While there are plenty of festive offerings abroad, sometimes it’s not possible to stretch your budget especially when you have gifts to buy, but the good news is that you can find some great UK Christmas markets.
In fact, London can be a great spot if you’re looking for a wide array of things to do in the lead-up to the big day with a host of wintry markets and fairs whether you’re after a family day out or a night out with friends.
To give you a helping hand, we’ve rounded up the best ones below.
Families with young children may also want to check out our round-up of the best family days out this Christmas.
Want more inspiration? We’ve also got a guide on the top cheap days out if you’re visiting the city.
You won’t be stuck on things to do with a trip to Winterville.
Enjoy an ice skating session, take on the roller disco, tickle your taste buds with street food, watch screenings of Christmas classics in Backyard Cinema’s Winter Night Garden or play crazy golf on the UV-powered Plonk Golf course.
There’s also a huge ferris wheel as well as, of course, unique gifts from their alternative Christmas market.
Winterville is open until the 23rd December.
A short walk from Waterloo underground station, the Southbank Centre will be transformed into a wonderland offering magical family shows, markets, twinkling lights, festive fun and other seasonal delights.
The Winter Market will serve up street food, craft beer and cocktails to tuck into as you wander past the various arts and crafts stalls, where you can pick up a trinket or two.
In the meantime there will be some brilliant shows from animal puppetry with Circus 1903 to a quirky twist on Rumpelstiltskin.
The festival will run through to the 6th January.
You could easily while away an entire day exploring the plethora of fun to be had at Winter Wonderland.
For example, there’s the UK’s largest outdoor ice rink, the Magical Ice Kingdom boasting a ‘Secret Forest’ theme, ice sculpting workshops, special screenings of The Snowman, exciting new show Peter Pan on Ice, and even a Teletubbies Live Show.
Then there is the main Bavarian village jam-packed with stalls offering Christmas gift inspiration and festive treats, as well as bars serving up mulled wine, beers and hot chocolates.
Entrance to Winter Wonderland itself is free but you’ll need to book tickets for individual shows and attractions.
Open daily from 10am-10pm until the 6th January.
There’ll be plenty of fun to be had for the whole family at the iconic London hotspot.
For a start, there’s a Christmas market with over 25 stalls offering everything from mulled wine and festive treats to arts and crafts and trinkets to buy for your loved ones.
Meanwhile the 1920s themed Belgian Spiegeltent will be home to a wide array of comedy, cabaret and burlesque shows for adults, but that doesn’t mean kids have been forgotten.
In fact there’ll be new high action circus show Brat Kids Carnival, while Monski Mouse’s baby disco is ideal for tiny tots.
Christmas at Leicester Square will run through to the 5th January. Tickets are free but the shows must be booked in advance.
If you’re after a fun night out head to Roof East in Stratford where you’ll find a Jamaican-themed offering paying tribute to hit film Cool Runnings’ 25th anniversary.
There are some bobsleighs used as decor but if you’re looking to partake in a fun sport then head to one of the booths where curling is on offer. Or relax on the rooftop with delicious street food and thirst-quenching hot and cold drinks listening to the steel pan bands playing Christmas tunes.
Open Mondays-Fridays between 4.30pm-11pm, and Saturdays from 12pm-11pm. Running until the 22nd December. Entry is free but some activities will require tickets – prices start from £40 for up to four players for curling.
The bustling district of Canary Wharf is packed with shops and restaurants to discover but this winter it’s had a festive update.
The outdoor ice rink is back where you can don your skates and enjoy a session skating under a canopy of flickering, illuminated trees, not to mention the new supersize digital screen displaying magical seasonal backdrops.
Meanwhile, film buffs can head to the Everyman Cinema on Crossrail Place where you’ll find a host of classic Christmas films being screened from The Santa Clause to Miracle on 34th Street. (Tickets from £2, kids aged under two go free).
The ice rink is open in Canada Square Park until the 15th February 2019.