London Christmas markets 2014: Where to shop, eat and be merry

 
Sarah Spickernell
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There's something for everyone when it comes to London markets (Source: Getty)
One of the best things about Christmas in London is the variety of markets on offer.
Whether you want to browse, eat, drink or do some dedicated Christmas shopping, there will be somewhere nearby when you're in the capital.
From the traditional stalls in Belgravia market to the funky arts and crafts market in Shoreditch, there's something for everyone.
But many of them are taking place in the next couple of weeks, so make sure they don't pass you by! Here are six of out top picks for the festive period.

WINTER WONDERLAND

Set by the lake in Hyde Park, Winter Wonderland offers plenty of food, drink and gift stalls for those seeking a relaxed experience. For everyone else, there are rides, a trip to Santa Land and a huge ice rink.

The market itself free to enter but some activities require a paid-for ticket, such as ice skating at the Magical Ice Kingdom
Where: Hyde Park
When: 10am-10pm from 22 November to 4 January (excluding Christmas Day)

There are lots of rides for children (and adults!) to enjoy (Source: Getty)

BELGRAVIA CHRISTMAS SUNDAY

For one day only, the elegant streets of Belgravia will be transformed into a mini Christmas world. Pop-up stalls will appear selling an eclectic range of handmade gifts and tasty treats. Santa and his flock of real reindeer will also make an appearance, along with carol singers and a traditional brass band.
Where: Elizabeth Street, Motcomb street and Pimlico Road
When: 11am-5pmon 7 December

Santa's real flock of reindeer will make an appearance in London (Source: Getty)

SHOREDITCH CHRISTMAS CRAFT MARKET

If you prefer a more creative and less predictable take on Christmas, the Shoreditch market sells art, upcycled furniture and knitted clothes among other things. For those just looking for a bite to eat, there are food stalls, too.
You could even try being on the other side of the event, if you have a talent to show – the market is still taking applications to host a stall.
Where: Old Street
When: Every Friday and Saturday from 5-20 December

The event is still accepting applications to host stalls (Source: Red Gallery)

CANARY WHARF

For those working in the city, the Canary Wharf market is just a short journey away – perfect to pop into during a lunch break or after work.
Stalls are packed with everything from personalised decorations and wooden toys to handmade soap, jewellery and oil paintings – so it's great for any last minute gifts.
If you're feeling more adventurous, there's also an ice rink nearby at Canada Square Park, and Santa's Grotto over in Jubilee Place.
Where: Canary Wharf, 1 Canada Square
When: 17 November – 24 December

Conveniently located in the city (Source: Your Canary Wharf)

BARBICAN CHRISTMAS MARKET

This is the market for those in search of one-off vintage gifts. For ten days, Londoners will be able to enter the Barbican Centre for free and browse the stalls of local traders and exhibitors. There’ll be mulled wine and mince pies to enjoy all the while, too.

Where: Barbican Foyers, Barbican Centre on Silk Street

When: 12-21 December
Mon–Fri 4pm–8.30pm
Sat & Sun 12pm–8.30pm

The perfect place to find vintage gifts (Source: Getty)

CHRISTMAS CHOCOLATE FESTIVAL

A chocoholics dream – for three days, you can satisfy your sweet tooth in the Tasting Lounge, learn to make truffles and buy plenty of treats to continue the celebrations at home.

There's even a Cocoa Spa where you can “soothe your senses in luxurious cocoa butter”, and a Christmas Zone containing a giant tree decorated head to toe in chocolate.
The slight drawback is that you have to pay to go, with adult tickets costing between £7 and £8. For children its between £4 and £5.
Where: Business Design Centre, Upper Street, Islington
When: 12-14 December

Learn to make truffles at the chocolate festival (Source: The Chocolate Fest)

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