Planning a family weekend in London? It would be a great idea to hire a car and head out to explore the local Christmas markets. If arriving in town by plane, pick up the spacious 7 seater hire Heathrow Airport for the best start to your winter trip. A hire car is a convenient way to get around, which will allow you to visit all the most amazing local Christmas markets in comfort.
London’s Christmas markets offer plenty of fun and entertainment. Also, you will be happy to taste delicious mulled wine, chocolate fondue, Bavarian sausages, and catch the Christmas mood. Want to experience it soon? Then set off to London, hire a car, and let’s go!
Christmas by the River near London Bridge
When: from November 16 till January 2
Located in the London Bridge area, Christmas by the River is one of the most vibrant Christmas markets. Here you can enjoy a stunning view of one of the main attractions of the capital – Tower Bridge, and taste goodies from all over the world, from pad thai noodles to Belgian waffles. Mulled wine is also plentiful here, but fair-goers recommend trying the local Glögg.
Glögg is a Scandinavian type of mulled wine. It’s based on red wine, with the addition of vodka or port wine. According to the legend, Catherine Jagiellon, wife of the Swedish Duke Johan III, drank Glögg to keep warm on Christmas Eve. Since then, it has become popular in many cities in Scandinavia and the UK.
Speaking of drinks, don’t forget to try the watermelon gin, and for a snack, feel free to take “chocolate kisses”, sweets on a crispy waffle base with different fillings. Yes, it sounds very sweet, but each of them only has 70 calories. One such candy costs only a pound, while a box of 12 pieces will cost you 10 pounds.
Leicester Square Christmas Market
When: from November 12 till January 9
Head to Leicester Square for an incredible theatrical adventure! Its main feature is the 1920s-style spiegeltent, where visitors can see theatrical performances. For example, the La Clique show, which is a mixture of circus art, comedy, and cabaret.
If you come with children, go take pictures with Santa. Of course, you will have to stand in line for the sake of a picture, but then you will go home with a great souvenir. After that, head to the Baby Loves Disco holiday party. Everyone, regardless of age, can have fun there, as the DJ plays music for different ages. Tickets for the show can be purchased in advance on the official website.
As for the treats, you can enjoy Czech dishes, German sausages, chocolate fondue, mulled wine, and hot cider. One thing to keep in mind before heading to Leicester Square is that it’s small and can be quite crowded on weekends.
Christmas at Trafalgar Square
When: from November 12 till January 4
Another Christmas market is located at Trafalgar Square. Upon arrival, first head to the National Gallery stalls where you can purchase a vintage candlestick or a unique root wood with hand-blown glass as a souvenir. This is a very unique Christmas gift that fits perfectly into any decor.
German sausages are a traditional treat at the fair, so don’t miss them. Also, try currywurst, the iconic sausage appetizer with tomato sauce and curry, or krakauer, which is a pork and beef sausage. It’s considered to be the hallmark of German and Austrian cuisine, although this dish is originally from the Polish Krakow.
For dessert, you can have toffee, donuts, or Dutch pancakes. If you want something a little more interesting, buy a jar of jam from the Cherry Tree Company. In addition to jam, you can buy chutney – a traditional Indian sauce that is usually added to mild dishes. In addition to the fair, at Trafalgar Square, you will see a huge 25-meter-high spruce, which was brought to London from Norway.
Selfridges Christmas Market
When: from November 5 till January 2
After your Christmas shopping at Selfridges, be sure to check out the fair the department store has hosted right at Mews. By the way, Street Feast is responsible for the food at the fair this year. This is one of the best street food companies in the capital, so you can sample Indian curries, pizza, hot dogs, Belgian waffles, seafood, and more. Please note that there are no benches or tables at the Selfridges fair and you may feel a little uncomfortable eating. However, this won’t spoil the experience of this Christmas market.
Children at Selfridges Christmas Market will find it interesting to ride the Helter Skelter. Yes, adults may also like this activity. When else can you feel like a child if not at Christmas?
At the fair, you will find stalls of such brands as Jo Malone and MAC. They will come in handy if you suddenly forgot to buy a gift for someone from your relatives or friends.