of girlfriends I’ve been buying presents for since the late ’90s and every year I find it a challenge to find them something new I haven’t bought them before and that they will actually like!

So this is where Christmas markets and fairs come in. Not only do you get the chance to buy unique, handmade gifts that you won’t find in your local WHSmith or Boots, they also tend to be more relaxing, fun environments with festive food and drink and entertainment on hand. I’m planning to visit some of these fairs in the bid to get my friends and loved ones something a little different to place under the tree this year.

This is the 2012 guide – for the 2014 guide, click here.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2012

Shop, eat and be merry: The Christmas Market @ Southbank

  • 16 November – 23 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. Choirs will also perform twice a day. Free entry. While you’re there, you could pop along and have a skate under the London Eye. Nearest tube: Waterloo or Embankment.

  • 23 November – 6 January 2013 : 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.

  • 29 November : Christmas Shopping Night at Seven Dials and St Martin’s Courtyard

Over 120 stores in the Seven Dials and St Martin’s Courtyard area of Covent Garden will be offering 20 per cent off during their special one-off Christmas shopping event. From 5pm until 9pm, Seven Dials will be closed off to traffic, with stores hosting live music, DJs and makeovers with complimentary gifts, drinks and nibbles on offer. You must register for the 20 per cent off voucher either online or on the night at 29 Shorts Gardens. Nearest tube: Covent Garden or Leicester Square. For more information, visit the Seven Dials website.

  • 1 December : Fair Christmas Fayre at The Rink, Oxford Street

Who would ever imagine a Christmas fair in the middle of Oxford Street? A one day market selling ethical, fair trade gifts. From 11am until 6pm. Free entry. The Rink, 275 Oxford Street, London W1B 2LH. Nearest tube: Oxford Circus. For more information, visit the Fair Christmas Fayre website.

  • 1 – 2 December : Christmas Fair at Chelsea Psychic Garden
© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2012

Tis the season for mince pies

Two day festival at London’s oldest Botanical garden. Stallholders will be selling garden paraphernalia, unique jewellery, cashmere clothing, Ceramics, handmade chocolates, chutneys, cheese and smoked salmon 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. Chelsea Psychic Garden, 66 Royal Hospital Road, London SW3 4HS. Nearest tube: Sloane Square. For more information, visit the Chelsea Psychic Garden website.

  • 4 – 22 December : Christmas Pop-Up at The Artisan

Local artists will be selling ceramics, jewellery, glass, textiles, art and photography at this temporary pop-up Christmas shop at The Artisan in Willesden. Artisan, 80 Harlesden Road, London NW10 2BE. Nearest tube: Willesden Green. For more information, visit Artisan’s website.

  • 6 DecemberChristmas Bazaar at Dulwich Picture Gallery

Local craftspeople and artists will be selling their wares at this Thursday evening event. There will also be carol singing and snacks, mince pies and wine on sale. Open 6-9pm. Free entry. Dulwich Picture Gallery, Gallery Road, London SE21 7AD. Nearest train station: West Dulwich or North Dulwich. For more information, visit the Dulwich Picture Gallery website.

  • 7 – 9 December : Jewel East Christmas Market at Old Spitalfields

Three-day festival showcasing the finest jewellery designers from across the country, as well as jewellery-making workshops and demonstrations. Open Fri 7th 10am-4pm, Sat 8th 11am-5pm, Sun 9th 9am-5pm. Old Spitalfields Market, Brushfield Street, London E1 6EW. Nearest tube: Shoreditch High Street. For more information, visit Spitalfields’ website.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2012

What dessert is your Taste of Christmas?

  • 7 – 9 December : Taste of Christmas

Sister event to the hugely popular Taste Of London event which celebrates food. Three day festival at ExCel in Docklands offers tastings, demonstrations, masterclasses and food theatre with Jamie Oliver, Jean-Christophe Novelli, the Baker Brothers and Michael Roux Jnr among those giving their tips. Prices start from £18.50 (advance) or £23.50 (on door). Nearest tube: Custom House (DLR). For more information, visit the Taste of Christmas website.

  • 8 December : Christmas Fair at Surrey Docks Farm

A host of farm crafts, produce and meat for sale, as well as a chance for children to enjoy donkey rides. Surrey Docks Farm, South Wharf, Rotherhithe Street, London SE16 5ET. Nearest tube: Surrey Quays, Rotherhithe or Canada Water. For more information, visit the Surrey Docks Farm website.

  • 8 – 9 December : Christmas Craft Fair and 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, workshops, carol singing and a chance to visit Santa himself. Open 11am-7.30pm. Entry: £1. Sutton House, 2-4 Homerton High Street, Hackney, London E9 6JQ. Nearest tube: Homerton (Overland). For more information, visit the National Trust website.

  • 13 – 16 December : More London Christmas Market at The Scoop

The Scoop – located next to City Hall on the Southbank with views of Tower Bridge – hosts a free four day market featuring food, drink and craft stalls. Entry is free. Open 11am-6pm. Nearest tube: London Bridge or Tower Hill. For more information, visit More London’s website.

  • 15 – 16 December : The Secret Emporium Christmas Market

The Secret Emporium’s market showcases creations from 44 independent British designers and features entertainment from Ewan Bleach & the Snakewalkers, The Turbans, The John Langan Band, Whiskey Moon Face, Hicks & Higgins, Jessica Burn, Harky and Ben DeVere. Open from 10.30am until 8pm. Free entry. Factory 7, Hearn Street, Shoreditch, EC2A 3LS. Nearest tube: Shoreditch High Street (Overground). For more information, visit the Secret Emporium website.