London is the perfect destination for some Christmas shopping. Not only is the city home to leading stores and boutiques, but London has a fantastic selection of special fairs and markets that offer shoppers a brilliantly festive shopping experience.

Read our guide to 5 of the best London Christmas Markets for 2013.

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland 2013

The whole family will love a visit to the stunning Hyde Park Winter Wonderland.

An enchanting highlight of the wonderland is the Magical Ice Kingdom, an immersive world of snow and ice sculptures, with ogres, knights, castles and swans. After visiting the ice Kingdom, visitors can skate around the UK’s largest ice rink, then relax with a hot cider around an open fire.

Make sure to take a spin in the giant observation wheel for stunning views of London. There are lots of other rides to enjoy as well, like a Pirates Adventure, roller coasters, traditional fairground rides and the ‘Winter Wonderland Express’.

The pretty Christmas Markets in London’s Hyde Park Winter Wonderland have a fantastic selection of jewellery, accessories, clothing, crafts, and food, in over 200 festive wooden chalets.

Southbank Centre Winter Festival

Santa’s Elves have been busy transforming Southbank Centre into a truly festive destination for visitors in search of a great London Christmas Market.

The Southbank Centre Winter Festival includes markets, shows and special events. The waterfront sparkles with a canopy of thousands of glittering lights and twinkling chalets, which are home to seasonal food and drink as well as unique gifts.

You can visit a variety of one-off markets selling handmade or designer goods. The Real Food Christmas Market will be a fantastic place to buy some festive ingredients, cheese, charcuterie and chutney as well as mince pies and mulled wine. The Designers/Makers Christmas Market sees UK artists and designers selling unique jewellery, textiles, ceramics, homewares and prints. The Chocolate Festival will have chocolatiers from around Europe giving tastings, masterclasses and demonstrations, as well as selling sweet treats.

Southbank Centre Winter Festival also offers brilliant festive activities and events, like Pedal powered snow globe Christmas trees, Slava’s Snowshow, and performances of the Snowman among them.

Christmas at Kew Gardens 2013

Visit beautiful Kew Gardens for a winter treat in the form of Christmas at Kew Gardens.

For the first time, Kew Gardens open their doors at night for their special Christmas After Dark events. Walk the illuminated trail through the gorgeous botanical gardens, and explore the sights through colour, sound and light.

Before you walk the illuminated trail, make time to visit the Kew Gardens Christmas Village, where you can enjoy festive food and drink, listen to Christmas carols, and take part in special events. Children can meet Santa in his Woodland Grotto, and enjoy a spin in some family rides including a Victorian carousel. A boutique Christmas market of traditional wooden chalets gives visitors the chance to buy gifts from local designers and craft makers.

Vintage Christmas And Real Ale Festival

Celebrate a Vintage Christmas at the impressive Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on 06, 07 or 08 December.
A Christmas Market will give you the chance to purchase gifts and seasonal treats, while a Victorian Funfair is a great way to get in the festive mood. There’s a Ferris Wheel, Helter Skelter and Chair-o-Planes, as well as a roller disco housed in a Victorian dodgems track.

The Real Ale festival also running the Olympic Park will have a variety of seasonal ales and beers, as well as spiced cider, mulled wine, and festive food. DJs will entertain you through the night, along with a selection of fun bands on stage, like London Gay Men’s Chorus or the big band Fat 45.

Barbican Design Market

For unique Christmas gifts, make sure you head to the Barbican Design Market, on Wednesdays to Sundays to 22 December 2013.

A selection of London’s best designer/makers will be showing and selling their work during the event, including designer jewellery, prints, textiles, cards and home-wares. The selection has been handpicked, and no two days will feature the same designers. A pop-up Christmas Toy Shop pop-up runs alongside the Design Market, and is a great place to find vintage inspired stocking fillers, games, toys and collectables.

Enjoy a spiced slow gin mulled wine and festive cake as you browse the stalls, and head to the Barbican Shop afterwards to see more great gift ideas.

Where to Stay

The snug Park Inn London Watford is a great place to stay after a visit to a London Christmas Market. Our modern London hotel is a short walk from Watford Junction Station, which has quick and easy access to London centre.

Are you on Santa’s Naughty List or Nice List?