For special gifts, visit one of Lon­don’s many Christ­mas mar­kets tak­ing place in land­mark lo­ca­tions such as the South Bank, Le­ices­ter Square and Hyde Park.

For one-off gifts which you will not find any­where else, visit one of the cap­i­tal’s many Christ­mas mar­kets, says Kohinoor Sahota

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Christ­mas in Lon­don has been in­creas­ingly in­spired by Ger­man tra­di­tions, and once you’ve wan­dered through the cap­i­tal’s mini-vil­lages of pretty fairy-lit chalets, you wouldn’t have it any other way.

Hyde Park Win­ter Won­der­land (to 2 Jan; p. 36), home to rides for all the fam­ily, also hosts one of Lon­don’s largest Christ­mas mar­kets. Get there early, so you can nav­i­gate through the wooden huts filled with hand­made gifts and con­fec­tionery.

One of the most beau­ti­ful mar­kets you can visit is the South­bank Cen­tre Win­ter Mar­ket (to 8 Jan; p. 36), as noth­ing beats the back­drop of Lon­don’s sky­line and be­ing be­side the River Thames. Here you’ll find chalets filled with clothes, food and hand­crafted goods.

Christ­mas in Le­ices­ter Square (to 8 Jan; p. 12) sees the red car­pet swapped for Christ­mas dec­o­ra­tions – visit Santa’s grotto, see a show and warm up with a hot drink and global food. Art lovers will en­joy the Tate Mod­ern

Christ­mas Mar­ket (to 24 Dec; p. 45), which sells pic­ture frames, art­work and jew­ellery, while the Ur­ban Mak­ers East Christ­mas

Mar­ket (10-11 Dec; www.ur­ban­mak­erseast. co.uk) has ce­ram­ics, art­work and origami work­shops. If all that shop­ping makes you hun­gry, you can tuck into com­fort food, from pork slid­ers to quiche.

More ad­ven­tur­ous types should ven­ture south to Brix­ton for its Crafty Fox Mar­ket (3-4 Dec; www.crafty­fox­mar­ket.co.uk) at the Dogstar. The event supports in­de­pen­dent de­sign­ers who sell won­der­ful arts and crafts. From bags and bird­cages to cush­ions and mugs, you’ll find in­ven­tive de­signs that make unique gifts. Happy shop­ping!

Main im­age: South­bank Cen­tre Win­ter Mar­ket Be­low: Hyde Park Win­ter Won­der­land

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