Christmas at Kew
Over Christmas, Kew’s Arboretum is transformed into an enchanted landscape full of light, sound and colour, with an illuminated trail winding through the trees. It’s a magical experience and should be tied in with a browse around the boutique Christmas market, created by We Make London in collaboration with local designers and craft traders. Traditional wooden chalets will sell hand-picked gifts and treats for foodies and there will be live music and a vintage funfair.
Open now until January 3 2015 (Closed on December 15, 16, 24 and 25) open 5pm-10pm, Kew, London, TW9 3AB; kew.org; Tickets are £15 in advance and £17 on the day.
Hyde Park Winter Wonderland
Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland is a glittering slice of Disney-esque Christmas and the Bavarian Village is one of its highlights. Cruise around the light-bedecked stalls with a mulled wine or hot chocolate, catch one of the live acts or party late into the night in the Bavarian Great Hall. Aside from the market’s stalls, bars and restaurants, you can hit the fairground, take a spin on the big wheel, ice skate, watch a circus or check out some ice sculptures.
Open now until Sunday 4 January 2015 (closed on Christmas Day), 10am-10pm; Hyde Park, Westminster, London, W2 2UH; hydeparkwinterwonderland.com; Admission is free. See website for ticketed attractions.
Southbank Centre Christmas Market
Christmas shop beside the river in a classic German-style market, replete with 80 decorated wooden chalets selling handmade gifts and festive food and drink. Try a warm “Glühwein” (German Mulled Wine) and some German Bratwurst, listen to the Christmas choir then take a wander down the sparkling Thames.
Open now until 24 December, Mon-Thurs 10am-9pm, Fri-Sat 10am-10pm, Sun 10am-9pm. Southbank Centre, London SE1 8XX; southbankcentre.co.uk; Entry to the market is free.
Crafty Fox Christmas Market, Peckham
Billing itself as a High Street antidote, the Crafty Fox Market will feature designers, makers, workshops, food, a full bar and DJ’s spinning tunes all day long. Expect handmade jewellery, illustration, homeware and textiles. If you’re feeling creative, take part in a letterpress or screen-printing workshop.
December 13 2014, 12pm-6pm; The Bussey Building, 133 Rye Lane, London SE15 4ST; craftyfoxmarket.co.uk; Entry is free.
Cabbages and Frocks Christmas Lights Market, Marylebone
Three days of Christmassy shopping in a festive, decoration-filled outdoor market. This is the one for discounted pieces bought directly from designers. Look out for vintage clothes and accessories, scented candles, traditional Scandinavian Christmas decorations, handmade gloves, woolly hats and scarves. Food temptations will include a hog roast, macaroons and a bumper cake stand.
November 19 2014, 1-7pm (the regular market runs every Saturday), West End Green, London NW6 1LU; cabbagesandfrocks.co.uk; Entry is free.
Belgravia Christmas Market
London’s upmarket Belgravia becomes a wintery shoppers’ paradise during December and, on the first day of the month, a Christmas market will pop up along Elizabeth Street and Pimlico Road. Browse boutique market stalls selling jewellery, crafts, handmade chocolates, home and interior decorations and gastro treats galore. Circus performers will entertain and there will be a flock of reindeer to keep kids happy.
December 7 2014, Elizabeth Street 11am-4pm (market stalls and entertainment), Pimlico Road 11am-4pm (entertainment); Belgravia, London SW1; grosvenorlondon.com; Entry is free.