We are lucky that our pocket of London is home to some of the city’s best-known and longest-standing markets. So it really is no wonder that East London Christmas markets really are the perfect preamble to the winter holidays.
Starting in late November and continuing right up until Christmas Eve, our markets are filled with unique products from one-off ceramics, and handmade sustainable jewelry, to browsing the stalls of London’s only female-led market. 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.
- 26 and 27 November, 10 and 11 December – Urban Makers at the Eco Pavilion
- 30 November to 21 December – Columbia Road Christmas Wednesdays
- 2 December – Aldgate in Winter
- 3 December – Grow’s Christmas Future Fair
- 4 December – Winter Fest at Redchurch Street
- 10 December – Stepney City Farm Christmas Market
- 11 December – Bow Arts’ Christmas Makers Market
- 11 December – Christmas Independent Ceramics Market at Rich Mix
- 18 and 24 December – Christmas markets at Old Spitalfields Markets
Urban Makers at Ecology Pavilion
26 and 27 NOVEMBER, 10 and 11 DECEMBER
Now in its eighth year, Urban Makers is returning to Mile End Park’s 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; clothing; accessories; 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. If visiting the market on 11 December, be sure to drop by Tower Hamlets youth charity Streets of Growth’s stall. Urban Makers has offered the organisation’s young people a stall to trade for free. Items for sale will include jewellery, printed hoodies and t-shirts, and hair scrunchies made from reclaimed and recycled fabrics.
There will also be workshops for adults and children, face-painting, hot dishes and drinks, this is a good day out for all the family; the perfect start putting you into the holiday spirit.
Ecology Pavilion, 125 Grove Road, E3 5RP
Columbia Road Christmas Wednesdays
WEDNESDAYS from 30 NOVEMBER to 21 DECEMBER
Columbia Road is famous for its flower market but is fast becoming known for its late night Christmas events too.
Every Wednesday evening from 30 November right up until 21 December, the cobbled street lined with independent shops and Victorian street lamps will open to visitors looking for a late-night shopping experience. It’s a chance to pick up stocking-fillers, grab your Christmas tree, select fragrant festive greenery, get serenaded by carols singers, or listen to the reassuring deep harmony of The Brass Quintet from the Guildhall School, and sip on mulled wine while you shop. And 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.
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.
Columbia Road, E2 7RG
Aldgate in Winter
The Aldgate in Winter Festival will be back this year, with the main event day taking place on Friday 2nd December. The Winter Market will feature stalls from London’s only female-led market Lady Lane Market, and students from Accelerator, London Met’s department dedicated to start ups.
There will also be lantern-making workshops from 3pm and 5.30pm, ready for the Lantern Parade later on in the evening and then followed by a lantern exhibition starting from 6 December to January 2023.
Aldgate Square, Aldgate High Street, EC3N 1AF
Grow’s Christmas Future Fair at Grow
Grow’s cool and creative space in Hackney Wick is becoming even cooler this winter through its Christmas Future Fair. Buy unique gifts and support local makers who challenge the status quo through conscious consumerism and explore a future founded on self-sustainability, wellbeing, and equality. With so much to see, do, drink and eat (check out its menu; veggie kebabs and vegan apple crumble), alongside DJs and live music sets including from Venezuelan drummer, Williams Cumberbache, this is a vibey market you don’t want to miss.
Grow Hackney, Main Yard, 98C Wallis Road, E9 5LN
Winter Fest at Redchurch Street
Taking place in Shoreditch’s striking former warehouse, the Teahouse Building’s chic space welcomes the return of the Redchurch Winter Market. The Street – the internal ‘road’ running through the heart of the neighbourhood’s iconic Tea Building – will once again be transformed into an indoor market featuring local independent designers, makers and retailers.
Whether you’re buying for a plant lover, foodie, or interiors fanatic, with over 20 stalls you’ll sure find something special for everyone on your list. Buy unique hamper gifts such as small-batch produce from Mike’s Jams & Chutneys and Yuyun Tea Shop, or homeware from Terrapy and Kali Home.
And of course, with all this pressie purchasing, don’t forget to stock up on cards and wrapping paper from print designers Sarah May Creates and Gail M Pearce.
Bow Foodbank will also be hosting a festive fundraiser, so take part and help to brighten someone else’s winter.
Tea Building, 56 Shoreditch High Street, E1 6JJ
Stepney City Farm Christmas Market
With 35 stalls offering delicious seasonal produce and festive crafts, soak up the festive atmosphere at Stepney City Farm. Sip on warming gently spiced mulled wine, while listening to a brass band performing sets across the day. Its very own resident artists will be opening the studios for the day and you’ll be able to enjoy lunch with the wide offerings from street food vendors and its popular onsite cafe, The Allotment Kitchen.
And, to top it all off, interact with its range of farm animals, including donkeys, goats, rabbits, and sheep, in the peaceful rural setting in the heart of East London.
Stepney City Farm, Stepney Way, Stepney Green, E1 3DG
Bow Arts’ Christmas Makers Market
Join Bow Arts as they open up their doors for their annual Winter Market, giving visitors the chance to meet their creative community of artists, makers, and designers and purchase locally made gifts and artworks.
Featuring over 20 artist and makers stalls, visitors will find everything from original prints, indie zines, and ceramic homeware, all the way over to hand-stitched gifts, etchings, bespoke jewellery, and much more. Alongside the main market, there will be a free, drop-in festive art workshop to give local families and kids the chance to get creative, as well as all the delicious mince pies, mulled wine, and tasty seasonal treats you could hope for on sale from their very own Nunnery Café.
Held in the Bow Arts Courtyard, come and discover Bow Arts’ community of talented local artists, whilst marking the start of the festive season with their east London neighbours.
Bow Arts, 183 Bow Road, E3 2SJ
Christmas Independent Ceramics Market at Rich Mix
Pick up something simply smashing at the Christmas Independent Ceramics Market, hosted at Rich Mix. You’ll find practical tableware alongside sophisticated sculpture at this fair, which features stalls by 100 makers, from students to established creators producing ware across the country. The market will also liven up your shopping experience with a sound system, mulled wine, and festive food to whet your holiday spirit appetite.
Rich Mix Arts Centre, 35-47 Bethnal Green Rd, London E1 6LA.
Christmas markets at Old Spitalfields Markets
18 and 24 DECEMBER
Don’t worry if you’ve left your Christmas shopping a little late this year as Old Spitalfields Markets has got you covered. This centuries-old covered market has a large array of independent makers selling fashion, accessories, art prints and homeware in the week leading up to Christmas.
And to help you relax into, what can be, frantic Christmas shopping, enjoy live music, mulled wine, mince pies and festive activities such as wreath making under the canopy of light gold twinkling Christmas lights.
Old Spitalfields Market, 16 Horner Square E1 6EW
If you liked this piece you may be interested in where to buy Christmas trees in East London.
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