London can’t rival it’s European friends in the Christmas market stakes, but every year, the Christmas Market in Southbank is just festive enough to be worth the trip. It’s a little bit pretty, a little bit festive and a little bit tacky. All of those things make Christmas excellent and for a couple of weeks of the year, Southbank has them in abundance.
You won’t find anything new here, you’ll find sweet stalls and mulled wine and Christmas decorations and people selling Stollen. You’ll even find Santa. Original it isn’t. But it’s everything about Christmas that you want.
It’s not too expensive either, of course it’s geared towards you spending your pennies, but not on big purchases. You’ll go back for another mulled wine, and you might decide that you really need that fudge, but you won’t break the bank here. Unless of course you have more than one go on the carousel.
The market also has Santa’s Secret Village this weekend, so you can meet the guy himself (probably not the real one, but let’s pretend) and explore his grotto. He’ll even tell you some stories if you ask nicely.
This weekend also sees the Real Food Festival, which is one of the best foodie havens in London. This is where you should pick up all your last-minute festive treats. Expect organic meats, cheeses and some really excellent gifts. You probably won’t leave without picking up some chutney.
OK, so Christmas markets are always going to be a little bit tacky, but that’s half the fun. Besides, it’s snowing. Get a paper cup of mulled wine in you and start feeling festive.
More European Christmas Markets
Discover another 24 Christmas Markets in Europe in our collation post.
Best of London Tips
Read our Best of London Travel Tips, to help you get the most from your visit to the city.