You don’t really think of Britain when you think of Christmas markets do you? It’s mainly a Germanic tradition. London’s Southbank is trying to get in on the act though because, let’s face it, there’s money to be made in Christmas shopping and festivities.
We went to the Southbank this weekend to check out its Winter Festival which is one of our favourite places on a weekend anyway. The crisp but clear winter weather brought out lots of people and the Southbank was heaving. There were plenty of food and activities to entertain the whole family. With the usual weekend Real Food Market in full swing and the Christmas Market’s food options, you were spoiled for choice in terms of food and drink. Unlike last year, the Christmas Market was mostly food stalls.
The Christmas Market stall selling personalised Santa sacks was doing a brisk business. They screen printed your child’s name onto a burlap bag while you were enjoying yourself. I got one for my niece but will have to sneak back to the Southbank to get one for my children when they are not with me.
The Christmas Tree Maze is a really good idea as well. It’s not very big and has only one entrance/exit so you can feel comfortable letting your child ran around while you sit and enjoy a drink in the handily-located Swedish-themed chalet nearby.
For really young children, there is a sweet little electric train that chugs along the pedestrian walk right underneath the Hungerford Bridge which is an actual rail bridge.
In addition to the special Christmas festivities, there are the usual Southbank activities to entertain the family. The buskers are always popular with children as is the carousel.
I expect the Southbank Market won’t hold a candle to the Vienna Christmas Market we are visiting in a couple of weeks. Yet, it was really sweet and a nice afternoon way to enjoy the Christmas spirit in London.