Borough Market in London is a bustling hub for gourmet foods and artisanal products all year round, and the Christmas period adds an extra layer of magic.
Visitors can expect to find special Christmas hampers, festive food and drink options, and unique decorations alongside the market’s regular fare.
In this article, I’ll provide you with essential details like 2023 event dates, festive opening hours, and the Christmas specialties that set Borough Market apart.
Christmas in London brings a distinctive blend of historic traditions and contemporary celebrations.
Borough Market contributes to this atmosphere by showcasing a diverse array of international Christmas culinary specialties, setting it apart from other holiday events in the city.
Borough Market Christmas 2023
Situated to the south of the River Thames near London Bridge, Borough Market is renowned for its diverse array of high-quality foods.
When Christmas arrives, this focus on quality and provenance takes on a seasonal twist.
With a history that spans nearly a millennium, Borough Market enhances its commitment to delivering extraordinary British and international produce during the holiday season.
Once a wholesale market, it has evolved into a symbol of sustainable food production and ethical practices.
At Christmas, you can dive into the stories behind each product, conveyed directly by the traders themselves.
The market’s range during this period is impressively broad, featuring everything from local fruits and vegetables to handmade chocolate truffles to unique street food.
Adding to the seasonal allure are Christmas-specific events like cookery demonstrations and masterclasses, all aimed at educating the public and enriching the community.
Dates and Location
Borough Market Christmas dates: Likely dates: 8th November 31st December 2023.
Location: 8 Southwark Street, near London Bridge Station.
Opening times: 10am to 6pm.
23rd December: 8am to 5pm.
Christmas Eve: 9am to 3pm.
Christmas Day: Closed.
Boxing Day: Closed.
27th December: Closed.
28th December: 10am to 5pm.
29th December: 10am to 5pm.
30th December: 9am to 5pm.
New Year’s Eve: 10am to 3pm.
Vegetarian: Yes, plenty of options.
Vegan: Yes, plenty of options.
Gluten free: Yes, plenty of options.
Pet-friendly: Yes, but not recommended during busy periods.
Public transport: Take the tube to London Bridge Station.
Parking: Please take public transport to help limit congestion.
Reason to visit: Oldest food market in London, international to local cuisine, festive decor near iconic landmarks.
Recommended tour: London’s top 20 sights tour.
Specialities: Handmade chocolate truffles, British fruits and vegetables, street food, raclette and other international specialties.
Where to stay: The Hoxton is a popular hotel in the Southwark neighbourhood.
Hotels near Borough Christmas Market
Staying near London Bridge or Southwark Station will place you in close proximity to Borough Market.
These areas are well-connected by public transport and feature various accommodation options. I’d recommend The Hoxton for its excellent location near Southwark Station.
Location of Borough Market
Recommended Walking and Food Tours
A city tour of London provides an excellent opportunity to explore the city’s diverse history and culture.
The capital is brimming with iconic landmarks, world-renowned museums, and vibrant neighbourhoods, making it a must-visit at any time of the year.
This tour of the top 20 sights in London is a great place to start.
A guided tour is particularly beneficial for first-time visitors, as it covers key sights such as the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, and the London Eye. But even if you’re a local, you might find these tours offer fresh perspectives and lesser-known facts about the city you thought you knew well.
For something different, try this Secret Old London walking tour.
If you’re interested in the culinary aspect of London, a food tour is a compelling alternative. This is a hugely popular London food tour. These tours are gaining in popularity and provide an informative and delicious way to understand local culture and flavours.
For more information on other holiday destinations in the capital, you’ll find valuable insights in my London Christmas Market 2023 guide, which details various locations and what they uniquely provide.
If you’re looking to head out of the capital, this list of the best UK Christmas markets might give you some ideas on where to go.
Borough Market at Christmas
The following video provides a look at what Borough Market at Christmas has to offer. It showcases the atmosphere, food selections, and decorations you can expect when visiting.
Christmas Specialties in Borough
Handmade Chocolate Truffles: A luxurious treat you’ll encounter at Borough Christmas Market. These small, velvety spheres are handcrafted by local chocolatiers using quality cocoa and an assortment of fillings such as mint, orange, and caramel. They’re often beautifully packaged, making them ideal gifts as well.
British Fruits and Vegetables: Fresh, locally sourced produce is available at various stalls. These make for a wonderful addition to holiday feasts and allow you to buy organic and pesticide-free options for a healthier meal.
Indian Street Food: Adding an international flavour to the market, various stalls specialise in dishes like samosas, butter chicken, and tandoori kebabs. A delicious option if you’re looking for something spicy to break up the traditional Christmas fare.
