Avoid the queues and hustle and bustle of the high street and look for unique gifts, arts & crafts and festive food and drink in one of London's Christmas Markets.
Southbank Centre Christmas Market
15 Nov – 24 Dec 2013
From the London Eye to Waterloo Bridge, for the 6th time, the Southbank turns into a Winter festival, bringing the real German festive feeling to London. 80 authentically decorated wooden chalets will sell a wide range of unique hand-crafted gifts and unusual Christmas presents. Whilst you shop snack on some gingerbread hearts, roasted nuts and take a sip of “Glühwein” (German Mulled Wine) to keep you warm.
Chelsea Physic Garden Christmas Fair
30 Nov - 1 Dec
On the first weekend of December, once again London's oldest Botanic Garden opens its doors to host the Chelsea Physic Garden Christmas Fair. Held in large heated marquees across the beautiful grounds, there are stalls filled with extra thought out gifts for your loved ones. The Garden's Tangerine Dream Cafe will serve hot breakfasts and lunches (including a trademark game stew). It gives the public an opportunity to see the most stunning collection of plants that are usually hidden behind towering brick walls.
Covent Garden Christmas
6th Nov - 2nd Jan
Notorious for its festive lighting and extravagant 60ft Christmas Tree, Covent Garden is one of the most magical spots in London for Christmas. Plus, get the chance to pet one of Santa's helpers, at the reindeer petting zoo every Saturday. Furthermore, there will be Christmas performances by acclaimed theatre company Look Left Look Right.
Hyde Park Winter Wonderland
23rd Nov - 5th Jan
For the seventh year, the park becomes a fantasy Christmassy Winter Wonderland, complete with fairground rides, giant wheel, circus, food and drink stalls, Santa's grotto and, of course, an ice rink.
Taste of Christmas
21 - 24 Nov
"The perfect place for passionate foodies to get inspiration and enjoy a festive gastronomic heaven." Want to make your Christmas dinner a culinary triumph? Then learn from the best at The Taste Of Christmas Market. There will be live cooking demonstrations, food stalls from London's top restaurants, tastings and the opportunity to buy special ingredients to change up your traditional Christmas feast.