Top London Christmas Markets to Visit This Year

There are two possible responses to being told how many shopping days are left until Christmas.  Response number one involves flat panic and a hastily written Christmas list.  Response number two is a happy little smile to yourself because you know that it’s getting a little closer to Christmas market time.  Here, in the UK, we’re very lucky as there’s a long tradition of these wonderful seasonal events and if you plan ahead, you can get to quite a few.

Since most of the Christmas markets take place at around the same time, the best way to ensure you get a chance to visit as many as possible is to find an area where there are several markets and book yourself into a hotel for a few days.  Naturally, there are a lot of Christmas markets in the London area, so with Heathrow Hotel and parking within range of all of them, it’s an ideal location for the well-organised Christmas shopper.
One of the most popular Christmas markets takes place at the Southbank Centre in London, from mid November to Christmas Eve, including traditional German style stalls and decorations.  After all, who does Christmas better?  In a range of chalets, you will find beautifully crafted Christmas items while choir performances get you into the festive spirit.  Over in Hyde Park, a whole section of the park is set aside for the Winter Wonderland Christmas Market from late November until early December, so you can shop early for next year as well!  With seasonal lights, Christmas craft stalls, amusement rides and an ice-rink, it doesn’t have to be all about the Christmas shopping; you can make time for other kinds of fun, too.
If you arrange for your tour of the Christmas markets to include the last day of November and the first day of December, you can stop off at the Chelsea Physic Garden Christmas Fair, where you can wander around their heated marquees, buying unique jewellery, clothing, seasonal foods and other

gifts, including garden-related items.  You might even want to taste the house speciality of game stew, followed by a few mince pies. 

One place that really knows how to get shoppers into the right frame of mind is Covent Garden.  Although their market, which opens in late November, is focused on the piazza, the smaller roads radiating from the piazza also share in the festivities.  There’s a mulled wine hut that also serves hot apple juice for the drivers, as well as a wealth of stalls where you can tick off plenty of your Christmas gift needs before you pay a visit to the chocolate bar to reward your hard work.  If you’ve brought the children with you, they will surely want to pet the reindeer or visit one of the Christmas craft workshops that help to make this into such a special occasion for all ages.
The key to a good Christmas is to plan ahead so you don’t end up doing everything at the last minute.  With these and many other markets and fairs within driving distance of Heathrow, without the need to travel to the other side of the world, being organised has never been more enjoyable. Related post: Vacation in Europe? Here is Where to Stay

Author: Jonathan Marlow

Travel Blogger and dedicated world traveler

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