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The 80 London Christmas markets

 

With over 80 seasonal markets, London proved once again its winter credentials.

"Last year at Hyde Park Winter Wonderland we had 2 million people through the gates and we are hoping for similar figures this year”, a spokesperson from AKH Communications, responsible for the communication of Winter Wonderland, said.

Christmas time definitely hit London at the end of November with the opening of the first festive fairs. Until the end of December, the UK’s capital’s streets will be filled with shoppers and costumes of Santa. Many shops will play Christmas songs and carols, hoping that 2013 will be a good year for shopping.

From the Barbican Design Market to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park Vintage Christmas and Real Ale Festival, it is impossible not to find a venue which does not fulfil your needs.

“There are a number of Christmas markets taking place this year and they can play an important role in attracting new visitors to the City”, a City of London Corporation spokesperson said.

The benefits of this intense period go to the local shops and stores, but also to the tourism industry, which has to provide with adequate accommodations.

Photo: Flickr Creative Commons (click for original)

But the richness of Christmassy London is not only found in the most famous Hyde Park Winter Wonderland. From the Mayhew Animal Home Christmas Fair offering treats to your pet to the visit of Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer to the Romford Market in East London, many boroughs are investing in their ownlocal market, and so do many fundraising initiatives, which organise festive events, often in front of churches.

Moreover, shopping is far from the only activity available in most of the markets. For a cultural walk, the Angel Christmas Fair in Islington exhibits artists and craftworks, while Trafalgar Square occupies its nights by carols and choirs. It is also possible to enjoy an afternoon tea and live singers at St Stephen’s Hampstead or to take the kids to Santa's Grotto at Ealing Broadway Shopping Centre.

Fortunately, the many Christmas lights in Oxford Street or Regent Street leave the marvellous option of wandering the streets with a glass of mulled wine to protect from the winter cold.

And this is just a fraction of all the possibilities offered to Londoners.

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Article: Basile Simon
Photo: Eloise L - Flickr CC
Map: Basile Simon