In this article, you'll learn the following:
Visiting Christmas markets is one of the best ways to get into the festive spirit, and London and the South West are home to some spectacular ones!
Make a mistle-toast to the holiday season with a cup of mulled wine, treat yo'elf to sweet treats and mince pies, make it rein with stocking fillers and much more at markets across our network.
Read on to learn more about them, how to get to your top picks, and things to do while you’re there. No Scrooges allowed!
Best Christmas markets in London
London truly shines during the festive season, and Christmas markets only add to its sparkle. With markets popping up all around the city, you’ll want to start checking them off your list (twice!) right away.
London Southbank Winter Market
There’s no better place to start your quest than the Southbank Winter Market, which runs from 3 November to 26 December.
Located right beside the London Eye, this market boasts picturesque rows of German-style wooden chalets where you’ll find antique treasures while feasting on hot toddies, scrumptious street food and Christmas pudding.
Parents - while you’re in the area, be sure to take the kids to Wishmas, where they can meet Father Christmas, explore magical rooms and more. Save 10% on your tickets when you travel with us.
To get to Southbank, get a train to Waterloo - the market’s less than a 10-minute walk from the station.
Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park
Winter Wonderland is the most famous Christmas market in London, and with heaps of attractions, the title is rightly deserved. Running between 17 November - 1 January, it’s a traditional festive trip for couples and families alike, and undoubtedly one of the best things to do in London over the festive period.
At its traditional German style market - which is one of the largest in the capital - you can stock up on gifts and treats from all areas of the UK and beyond, including arts and crafts, trinkets, jewellery and decorations. Buy your tickets.
To get to this hub of Christmas cheer, get a train to Waterloo, and then catch the tube to Hyde Park Corner.
Leicester Square Christmas Market
The infamous Leicester Square gets a festive makeover each year when its Christmas market opens for business.
Be sure to stuff your face with waffles, churros and cakes galore. Warm yourself up with mulled wine, and find hand-crafted goods, beautifully decorated bars and more at this one, which runs from 8 November to 7 January.
Leicester Square Christmas market is conveniently placed less than a 10-minute tube away from Waterloo station.
While you’re in the capital, why not make a day of it? Find great places to do some Christmas shopping, and see if you can save on presents. If you work up an appetite, you can make extra savings on your food bill when you travel with us. And if you’re staying in London for the weekend, don’t forget to browse our hotel, theatre and attraction offers on SWR Rewards. For example, you can enjoy up to 45% off Disney’s Frozen The Musical, 10% off SEA Life London, and 10% off Warner Bros. Studio Tour: The Making of Harry Potter.
Best Christmas Markets in the South West
If you want to expand your festive adventures, there are an abundance of Christmas markets across the South West to enjoy.
Winchester Cathedral Christmas Market
Head to Winchester Cathedral Christmas Market between 17 November – 21 December and engross yourself in its bustling atmosphere! The market - which attracts more than 400,000 visitors each year - is recognised as one of the best in Europe!
Inspired by traditional German Christmas markets, this one’s in a super unique location within Winchester Cathedral Inner Close. The Cathedral is a historical landmark worth seeing regardless, perhaps best known as the burial place of Jane Austen.
Enjoy the festive lighting, Christmas carols, mulled wine and cinnamon buns and while you’re there do some Christmas shopping. There are also community Christmas performances taking place!
The market’s just a 10-minute walk away from Winchester station.
If you’re looking for other things to do while you’re in town, check SWR Rewards to get money off activities, including 10% off a historic guided tour of the city. The tour will take you to the likes of Wolvesey Castle and Winchester College.
Kingston Christmas Market
Just outside of London, you’ll find Kingston Christmas Market - a popular choice for those looking for a big, fun-filled market, without having to face the business of the city.
See fairy lights brighten up the stalls selling gorgeous gifts, get in the Christmas spirit with a cup of mulled wine, and eat bratwurst, hog roasts and other delicious street food here.
This one takes place from 16 November - 31 December.
To get there, catch a South Western Railway train to Kingston Station and take a 7-minute stroll to Kingston Ancient Market Place.
Exeter Cathedral Christmas Market
Exeter Cathedral alone is simply staggering, with its Norman towers and the world’s longest Gothic arching. Its Christmas market only adds to its beauty, as it boasts over 100 twinkling chalets championing local Devon-based businesses selling unique gifts and produce. You’ll also find a range of pop-up bars, street food stalls, and cafes to enjoy.
To get there, hop on a train to Exeter Central and the Cathedral is only a 6-minute walk away.
While you’re in the area, you can visit the likes of the Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Art Gallery, and do some extra Christmas shopping at Princesshay, an open-air complex of 70 high street stores! We’ve got plenty more recommendations in this guide.
If you’re planning on spending the night in Exeter, you can get £5 off per night at Bendene Townhouse with SWR Rewards. See what other savings you can make while you’re in town.
Bournemouth Christmas Market
At this Alpine-style Christmas market, you’ll feel like your festive dream world has been conjured up! With everything from stocking fillers and edible gifts to toys, jewellery and handmade goodies, there’s something for everyone.
There are also plenty of family activities, including a Santa’s Grotto, an ice rink and much more! While watching your kids get involved in the fun, you can warm up with mulled wine and mince pies at the two-storey Alpine lodge bar.
On your visit, you’ll also see the incredible Christmas Tree Wonderland, filled with illuminated trees from the market all the way down to Bournemouth’s iconic beach front.
This one runs from 17 November - 1 January, which gives you plenty of time to get involved.
To get to this magnificent market, get a train to Bournemouth station, and from there it’s a 10-minute journey on the 5A bus.
There’s plenty more to do in Bournemouth, including the Boscombe Pier and Pierzip zip-wire ride. You can also get 22% off afternoon tea and half price tickets at CENTRE VR when you travel with us. If you’re planning a winter staycation, get 22% off your stay with SWR Rewards.
Portsmouth Christmas Market
Portsmouth Christmas Market is returning to Commercial Road this winter. The market is made up of wooden cabins in the city centre, selling things like German sausages and glühwein, Christmas stockings, tree decorations and presents.
Sleigh, what?! Ready to get in on the festive cheer? Book your train tickets with South Western Railway to kickstart the Christmas season. Explore our flexible range of ticket types to find the best one for your journey, and save even more with a Railcard.
Sip on festive drinks and authentic German beer, or enjoy a wholesome coffee or hot chocolate.
2023 dates haven’t been announced yet, but we’ll update you when we know more!
It’s also worth checking out the Love Southsea Christmas Market taking place inside Portsmouth Historic Dockyard on 25-26 November, and the We Create Market in Cascades Shopping Centre on 9-10 December. There will also be a market in Portsmouth Museum and Art Gallery, but the dates for this have not yet been confirmed - again, we’ll update you when we know more.
Portsmouth Christmas Market is just over a 5 minute walk from Portsmouth & Southsea station.
Remember to check SWR Rewards to make extra savings when you travel with us, including on hotel stays, places to eat, and activities. See all SWR Portsmouth deals.