Looking for info on the Christmas Market at London Bridge? Here’s the lowdown on Christmas by the River, so you can plan your festive adventure!
I travelled up to London last week by National Express to check out the Christmas by the River Market, near London Bridge. I’d actually never heard of it before, and presumed it was new, but, turns out, it’s been running for the last five years.
Coincidentally, about the same amount of time as I’ve been living out of London. So, figures.
I’ve been to most of London’s Christmas Markets so I was keen to see what this one had to offer, to see how it was different to the usual line up.
The star attraction, with a stunning sunset on the day I was there, was Tower Bridge. It looked amazing in the distance, always in the background of the Christmas Market. As proven by the selfie.
I think the other highlight of Christmas by the River, compared to other Christmas Markets I’ve been to, would be the chalets in the bar.
Look at these and imagine you and all your friends in there. Paaarty. Or at least, a nice mulled wine in a mature, grown up way. The London Bridge Christmas Market is a great space to celebrate the season, in style, and with mulled wine.
“With stunning views of Tower Bridge, The Tower of London and the iconic City skyline, this year’s market will see a stunning array of boutique vendors bring Christmas glow to London Bridge City. Snuggled amongst these will be a mouth-watering assemblage of delicious pop-up food and drink stalls to make for an unforgettable Christmas experience.”– CHRISTMAS BY THE RIVER, LONDON BRIDGE
Fancy some more winter travel tips?
Here are the best places to head for some winter sun, a guide to visiting Menorca in winter, Christmas by the River in London, the best Airbnbs in Levi, Lapland, and everything you need to know about visiting Jeju Island in winter too.
Christmas by the River
This Christmas Market was more of a foodie one, so make sure you arrive hungry or you might wonder what to do. There was all sorts of fancy cuisines to try, from burgers, to Korean, to Mexican and pancakes. I went for the little pancakes with smarties and chocolate sauce.
Yep, 34 years old and what?
The bars were serving mulled wine, one of them had Home Alone on the TV, there was a beautiful view and excitement in the air. There were a few stalls with traditional Christmassy things to buy, as well as some with artwork and prints.
I was there from 4-6pm on a Friday so it wasn’t peak time yet, but it felt like a more chilled out Christmas Market, by London standards.
And of course, the views just made it. Tower Bridge, the HMS Belfast, the skyscrapers over the river and the impressive buildings of London Bridge. Definitely a Christmas Market for anyone interested in architecture!
Christmas by the River details
Christmas by the River Market at London Bridge runs from 16th November to 2nd January 2021. Go and see and enjoy!
Opening hours for the Christmas by the River Market 2021, London Bridge
Sunday – Wednesday: 11:00 – 21:00 Thursday – Saturday: 11:00 – 22:00
Christmas Eve: 11:00 – 17:00 Christmas Day: Closed New Year’s Eve: 11:00 – 20:00 2nd January: 11:00 – 17:00
I’d say you need around an hour or maybe two, here, depending on how much you plan on drinking, or eating. Then, you can always go on to another market for a full London Christmas Market sesh.
If you’re into your Christmas markets and shopping, check out my new post on visiting Bath at Christmas for some festive feels!
More Christmas Markets in London
Southbank Centre Winter Market
Go out the front of the Southbank Centre and you’ll find rows on rows of Christmas huts serving all kinds of food and drink. It seems like they’ve really hammed it up this year and when I went the other day there was a whole area sectioned off for a cider tent. Rekorderlig were the sponsor and cider was everywhere.
The Southbank Centre Winter Market was right next to the London Eye. Could make for a beautiful festive view from up there!
The first year I went to this I thought it was great. The novelty has worn off over the years now though. It’s still fun to visit and is one of the biggest Christmas Markets in the City but mention it to a Londoner and they’ll probably grumble. The queues! The prices! Etc!
You can go ice skating, up on the ferris wheel, round the shops and of course, in and out of the mulled wine bars. Woo!
Winterville Clapham Common
Really want to go to this one. Maybe next year. Let me know how it goes!
Getting to Christmas by the River by National Express
I travelled to Christmas by the River by National Express Coach. It was £16 return from Portsmouth to Victoria Coach Station, and took two hours each way. It was pretty much on time, despite a heavy traffic Friday. I got the last coach home, at 23:59, and enjoyed feeling safe and warm somewhere in the middle of the coach.
There’s Wi-Fi on the coach, it’s clean and one of the many benefits was the fact it didn’t stop every ten minutes at different stations. Also, no repetitive announcements, compared to trains.
If you fancy checking out a French Christmas market, check out this post from Travel Mad Mum.
If you need / want to travel around England, or even Europe, this festive season, take a look at the National Express website. It’s the only national public transport network fully operating across the UK throughout the festive period with services on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day too.
You can also bring two medium sized 20kg suitcases on the coach, for no extra cost. And the driver will even assist you in getting them on board. Sounds much more appealing than trying to find a place for your Christmas presents on a packed train, hey?
This post is written in collaboration with National Express. All thoughts and opinions by own. I hadn’t thought to travel to London by coach before but now I know it’s so easy, and cheap, and regular, from Portsmouth, I definitely will do again. Go and check them out to see how easy it is from your closest hub!