London is truly a city for the christmas period. With glittering lights and collections of carollers lighting up the streets with their beautiful music, christmas in London is a truly special period. With so much going on in the city, it’s hard to pick the seasonal highlights from the dazzling din of grottos and events.

Below are some of our favourite winter treats, specially selected markets for the best in christmas shopping and just for simply soaking in the seasonal atmosphere. Whether you’re staying in suburban London budget hotels or the five star gems of the city centre, there’s always a christmas market nearby, whatever borough you’re in. The long spanning history of the London christmas market makes this a truly magical period.

Greenwich Market

Based in the upmarket borough of Greenwich, the christmas festival based in the Old Royal Naval College is some of the most fun you can have in East London over the Christmas period. With an ice rink and art displays kitted out in the scenic and historic location, you’ll have more than just any old christmas market on your hands with this brand new festival. With the market selling everything from independent clothing to artisan food, there’ll plenty to keep you East of the river.

Leicester Square Christmas Market

Located a short walk from the luxury hotels in London Oxford Street, the Leicester Square Christmas Market brings the festive season right into the heart of the West End. Here you’ll find beautiful examples of boutique street food as well as plenty of options for Christmas shopping which the high street simply can’t beat.

Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland

If you’re staying at the Shaftesbury Premier Paddington during the christmas period, then the Winter Wonderland Festival in Hyde Park is well worth a visit if you want to get into the christmas spirit. Alongside a street food market, you’ll find ice rinks, light shows and even an entire bar made of ice. Located within the confines of one of London’s most iconic parks, the Winter Wonderland Festival is one of the most popular in the city with both tourists and locals alike.

Southbank Christmas Market

The southbank is already rife with great places to spend an afternoon, even more so when the winter festival comes around. The Southbank at Christmas time brings mulled wine, cider and festive food stalls to the banks of the Thames, whilst the Southbank Centre and its surrounding entertainment venues play host to traditional pantomimes and christmas entertainment, suitable for all the family. Whether it’s the spectacular Circus 1903, a staging of Rumpelstiltskin or the fancy dress snow ball on the 22nd December, there will always be something to draw you to the Southbank during the coming christmas period.

Portobello Market at Christmas

Full of Moorish Bazaars, Santa’s Grottos for the kids and a wide range of artisan products on sale at the Hamper and Stockings Market, the Portobello Winter Festival brings a new side out to the charming West London area. With the historic market already bringing tourists down week after week, the Winter Festival adds another level of spectacle to this iconic street.

Winterville on Clapham Common

Clapham Common is one of the most overlooked green spaces in London. With its vast playing fields ripe for a market, last year saw funfairs, ice rinks and market stalls opening up on the already beautiful common which can be forgotten amidst the mad rush of South London. Last year saw pop up pubs, the iconic spiegeltent and comedy and cabaret shows open up around the area, and we’re sure you’ll see the same this year.