The South Bank is fairy-lit and lovely all year round, but it’s a particularly good spot if you want to avoid the hectic hordes of central London high street shopping for something with a lot more charm. Peruse stalls at the riverside Christmas market, with the scent of mulled wine filling the air.
It’s not all about festive shopping though, the Winter Festival lasts well into January, with plenty of free events to keep you entertained, and ward off the cold.
Free events include Words Unwrapped poetry and storytelling, Drag Syndrome at Christmas and you can kick off your sluggish Boxing Day feelings at Queer Tango on the Thames Winter Special. Cosy up in the Winter Pop-Up Cinema for for festive favourites like The Muppet Christmas Carol and Home Alone or (adults only) watch comedy and cabaret. Those with kids may want to head to see Black Beauty instead. Performances by Circus 1903 (puppet animals only, don’t worry) will keep them entertained too and the immersive Soundpit is a good way to get kids thinking creatively about sound, texture and the world around them.