LONDON

Winter by the River 2023: London Bridge Christmas Market

I am a huge fan of Christmas markets. I will travel far and wide to visit every new festive offering I can; I’ve been from Birmingham to Bruges on the hunt to find The Best Christmas Market.

Winter by the River, the Christmas market situated along the Thames with fabulous views of Tower Bridge, has been running for 8 years now in total, so I made it a priority to visit for the first time last year.

Winter by the River London Bridge Christmas Market
Photo credit: Saving in London City

With news that the most well-known London Christmas Market, Winter Wonderland, is now charging up to £7.50 entry per person, I thought it would be excellent timing to explore some of the alternatives London has to offer.

Winter by the River: What to expect

Winter by the River is free to enter, so it’s a fab place to go for a wander if you are visiting London over the Christmas period on a budget. You can stroll along, take in the sights, and don’t necessarily need to spend a penny.

The view of Tower Bridge was spectacular, and the market wasn’t all that busy (visit during November if you really want to avoid the crowds – when I went during this time there were no queues whatsoever).

Photo credit: Saving in London City

Food & Drink at Winter by the River

There are stalls selling a wide variety of delicious smelling street food from around the world; from noodles to empanadas, roast dinner wraps to Korean corn dogs.

There were also plenty of stalls selling festive treats; 4 different flavours of hot chocolates, smores, churros, crepes and more.

For our savoury treat, we opted for roast potatoes topped with raclette cheese to share, priced at £11.

Roast potatoes and raclette cheese - Winter by the River London Bridge Christmas Market
Roast potatoes with melted cheese!
Photo credit: Saving in London City

They were very filling, even for two people sharing. Definitely get the chimichurri sauce!

The food and drink prices are not cheap, but not unreasonable for central London, considering this is a Christmas treat.

For dessert I picked a white chocolate and strawberry crepe which was piping hot and had a very generous amount of filling. A sprinkle of sugar on the outside would have made it even better, but it hit the spot and satisfied my craving for something sweet (and cost £8).

Photo credit: Saving in London City

There are several drinks options available; choose from an indoor bar with live music performances, or the outdoor seating area covered with fairy lights, where you can snuggle under a blanket and enjoy a cocktail or mug of mulled wine.

As well as the river views, there are several light installations along the market, including neon light displays and sculptures. Take some time to wander along the length of the market and admire the Christmas decorations.

Light installations at the Christmas market
Photo credit: Saving in London City

Final thoughts: Winter by the River: London Bridge Christmas Market

Me at Winter by the River London Bridge Christmas Market
A blurry snap of us at Winter by the River!
Photo credit: Saving in London City

I had a wonderfully festive time exploring the market, which was small but had plenty to eat and drink to keep me happy. The views really made it for me!

Of all the London Christmas markets I’ve experienced, this market by London Bridge is perfect for grown-ups. Grab a cocktail with a pal after work and soak up the view. If you can get a seat in the outdoor pergola area, even better!

Winter by the River, London Bridge Christmas Market, runs from from November 14th 2023 to January 1st 2024, and can be found at The Queens Walk, London SE1 2AA.

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