Raclette: This Swiss-origin cheese dish is a special treat at the Borough Market Christmas festivities. Cheese wheels are half-melted and then scraped onto diners’ plates, typically served over potatoes or bread.
Mulled Wine: A staple at many Christmas markets but particularly enjoyable here due to the quality of wine used. Spiced and warmed, it’s a great way to keep the chill at bay as you explore the market.
Mince Pies: A traditional English Christmas snack, fruit mince pies at Borough Market are locally made by British bakers.
Roast Chestnuts: You’ll smell them before you see them. Local vendors roast chestnuts to perfection, serving them hot and seasoned with a pinch of salt.
Gingerbread Cookies: Crafted in various shapes and sizes, these cookies add a traditional touch. They’re often decorated with royal icing and can be found at bakery stalls throughout the market.
Hot Chocolate: Prepared using quality cocoa and milk; variations include whipped cream or a sprinkling of cinnamon on top. Ideal for warming your hands as you wander through the market.
Sausage Rolls: A savoury option that involves a sausage wrapped in puff pastry, often seasoned with herbs and spices. Various vendors provide their own twist on this classic snack.
Stollen: This German Christmas bread also makes an appearance at Borough Market. It’s a sweet, hearty snack with dried fruits and marzipan core.
Fish and Chips: While not specifically a Christmas food, this English staple is readily available for those wanting something familiar and filling as they browse the stalls.
Christmas Gifts and Stocking Fillers
Artisan Jams and Preserves: Small-batch jams and preserves made from locally sourced fruits are common. Flavours can range from classic strawberry to more inventive combinations like blackberry and gin. Packaged in quaint jars, they make a perfect stocking filler.
Fine Teas: Reflecting Britain’s love for tea, specialty vendors provide an assortment of fine teas, including traditional blends and exotic infusions. These teas come in elegant packaging, suitable for gifting or personal enjoyment.
Craft Beer: Borough has its share of local brewers; you can find bottled or canned craft beers from the region. They are often themed for the holidays, with flavours that suit the winter palate.
Borough Market Merchandise: Souvenirs like postcards, magnets, and tote bags featuring iconic Borough landmarks are readily available. They provide a tangible memento of your visit to one of London’s most iconic markets.
Things to Do in Winter
I recommend checking out Visit London, the city’s official website, for the most current information on winter activities and upcoming events.
Sustainable Christmas Tips
Here are some ways you can travel more responsibly in Borough Market this Christmas.
Eco-friendly Accommodation: Southward is home to various hotels that operate on renewable energy, thereby reducing their carbon footprint. When booking your stay, look for accommodations with clear sustainability policies focusing on energy conservation, waste reduction, and local sourcing.
Reducing Food Waste: The food stalls in Borough Market are a feast for the senses, but it’s easy to over-purchase. Plan your meals in advance and buy only what you can consume. Many stalls allow you to bring your own containers, so carry reusable boxes to minimise the use of disposable packaging.
Ethical Consumption: Borough Christmas Market is teeming with artisan products and handmade crafts. Exercise conscious buying by purchasing only what you truly need or can use, supporting local artisans over mass-produced items. Look for sustainably made products that have minimal impact on the environment.
Sustainable Diets: Borough’s food market is not just about indulgence; you’ll also find organic and locally sourced options. Consider choosing plant-based foods or sustainably sourced items to reduce your environmental impact during your visit.
Sustainable Transport: The Borough Market is well-connected via public transport, including eco-friendly bus routes and cycling lanes. Leave the car at home and opt for public transport or, even better, explore the area on foot or by bike to reduce your carbon emissions.
The Borough Market Christmas event is open from 8th November to 31st December 2023.
Located south of the River Thames, Borough Market is conveniently near London Bridge, making it easily accessible by public transport.
Borough Market Opening times are: 10am to 6pm. 23rd December: 8am to 5pm. Christmas Eve: 9am to 3pm. Christmas Day: Closed. Boxing Day: Closed. 27th December: Closed. 28th December: 10am to 5pm. 29th December: 10am to 5pm. 30th December: 9am to 5pm. New Year’s Eve: 10am to 3pm.
While Borough Market is a popular destination, its spacious layout manages the crowd well. However, weekends can get particularly busy, so you might consider visiting on a weekday for a more relaxed experience.
If you would like to leave a review of Borough Market Xmas, comment below.
Recommendations are independently chosen based on personal travel experiences and extensive research. This post contains affiliate links to hotels and tours in London. This means I get a small commission from any bookings at no extra cost to you.