Guide to Christmas Markets and Winter Wonderland

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It’s that time of year again when London is awash with various Christmas markets, Christmas activities and Winter Wonderland of course. We’ve come up with some of our favourites for you to visit in London. There are plenty of different markets to see so there’s always something for everyone from the big kids to the little ones to enjoy.

Southbank (image credit: Pete Woodhead on timeout)

Southbank Centre Winter Market (until 26th Dec) 

This delightful market on the riverbank is an ideal stop after sightseeing. The artisan markets are well worth looking at and the food markets have some delightful cuisines from all over the world. From mulled wine, and an abundance of different cheeses to adorable stocking fillers and great Christmas present ideas, this place has everything you need for a night out without the children at Christmas. 

The riverbank is beautifully decorated and the traditional log cabins really make it feel like you’re in a mini winter wonderland. This is popular especially on a weekend so plan accordingly. If you wish to make it a more luxurious experience, book one of the heated snow globes and sip on some hot chocolate in a warm cosy setting.

Covent Garden (image credit: Luke Abrahams)

Covent Garden Christmas Market (until 3rd Jan) 

We are huge fans of the Covent Garden Christmas Markets. The lights are amazing and there are three markets here filled with all sorts of crafts and homemade gifts. There are always things to do in Covent Garden and it’s a great place to grab food or be close to the hustle and bustle of London. 

At these markets, you can also have winter and Christmas-themed photos, and there are some activities for the children to get involved in. Walk around the markets and see the different light displays, and enjoy the magic of Covent Garden at Christmas.

Leicester Square (credit: © David Jensen on timeout)

Leicester Square (until 8th Jan)

Head to Leicester Square to see the famous movie premier home be transformed into a Christmas treat. Traditional markets are the main attraction here, with food and drink as well as stalls selling different types of unusual Christmas presents. There are also lots of different lights and decorations to take photos with and on a weekend there are often family activities available. If there is a film premiere taking place during the winter season, it is extremely busy so be aware of this when planning to go.

With great transport links in and out of the square, this is a great Christmas Market to go to as part of your Christmas shopping weekend trip.

Kings Cross markets (credit: John Sturrock on timeout)

King’s Cross Christmas Markets (until 2nd Dec)

With ten separate Christmas markets, you’ll discover different types of food, drinks (including a variety of mulled wines) and an array of homemade gifts. Take a stroll around the markets to find some truly delightful Japanese homeware gifts, and artisan wares that you never knew you needed. 

King’s Cross Markets are a great day out, and with a whole section dedicated to vegan food, you may just find yourself wanting to spend the night there too. Wander around some fantastic stalls, taste some hearty food and pick up some unique gifts for the family.

Trafalgar Square xmas markets (image credit: @pasco.photography)

Trafalgar Square Christmas Market (until 2nd Jan)

A magical Christmas treat at Trafalgar Square where carol singers perform regularly to really add to the Christmas spirit. Take a walk around and see the different treats on offer. They range from some sweet treats to mulled wine and hot chocolate and some incredible gifts that will wow your family and friends on Christmas Day. 

Take a visit to the markets after a day of doing the main Christmas shopping and reward yourself with one of the many hot drinks on offer and a special foodie treat. 

Winter wonderland (image credit: Chiara Wilkinson timeout)

Winter Wonderland (until 2nd Jan)

Winter Wonderland is one of the most popular attractions at Christmas. Located in Hyde Park, this huge wonderland is full of various different things. There are plenty of markets, a fairground, an ice rink, a circus show and the Magical Ice Kingdom to name a few. 

Take a walk around the traditional markets and grab some handcrafted gifts and beautiful jewellery for the special ones in your life. 

With lots to do for the family, this is an ideal day out for everyone, head to Santa’s Grotto so the children can tell Santa everything they want for Christmas, get the younger ones on the Ice slide and head over to the fairground to go on some amazing rides. 

Winter Wonderland is free during off-peak times, standard entry is £5 and during peak times, it is £7.50 per adult. However, for £25, you can get into the additional attractions and not have to pay anything extra unless buying from the stalls so it’s a great way to enjoy Wonderland in all its glory. 

For Winter Wonderland, you will have to book your tickets in advance, make sure you wrap up warmly and that any children are in suitable footwear as there is fake snow that can make it slippery for them. 

Winter Wonderland is open daily except for Christmas Day, between 10am and 10pm. 

Perfect for families, a day out with friends, or for couples wanting to enjoy some time together in a full Christmas festival. 

At The Belgrave, we love the Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park and recommend booking to go even if you’re in London for a couple of days. It is quick to get to from here.

There are so many Christmas Markets throughout London that we’ve only given a little snapshot of some of our favourites. Speak to us to find out which other ones might be in or near an area you’re visiting. 

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