Every year the concrete metropolis fills up with twinkling lights, festive decorations, tiny stalls, pop-ups, and a merry atmosphere to celebrate the jolliest time of the year.
East London Christmas markets are a perfect preamble to winter holidays and they’re full of unique products with a variety so big you can complete your whole shopping list at one event. What’s more, shopping from small retailers helps the indies to fight back against high-street chains, while scoring you one of a kind prezzies that will please even the most difficult gift receivers.
To join our list of local Christmas events, we dug around to put together a list of East London Christmas Markets so you can choose the one that suits you best. Here they are in brief, with full descriptions below:
- 16-17 November – Craft Central Winter Market at The Forge
- 23-24 November & 7-8 December – Urban Makers at the Eco Pavilion
- 27 November to 18 December – Columbia Road Christmas Wednesdays
- 30 November – Merry Making at Here East Statford
- 7 December – Stepney City Farm Christmas Market
- 7 December – DIY Christmas Art Market at Rich Mix
- 7 December – Zero Waste Christmas Market in Shoreditch
- 7 December – Christmas takeover at Old Spitalfields Market
- 7 & 15 December – E17 Designers Christmas Markets
- 8 December – Bow Arts Christmas Makers Market
- 10 December– Chrisp Street Santa’s Grotto and Christmas Market
From independent ceramics, vegan and plastic-free items, fresh produce and contemporary art, to litres of mulled wine, there is something for everyone.
Craft Central Winter Market
Head over to Craft Central this November for a seasonal craft makers-market. This is the perfect opportunity to buy special gifts for friends, family or simply just to treat yourself. On offer will be handmade ceramic, interior products, textiles, fashion accessories, jewellery, prints and much more. Take the whole family and join in workshops or enjoy refreshments at a pop-café run by Gu Choi Pan London, a micro- barkery serving authentic Japanese savoury and sweet breads and cakes.
397-411 Westferry Rd
Isle of Dogs
visit the Craft Central website for more information
Urban Makers East
Mile End Ecology Pavilion
23-24 November & 7-8 December
Urban Makers are returning to the Eco Pavilion with two weekend Christmas markets.
The markets will showcase 50 designer makers each day, offering an enormous variety of hand-made products – including jewellery, home-ware, gardening tools, clothing, accessories, postcards, cosmetics and kitchen utensils.
It will be a good opportunity to do some Christmas shopping and support artists and makers from East London at the same time. With workshops for adults and children, face-painting, delicious hot dishes and drinks, this is a good day out for all the family.
You can expect a beautifully decorated hall with Christmas music and flickering lights, colourful stalls, and a festive atmosphere that is sure to put you into the holiday spirit.
The Ecology Pavilion
Mile End Park
Check out Urban Makers website for more info about the event
Columbia Road Christmas Wednesdays
Every Wednesday from 27 November to 18 December 2018
Columbia Road is famous for its flower market but is fast becoming known for its late night Christmas events too.
Every Wednesday evening up until 18 December, the cobbled street lined with independent shops and Victorian street lamps will open to visitors looking for a late night shopping experience. With shops staying open until 11pm and all brimming with unique gifts, there are few better place to stock up on Christmas presents this winter.
It’s a chance to pick up stocking-fillers, grab your Christmas tree, select fragrant festive greenery, get serenaded by carols singers and sip on mulled wine while you shop. The tiny houses with unique and fairy-tale-like shopfronts are every plant-lover’s dream. From hanging plant pots, seeds, bulbs, hand-crafted gardening tools and kitchen utensils to vintage furniture and unique home decorations, there isn’t a better place to shop than here. And hey, if you see something for yourself, you can grab that too, since it may not be there next time.
After the shopping, you can get cosy with a drink in one of the nearby pubs and watch people shuffle through London’s streets full of flickering Christmas lights and decorations.
Find out more information about the events on the Columbia Road website
Here East Merry Making Christmas Market
Here East, Stratford
With a focus on unique handmade items from 30 hand-picked makers from the East End and beyond, this Christmas market is the perfect opportunity to begin your festive season purchases. With a selection of Instagrammable pop-up stalls showcasing individual designer’s wares and plentiful supplies of mulled wine and hot spiced cider you’ll be kept cosy while you meander among the stalls. Put your artistic skills to the test in free drop-in craft workshops, from bauble decorating to terrarium making. Children and adults of all abilities can learn how to fold origami trees, reindeer, and wreaths in fun origami Christmas decoration workshops. When it gets dark, you can snuggle up in the corner of one of the cosy bars and restaurants on the canal side to enjoy a tasty meal and spiced cocktails.
Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
14 East Bay Lane
Check out Here East for more info
East End Christmas Take-Over
Old Spitalfields Market
7 December 2018
Join members of the East End Trades Guild at Old Spitalfields Market on Saturday 7 December.
Pick up your free East End Independents Map and discover a range of distinctive, fun, and quality Christmas gifts from a range of makers including Tatty Devine, the Duke of Uke, Artisans + Adventurers, Out Door People, and more.
Support independent markets and artists this Christmas while treating your loved ones with unique gifts.
Old Spitalfields Market
16 Horner’s Square
Head over to the Old Spitalfields Market website for more info
DIY Christmas Market
Buy unique, affordable artwork direct from a diverse community of artists with a wide range of artistic backgrounds – illustrators, designers, independent publishers, ceramists, all exhibiting alongside their up- and-coming contemporaries.
The broad selection of artworks for sale will include, ceramics, zines, independent publications, patches, custom t shirts & tote bags, art prints, risograph & screen prints, jewellery, and artist books.
With over one hundred artists exhibiting over four floors of Rich Mix London Arts Centre, this event is the perfect opportunity to pick up a unique Christmas gift.
35-47 Bethnal Green Rd
Find out more via Rich Mix‘s website
E17 Designers Christmas Market
7 & 15 December
Over 30 designer makers meet in Walthamstow for the annual Designers Christmas Market.
Visitors can expect to browse beautiful hand-crafted items, listen to festive music on the gramophone and drink mulled wine and cider while completing last minute Christmas shopping list. Suzie Cakes is in charge of supplying tea, cake and Christmas puddings and E17 Village Market will bring their street food and coffee scene including Greek Café, Dear Prudence Creperie, Walthamstow Dogs and Wood Street Coffee. For the fourth year running, Project Peru will be running their charity raffle.
Waltham Forest Community Hub (Asian Centre)
18a Orford Road
Find out more via I Love Markets website
Zero Waste Christmas Market
The Boiler House, Shoreditch
7 December 2019
Avoiding excessive waste during Christmas time is difficult. From wrapping paper, plastic packaging, food surplus, and cheap crap we order on Amazon – Christmas time is the most wasteful time of the year. Thankfully, zero waste lifestyle is becoming more common and people are beginning to shop more ethically, so it’s no wonder that London is hosting its first ever zero waste Christmas Market.
Organised by Zero Waste Goods, who have teamed up with brands that offer ethical, green and high-quality gifts and festive must-haves that don’t damage the Earth, so you can choose well and buy better for yourself and your loved ones this year. All profits from ticket sales go to Cool Earth – to prevent deforestation and offset carbon produced in hosting the event.
You can look forward to beautiful up-cycled and sustainable items, including clothes, candles, accessories, food products, and home ware, plus great vegan and hand-made gifts all packed in 100% reusable and recyclable wrapping. Don’t forget to bring your mugs and KeepCups and fill them up with mulled wine, cider, and vegan churros.
There will also be a Christmas Prize Giveaway with over £100 worth of zero waste gifts and goodies for one person to take home. Plus, they have a runner-up hamper with the support of As Nature Intended; a tote bag stuffed with £85 worth of As Nature Intended’s favourite brands and products.
The Boiler House
152 Brick Ln
Book tickets via Eventbrite
Bow Arts Christmas Makers Market
Bow Arts, Bow Road
8 December 2019
Bow Arts is holding its first ever festive makers market, a chance to browse and buy locally-made unique gifts from some of the charity’s over 500 artists and makers. The market will include carol singers from historic Bow Church, drop-in family-friendly activities, and a variety of tasty treats from the Nunnery Cafe.
There will be more than 25 stalls specialising in a number of ware, including small gifts, textiles, bags, prints, cards, jewellery, home wares, and ceramics. Support Bow Arts’ network of artists and makers and celebrate the festive season all in one go.
Bow Arts Courtyard
183 Bow Road
Find out more via Bow Arts‘ website
Chrisp Street Santa’s Grotto and Christmas Market
Chrisp Street Market
10 December 2019
Chrisp street is getting Christmassy with a visit from Santa and his elves who will be handing out presents with reindeer in tow. The festive fun will be spread across two events. First up is the light switch on where there will be a chance to look in the Elves’ workshop and get the whole family involved in a giant snow-globe photo. This will then be followed at a later date by a visit to Santa’s Grotto on 10 December, alongside an array of craft stalls to browse through selling handmade gifts just waiting to be wrapped up and put under the tree.
Chrisp Street Market
11 Market Way
Find out more via Poplar Harca website.
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