Christmas on London’s South Bank

Date Posted: 31/10/2013

Southbank Christmas Market

Why not take a group trip to London’s South Bank during the winter months? One of the capital’s cultural hubs, the area is boasting a Christmas programme packed with music, theatre, festivals, markets and more this season.

On the stage

South Bank is offering a wide selection of live events, including shows at the internationally acclaimed EFG London Jazz Festival, running from 15th to 24th November.

Expect first-rate concerts from a whole host of jazz talent, drawn from across the world, including Esperanza Spalding, the legendary Herbie Hancock, Robert Glasper and Madeleine Peyroux.

Stay on a melodic theme with the National Theatre’s new musical The Light Princess, playing at the Bargehouse from 11th to 14th December.

Written and composed by Grammy-nominated singer Tori Amos, Light Princess is a dark fairytale about grief, rebellion and the power of love.


Some of the capital’s most prestigious theatres have their home in the South Bank, and many open their doors to give visitors a behind-the-scene glimpse into the world of the performing arts.

The National Theatre has recently celebrated its 50th anniversary. Group travel organisers can now arrange a backstage tour to explore unseen parts of the building and get an insight into how their shows are created.

If you are after a more action-filled event, The London Dungeon offers an excitingly scary experience, as their show breathes life into some of London’s most gruesome events.

For some Christmas fun, EDF Energy London Eye is encouraging both young and old to take to the ice on their Eyeskate ice rink, which opens on 27th November.

Markets and fairs

The Southbank Christmas Market returns on 16th November, with wooden chalets selling wares from bratwurst, mulled wine, and a variety of gifts and treats.

Foodies can immerse themselves in seasonal delights at the Real Food Christmas Market, which returns to the Southbank Centre Square 14th to 16th and 20th to 23rd December.

Primo bar on the South Bank

Groups can indulge in artisan chocolate, or buy some irresistible sweet Christmas presents at the The Chocolate Festival, which runs from 7th – 9th December at the Queen’s Walk.

For non-edible presents, the Designers/Makers Christmas Market, running from 16th to 22nd December, offers skilfully crafted jewellery, textiles, ceramics, home-wares and prints by designers from all over the UK.


The Southbank Centre, Bargehouse and gallery@oxo are all boasting busy programmes this winter.

Zealous X, which runs from 29th November to 5th January at Bargehouse, will provide an injection of creativity with a collection of 100 artists, displaying photography, film and music. 

In addition to an array of art exhibitions, jewellery exhibition Dazzle will satisfy both those with a desire for shopping and a love for good design. A group visit to gallery@oxo can take in Dazzle from 11th November to 5th January.

Food and Drink

To round off a day on a wintery South Bank, a plethora of food and drink - from seasonal treats to cuisines drawn from across the world - is available on every corner.

For lunch, OXO Tower Restaurant, Bar, and Brasserie is doing an alcoholic Not Afternoon Tea, with decadent desserts and bespoke cocktails.

London Marriott Hotel County Hall and Park Plaza Westminster Bridge are offering more traditional afternoon tea experiences with views of the River Thames and Houses of Parliament. 

Christmas dining is taken to a new level with Ichi Sushi & Sashimi Chef Okomoto’s sushi rolls and sashimi Christmas tree dish. This extravagant and playful platter can be enjoyed from 1st to 30th December.

Staying in South Bank

South Bank is centrally located with good transport links and some of London’s top hotels, from the chic and modern hotel Park Plaza Westminster Bridge to the traditional and lavish London Marriott Hotel County Hall.

Or for an alternative to the standard hotel stay, group travel organisers could consider the Plaza on the River.

For further group travel information visit

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