Tis the Season to be Shopping!

Want to know where to find the best Christmas gifts and food? We at The Tab have it covered

As the end of term draws ever closer and we head into December, the excitement surrounding the build up to Christmas starts to tug at our inner-child. What better way to get in a bit of seasonal shopping, festive drinking and London Christmas culture than to check out one of the capital’s many Christmas markets? Here are five that we at The Tab think you should check out before the end of term. 
Camden Lock Night Market
Whilst not explicitly a Christmas market, in the countdown to the big day the Camden Lock Night Market offers seasonal shopping for those on the lookout for fantastic fashion. Vintage clothing, beautiful accessories, as well as arts and crafts and home ware stalls offer quaint and quirky Christmas gift ideas, so why not take a look and see what you can find for your favourite aunt. There’s also live entertainment and food from the world food stalls to keep you jolly while you browse.
When: Thurs 5pm-10pm
Where: Camden Lock Place, (off Chalk Farm Rd), NW1 8AF
Cost: Free
Nearest Tube: Camden Town 
Covent Garden Christmas Market
Covent Garden’s Christmas Market is renowned for its beautiful lights, charming Christmas tree and giant reindeer.  The Gay Men’s Choir sang at the turning on of the lights and will be singing every Saturday from November the 24th until Christmas, so you can listen to some festive carols while you shop! As well as a wonderfully friendly atmosphere in the market, you can watch the opening of the Lego advent calendar window every day, pet a reindeer every Saturday between 12pm-4pm until December the 15th, or fill up at the tasty food market every Thursday until December the 20th.
When: Everyday until Christmas
Where: Covent Garden Piazza
Cost: Free
Nearest Tube: Covent Garden

Southbank Centre Christmas Market
If you’re looking for the more traditional German Christmas market, complete with wooden cabins and lederhosen, the Southbank Centre Christmas Market may be right up your street and it always a firm favourite amongst Londoners. Stretching along Queen’s Walk between the Southbank Centre and the London Eye, this market is perfect for buying crafts and toys, and if you’re scraping the barrel of your student loan there’s a pocket money stall selling affordable gifts. As for food and drink, you can warm the cockles of your heart on these chilly Christmas days with some Glühwein (mulled wine), Bratwurst and gingerbread. If that’s not Christmassy enough, twice a day you can listen to different choirs singing carols and Christmas songs, and if you’re feeling really brave after all that mulled wine you could join in too!
When: Monday-Friday 11am-10pm, Saturday & Sunday 10am-10pm
Where: Along the river, between Southbank Centre and the London Eye
Cost: Free
Nearest Tube: Waterloo 

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland Christmas Market
As every Londoner knows and anticipates, at this time of the year Hyde Park gets a little jolly and sets up its Winder Wonderland. If you don’t fancy paying for the ice-skating, shows or rides, you can still soak up the festive atmosphere by visiting the Christmas market, conveniently located at the beginning of the attraction. It gets quite busy in the evening and weekends, but the atmosphere later in the day is unbeatable, so if you don’t mind bumping into the odd over-excited child…or parent, for that matter, you can wander round the craft stalls with a hot cider, mulled wine or hog roast roll for a very reasonable sum.
When: Every day 10am-10pm.
Where: Hyde Park
Cost: Free (entry into the market)
Nearest Tube:
Hyde Park Corner

Finnish Church Christmas Fair (The Tab’s Pick)
Other than a traditional German market, you can’t get much more Christmassy than a Finnish market. Think Lapland, the Snow Queen and cured fish! This market is held every year in a beautiful church hidden away down a cul-de-sac. You can find practically anything you want and the perfect gift is waiting for you among the Moomin toys, rye breads, and Fazer chocolates. If you want to sample some of the Finnish cuisine you can buy some delicious cheeses served with cloudberry jam or the famous Finnish gravlax, (cured salmon and dill). Complete with a Snow Queen and snow elves on stilts who throw snow over visitors, you’ll definitely get into the Christmas spirit here. If you start to feel the cold whilst wandering the street market, you can take your pick from the sumptuous food on offer at the BBQ, including reindeer stew (a must-try), and a giant pork sausage smeared in mustard and pickle…yummy. It can all be washed down with a tasty Lapin Kulta beer (brewed in the Finnish town of Lahti). If, after all of this you’re still thinking about desert, you can head to the café upstairs in the church, where you’ll find hot coffee, cinnamon buns and mouth-watering pastries. WOWZER!
When: Fri, Wednesday-Friday 12pm-8pm, Saturday 10am-6pm, Sunday 11am-5pm
Finnish Church, Albion Street
£1 (entry fee)
Nearest Tube: Canada Water