Christmas Markets

3 markets in under 2 hours

With Christmas falling on a Monday this year, everything feels a bit more rushed than usual. Where to find last minute gifts, while steering clear of traditional shops and enjoy a bit of festive fun at the same time:
Start at Waterloo Station and walk 5 minutes to Southbank Centre

Southbank Centre (Until December 30th) — Conveniently located by Waterloo station, 50 wooden chalets dot the river as part of Southbank Centre's Winter Market. In additional to gift vendors, the market features food of all types from traditional bratwurst and mulled wine to fried chicken and vegan street food. There are opportunities to warm up in a Finnish sauna located in Queen Elizabeth Roof Terrace or Jimmy's Winter Lodge located on the riverside.   
Walk 19 minutes to Leicester Square

Leicester Square (Until January 8th) — For the second year, the heart of Leicester Square is transformed to a Christmas market featuring 25 stalls of savory and sweet treats along with a variety of handcrafted and unique gifts.  Take a break from Christmas in Leicester Square shopping to visit the grotto or watch a show in the vintage spiegeltent (Dutch for 'mirror tent').  Produced by Underbelly, there is a wide range of shows to enjoy for all different age groups.  
Walk 20 minutes to Waterloo and take 29 minute Southwest Train to Kingston and walk 5 minutes to Kingston Market

Kingston Market (Until December 31st) — Since the 1200's, Kingston Upon Thames has been home to an Ancient Market. During the holidays, the number of stalls more than doubles to 75. The layout of the market is based on the Berlin Christmas market — the largest in Germany.  The market includes two outdoor bar areas along with German-style street food and cuisine from around the world. New this year is Candy Cane Forest complete with entertainment, rides and other fun for kids.

It is also worth stopping in at the Eden Crafts Marquee located on All Saints Parish Church Green and The Market House located in the middle of the Ancient Market Place.  With so many shopping choices, it is no wonder that Kingston is on track to become the largest towns hosting a Christmas event in the UK.    

The walk at and between markets will keep you warm and justify the mulled wine and other holiday treats you'll encounter along the way!

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