10 of the Best: Most Magical Christmas Markets To Visit This Winter

10 of the Best: Most Magical Christmas Markets To Visit This Winter

Categories: 10 of the Best, Camden, Excursions, Kentish Town, London Living


HO! HO! HO! Are you looking for the perfect Christmas gift? Do you like mince pies, magical stalls and dazzling lights? If it's a YES, then keep reading.

Throughout November and December, the UK capital fills its streets with snow-capped villages lined with wooden cabins selling cinnamon buns, bratwurst sausages, handmade gifts, and more.

What are you waiting for? Come on over with friends or family this holiday season to experience the city’s festive vibes firsthand.


Book now and grab a flight for a short winter break in London

There's still time to book your space on one of our Super Intensive English programmes. You can improve your language skills and put your learning into practice while experiencing all the fun and joy this magical holiday season!

Classes for 2022 end on December 16th, but our buildings and accommodation remain open all year round. And learning starts back up again on January 3rd, so you can begin the New Year right.

If you’re just looking for accommodation in London (without English classes), then check out our jolly Christmas package. You can book a single or twin room at a discounted rate at our Kentish Town campus in central London.

Now, without further ado, let’s get to the top ten Christmas markets you must include on your London bucket list.

1. Winter Wonderland, Hyde Park

Immerse yourself in everything festive from the middle of November to early January. Winter Wonderland is the biggest Christmas event in London which includes an enormous number of amusement rides, Christmas Markets, Santa Land, a Bavarian Village; you name it!

The ticket prices depend on your entry time throughout the day and you need to book your time slot in advance. Off-peak tickets are FREE, and peak tickets are £7.50. Make sure you arrive at the right time and then you can stay inside the Winter Wonderland as long as you wish. The cost for amusement rides differs, check their website for more details.

Tip! If you’re travelling from our Kentish Town or Camden location, take the Northern Tube Line to Leicester Square, change to the Piccadilly line and exit at Hyde Park station.


2. Covent Garden, Apple Market

Christmas in Covent Garden cannot start without their legendary Christmas tree and a dazzling array of lights decorating the Piazza. This year you can take a seat in the Covent Garden Christmas sleigh, dance in the snow during snow showers, indulge in festive dishes, enjoy heated terraces or experience limited pop-ups from favourite brands such as Dolce & Gabbana.

Dates for your diary:

  • From November 8th - 20th, you can put yourself in the festive spirit and come along to the Winter Warmer Festival, have a magical hot chocolate with a sweet dessert and much more.
  • From December 3rd - 11th, you can grab a special sandwich with rich, mouth-watering flavours during the Christmas Sandwich Festival - proof that there really is a festival for everything today!

3. Southbank Christmas Markets

Full of twinkling markets, delicious food and exhibitions along the River Thames, Southbank Christmas Markets offer a great experience for Londoners and tourists.

During your visit, you can enjoy seasonal pop-ups, shows, and FREE events, including audio adventures and a Caribbean carnival, to name a few. As you walk along the River Thames, you can ride on the London Eye or snap a few selfies in front of the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben.

The nearest tube station to the Southbank Centre is Waterloo, which is sitting on the Northern Tube Line and is just under 20 minutes away from our Kentish Town campus.


Our Turkish student Nesibe, who’s enrolled on an Intensive General English programme, raved about the city's holiday vibes:

“Walking through the streets of London, I feel like I'm on a movie set. I really love Christmas lights in London. That's like a dream. I know people who want to see this have to come to London. That's why I'm so lucky to be here.”


4. Leicester Square, Christmas Markets

From November 9th to January 8th, you can find gallons of glühwein and bundles of bratwurst along with Christmas stalls offering gifts for your loved ones. Look no further if you enjoy Christmas shows because LA CLIQUE is back in Leicester Square this winter! LA CLIQUE is a genre-defining cabaret that promises a night of laughs and can't-believe-your-eyes acrobatic performances. See their website for ticket prices and dates.

5. Borough Market

Borough Market is well known as the best street food market in London. From December 1st until Christmas Eve, forget about dieting because Borough Market bursts at the seams for the festive season. You'll find a range of yummy food stalls selling everything from pate to cheese to baked goodies.

The nearest tube station is London Bridge, sitting on the Northern line and within 20 minutes from the SCL International College Kentish Town campus.


Bruna, who’s recently completed her General English programme and returned back to Brazil, shared her reactions to the holiday season in the city:

"During my last week in London, I felt perfectly the Christmas spirit and how the city celebrates it. I was in Piccadilly, Carnaby and Oxford street to see the lights turning on; it was the most incredible thing I've ever seen."

