Christmas Market at Tate Modern

in a nutshell

This traditional Christmas market has to win the prize for best location, with its cluster of wooden chalets sitting between one of London’s leading cultural attractions and the river. Foodies will love it for its surprising range of festive grub on offer, from falafel to churros via Taiwanese tea and waffles.

about the market

This pretty market has only been running for the last three Christmases but already has a great reputation, which the stunning setting helps to cement. It’s a fairly traditional set-up, with a Victorian-style carousel, Glühwein, Bratwurst and cute wooden chalets selling homemade seasonal food and gifts. Santa also has a grotto here.

Vendors include the brilliantly named Nosteagia offering delicious “bubble waffles", Taiwanese bubble tea and matcha-flavoured ice cream, Origamic selling eye-catching pop-up Christmas cards, Cookhouse Tow, a “revival food trailer" cooking up seasonal lamb recipes and Spin-Art, whose gorgeous wind spinners would be an original present for the house-proud.

The real draw, though, is the brilliant location – right outside the Tate Modern, on the Thames – and the amount of other things you can do nearby if the weather turns out to be a bit too wintry for comfort.

things to do around bankside

It would be criminal to come to the market and not at least pop into Tate Modern (free entry) to get a taste of the best of contemporary art. You can also now check out the Viewing Level in the new extension, which offers stunning 360ᵒ views of the London skyline from Wembley Stadium to Canary Wharf.

A bit further along the river, you’ll find legendary open-air theatre The Globe, where performances this winter include Hans Christian Anderson’s The Little Matchgirl (a perfect festive show) and Nick Drake’s All the Angels. Standing tickets at The Globe start at just £5.

If you’ve got children to entertain, they’ll love hopping on board the replica of Francis Drake’s famous galleon, the Golden Hinde, where guided tours and Pirate Fun Days cost as little as £7 per adult, £5 per child. Alternatively, give them a fright at the Clink Prison Museum (adults £7.50, children £5.50).

If you’re still feeling peckish after the Bratwurst, tickle your tastebuds with a variety of foodie delights at Borough Market, near London Bridge.

With so much to see and do in the area, why not make a weekend of it? Find great hotels near London Bridge here, or discover more activities in London .