Christmas is one of my favourite seasons of the year. Of course, there are several reasons why it is my favourite season. Sorrel (a Jamaican Drink) and Bailey’s will be flowing by the barrel, there will be endless parties to attend, sparkly dresses to wear, and Christmas lights dancing along Regents and Carnaby street. But the most Christmassy thing to do in London is to visit the various Christmas markets that will be open from mid-November to early January 2018.
Christmas is that time of the year that even the grumpiest amongst us are joyful.
Here are the there of the best Christmas markets in London that you must visit!
The Winter Wonderland is London’s largest Christmas market and for good reasons. It has everything Christmassy that you could have ever wanted all in one place and it’s free to enter.
The Winter Wonderland Christmas market transforms the quiet Hyde Park into a bustling fairground with delights for both children and adults.
I’ve visited this Christmas market a few times and would recommend the following:
Go early in the evening if you’re going with children because the Christmas market gets a lot busier during the night. With large crowds queuing for rides and at food stalls, it becomes intense for very small children.
If you’re an adult with your colleagues or friends, then you should hit-up the Bavarian village and wear your best Christmas jumper. The Bavarian village is where the party happens at Winter Wonderland, where beers and shots flow like a never-ending river and there’s non-stop music to keep you dancing into the night. It’s exactly the place to visit in the run-up to Christmas.
The ice bar will be back this year again along with the large ice skating rink, the magical ice kingdom, acrobatic wonders at Zippos Circus, carousel, run around funhouses and roller-coaster rides. Will all be on hand for your enjoyment.
There will be an endless array of German-style stalls selling sausages and almost 150 chalets of the Angels Christmas Market to explore and shop for items such as jewellery, decoration, and crafts.
Rides you must try at Winter Wonderland Christmas Market
There are two rides you must try at the Winter Wonderland Christmas Market, one is the signature ride of the Christmas market ‘The Giant Observation Wheel’, this ride will give you a great view of London covered in its Christmas best. I discovered that the best time to visit to get a great view is around 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm.
However, my favourite ride is the ‘Star Flyer’. I lost my voice because of all the screaming I did on this ride and I might have peed on myself a little on the ride’s descent. But the view of London skyline and the cold winter air hitting your face will be worth it.
This is the kinda ride that you want to try again as soon as it’s finished (one for the adrenaline junkies – not for people with weak hearts or bladder).
Opening Dates for Winter Wonderland
Friday, November 18th – Monday, January 2nd
Southbank Centre Wintertime Market
In keeping with the year-long Nordic theme that has been running at the Southbank in 2017, this year, the Southbank will be transformed into a Nordic-inspired wonderland for this year’s Wintertime Market.
There will be plenty to see and do along the Thames. Nordic-style chalets will be selling food, drinks, gifts, Norwegian trees, and mysterious Nordic Gonks (mythical creatures). Throughout the duration of the Christmas market, there will be festive shows and family entertainment.
You can even experience Swedish food and culture at the pop-up Rekorderlig Cider Lodge, a rooftop sauna or head to the alpine lodge for a hearty warm meal. There will be a fairground ride and a BUMP Roller disco.
All this with London Eye and the London city skyline as an illuminating backdrop.
Location and Opening
Lambeth, London, United Kingdom.
10 November 2017 to 4 January 2018
Kingston Christmas Market
Many Londoners aren’t aware of the Kingston Christmas market but having gone to University in Surrey, I experienced this amazing market every Christmas for four years. You can browse the traditional wooden chalets that line the ancient market place and surrounding streets for Christmas gifts and handmade decorations.
There is plenty to see at Alpine Village where you can grab a glass of mulled wine and take in the 200 plus snow covered trees or peruse for some German-style street food from the many outdoor stalls (try the German sausage here -some of the best in London).
If you’re visiting with kids, then stop by the grotto at the Bentall’s to say hello to Santa. You can also pick up any last-minute Christmas shopping while there.
If you’re planning to visit the Kingston Christmas Market on a weekend, make sure that there are no planned engining on that weekend from Waterloo to Kinston or Surbiton to avoid disappointment.
If you’re looking for things to do in London, why not check out ‘5 free things to do in London‘.
Location and opening times
Open from 16 November to 31 December 2017
Kingston upon Thames
Kingston upon Thames
Transport: Kingston upon Thames