Better places to shop this Christmas

Christmas shopping is meant to be a fun activity for the whole family. But sometimes it can just be overwhelming.

We traipse along the same streets and areas of the capital in search of those elusive gifts, and in recent years up to 40m people have visited the West End over the festive period.We have a better suggestion. There are places across London that have an abundance of new, stylish and innovative gifts and experiences, just waiting to be discovered. And what’s better, most people don’t know about them (yet).


Open Studios

Spitalfields Arts Market


Spitalfields Arts Market

The East London market is home to a range of both upcoming and established artists, with sellers as diverse as the works on offer: ranging from the landscape photography of Tim Smith to the graphic-novel art of Rokoro, all at reasonable prices.




Prepare to be amazed, overawed and, maybe even, Dazzled. The jewellery exhibition showcases over 4,000 pieces from 80 artists in the iconic venue of the Oxo Tower. Handmade products are in abundance from the international selection, with the market promising innovation from established designers in addition to arts graduates.


Crafty Fox Market


Crafty Fox Market

The market is more of a forum for artists brought together in one place to present their wares to similarly discerning shoppers, but the range of crafts and artworks on offer is quite stunning, featuring a range of hand-picked stalls as well as workshops. The markets appear in a variety of locations across London, including Hoxton and Shoreditch Boxpark, while they provide a live DJ making this more of a shopping experience.


Eel Pie Island Artists


It is actually a private island in Twickenham’s section of the River Thames, but also home to 26 artists studios who open their doors twice a year to the public, including at Christmas. This allows shoppers to see inside a live, working studio, while they can chat to the artists themselves and purchase some works.

eel pie island artists



Camden Passage


Camden Passage Market London

Vintage, retro and one-off items are all stuffed away in this tidy stretch of Camden, with stallholders almost fighting for space. There are four markets in total, each specialising in a different range of products – the Pierrepoint Arcade market, for instance, has a wonderful range of antiques under a roof.


East Village London


The market returns this year for a Christmas ‘makers’ market’, offering a variety of arts, crafts and workshops in the former Olympic Village. This year there is a theme of ‘hygge’, the “Danish art of living cosily.” Expect food, drinks and crafts to give you that warm, fuzzy feeling.

East Village Market


Sutton House Christmas Market


sutton house christmas market

Sutton House is a Tudor Manor on Homerton High Street, and the unusual venue will this year host a Christmas market. Themed around pantomimes, each room will be decorated accordingly, along with a wide selection of stalls and shops offering crafts, gifts and food.



Real Food Christmas Market


If you’re just after some festive food, the Real Food Festival has a bewildering supply of snacks, drinks and full meals available right outside King’s Cross Station. Open 12:00-19:00 daily from the 14th-23rd December, the cold will never feel further away.


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