The best way to spend the festive season in London, is at one of the capital’s hundreds of Christmas markets. One of my absolute favourite has to be the Southbank Christmas Market, close to Waterloo Station and across the river from Somerset House and Trafalgar Square. Winter at Southbank Centre always pulls out all the stops to throw its biggest and best ever Christmas celebration and it is perfect way to begin the seasonal festivities, and what better way to enjoy it than staying a stone’s throw away in London Waterloo Premier Inn.
Premier Inn London Waterloo
I spent the evening here last weekend, in the run up to the festive season with my boyfriend, we checked in to our hotel just around the corner at Premier Inn London Waterloo, and then headed out to the Southbank to experience one of the nation’s favourite Christmas markets. London Waterloo Premier Inn is ideal for a hassle-free festive weekend being a handy 6-minute walk down to the winter market. Housed between a former historic hospital and a modern 14-storey tower, this perfectly located hotel is a 5-minute walk from Waterloo station and only minutes from Southbank Christmas Market. Rooms range from singles to doubles, to family rooms with 2 pull-out beds, where kids aged 15 and under eat and stay free with paying adults.
London Waterloo Premier Inn has arguably some of the best views of the London eye as well as the comfiest beds, due to their incredible luxury Hypnos mattresses in all rooms with choice of firm and soft pillows. In every room there is also freeview TV, power shower in the ensuite bathroom, blackout curtains (for those sneaky lie ins) and tea and coffee facilities. After sleeping like a baby you can wake up to an all you can eat Buffet breakfast, which is handily downstairs, which includes a cooked breakfast with all the trimmings, as well as hot crumpets and pancakes, fresh fruit and cereal. There’s also an on-site Thyme restaurant which serves food all day and you get complimentary Wifi with every stay.
Premier Inn has over 750 hotels across the UK and Ireland and is the perfect location for a hassle-free festive weekend for you and your family or friends.
Southbank Christmas Market
Southbank Christmas Market is open for six weeks and this year’s market is bigger than ever, with dazzling family shows, yuletide markets, sparkly lights and a giant dollop of festive fun make up the Southbank’s annual celebrations. The Nordic style stalls that run parallel to the Thames offer everything from delicious street food to quirky light bulbs and handmade jewellery. The market also boasts a larger square, dripping with sparkling Christmas lights and cosy fire pits. It’s also home to the two story Cider Lodge which is the perfect place to sit back and enjoy a drink whilst taking in the breathtakingly beautiful views of southbank and the London eye.
Big shows for 2018 include a madcap retelling of Rumpelstiltskin and Circus 1903, a show featuring incredible life-sized elephant puppets alongside acrobats, contortionists, jugglers and trapeze artists whizzing through the air. Don’t miss cabaret trio Glittery Clittery serving up fierce, feminist and sequin drenched comedy, or the day-long celebration of London’s best drag kings and queens. The market is only one part of this wonderful winter festival!
They’ve also got lots of food and drink options, including Bar Under the Bridge, a warm hideaway serving cheese-themed food – charcuterie and cheese boards, croque monsieur and baked camembert. It’s all served up with classic cocktails including Mojito, Negroni and Espresso Martini. The Circus Bar is pitching up in front of Royal Festival Hall. Warm up with friends and family in this cosy space with sizzling fire-pits. They’re serving delicious snacks, baguettes filled with hot-smoked salmon and juicy steak, washed down with spicy mulled cider and wine.
And they’ve also got pop-ups and traders from around the world bringing to the riverside an array of handmade festive goodies and delicious street food. Each trader brings their unique spin to the feast, with stalls offering Asian, Indian and Greek cuisines, traditional winter favourites like raclette and bratwurst, and sweet treats including waffles and pancakes. And after it went down so well last year, there’s also the alpine festive haven Jimmy’s Lodge next to Waterloo Bridge – where you can spend an evening over fondue while gazing out over sparkling lights, and they’ve even got igloos for private hire!
BOOK YOUR STAY HERE
So what are you waiting for? Make sure you head to one of the nation’s favourite Christmas Markets this festive season!
READ MORE: A Guide to Christmas Markets in Europe
The nation’s favourite Christmas Markets
1. Chatsworth Estate
2. Edinburgh Christmas Market
3. York St Nicholas Fair
4. Winchester Cathedral Christmas Market
5. London Christmas Market in Greenwich
6. Norwich Christmas Markets
7. Manchester Christmas Market
8. Bath Christmas Market
9. London Kingston Christmas Market
10. London Hyde Park Winter Wonderland
11. Lincoln Christmas Market
12. London Christmas By The River
13. Chester Christmas Market
14. London Wintertime at the Southbank Centre
15. Newcastle Christmas Market
16. Glasgow George Square Market
17. Durham Christmas Festival
18. Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market
19. Leeds Christkindelmarkt
20. Blackpool Christmas Market