Borough Market

6. Christmas shopping at Camden Market

Easily accessible and within a short walking distance from our Kentish Town and Camden campus locations, Camden Market offers a wide range of original and precious treats, affordable vintage fashion and more. Every Thursday from November 17th, the North Yard will be your place to go for scrumptious food, mulled wine, good music and a unique Christmas shopping experience.

With its own North London vibe, it’s safe to say that Camden Market is the opposite of extensive brand shopping - there's simply nothing like it. If you are a fan of Electric fashion, don’t forget to take a photo with the two gigantic cyborgs that guard the emporium of neon known as the Cyberdog. Inside the store, you can choose from a vast collection of incredible outfits, including futuristic and cybertronic styles.


7. Kingston Christmas Market

If you want to fill your stocking with gifts purchased at a Christmas market in a traditional British setting, then visit Kingston Christmas Market. From November 10th to December 24th, you can enjoy a variety of market stalls, from cheese and moonshine to jewellery and framed scrabble letter prints.

Nestled in South West London, you’ll find the Kingston Christmas Market at Ancient Market Place. You can travel to Waterloo tube station on the Northern line, walk seven minutes and change to Waterloo train station. From Waterloo station, take the first train towards Strawberry Hill via Wimbledon and arrive at Kingston station. From there, walk by the riverside and arrive at Ancient Market Place.


8. Canopy Christmas Market, King’s Cross

At King’s Cross, the Christmas countdown starts from December 1st to December 22nd. Decorated with twinkling lights and hanging stars, the Canopy Christmas Market offers special festive weekend events you should put on your radar:

  • From December 2nd - 4th, you can purchase fine vegan products such as cheese, spreads, snacks, skincare or clothing at the Vegan Christmas Market.
  • From December 9th - 22nd, pop into Canopy Craft Gifting Special Event and fill your stocking with handmade crafts or designer-makers originals.

Once you’re at Kings Cross, it’s worth looking around. Save this link for your complete Christmas Gift Guide designed specifically for Kings Cross visitors.

9. Trafalgar Square

Since 1947, year after year, as a gesture of gratitude for British support during the Second World War, the Brits receive a magical Christmas tree which travels from Norway. The Christmas tree lighting ceremony takes place in Trafalgar Square on the first Thursday in December every year. When the time comes, Londoners and tourists gather around the Christmas tree and patiently await to see its glowing beauty.

Did you know you can browse over 20 Christmas market stalls in Trafalgar Square this winter? Grab a hot chocolate, try mini pancakes, and listen to Christmas carols as you pay a visit to London’s most iconic square. Whilst immersing yourself in the festive season, you can take photos of Nelson’s Column, The National Gallery, The Landseer Lions and The Fountains or Big Ben from afar.


10. Explore Festive Markets in Greenwich

Visit Greenwich and enjoy listening to classic Yuletide tunes, browse nearly 50 food stalls, and choose unique Christmas gifts from 12 antique stalls and 45 fashion stalls - you won’t be disappointed.

When you’re in Greenwich, don’t forget to visit the Royal Observatory - home to the Prime Meridian Line - or wander around the Old Royal Naval College.

Want to see London from a different vantage? You can travel to Greenwich by riverboat from the Tower of London and get off at Greenwich Pier. Or get a bird's eye view of the skyline and hop on a cable car from North Greenwich to arrive in Greenwich Peninsula. Alternatively, travel by tube. The nearest tube station is on the Jubilee line - Northern Greenwich. From Northern Greenwich, get on a 188 bus towards Russell Square, get off outside the Maritime Museum and in less than two minutes, you’ll reach the Greenwich Market.

Experience the magic of Christmas this year in London

Join us and experience all the fun and joy this magical holiday season! Contact us now to book a short language course or a mini-stay in our accommodation and grab a flight for a winter break in London.

Come and visit soon because our Social Programme Coordinator Gen can’t wait to take you around the capital: “I love showing our students London’s Christmas Markets. They’re made up of such an eclectic mix of holiday traditions from around the world, with a London backdrop. We will definitely be visiting some this winter as part of the social programme. Nothing gets you into the Christmas spirit like it!”

Happy exploring, and don’t forget to share your experiences with us! Tag us or include #sclcollege hashtag in your posts, and follow us on Instagram or Facebook.

Any questions? Drop us a note any time at info@sclinternationalcollege.com or if you are already an SCL student, then come talk to us at the Reception area.

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