Christmas by the River returns to illuminate London Bridge City

One of the twelve snowmen sculptures created by Wild in Art. [Photo by Juliana Onetti]

The annual Christmas by the River market is back in London Bridge City, for the sixth year in a row.

New for this year is a vintage ski theme with the new Lodge Bar at The Scoop and the wooden huts.

A selection of over 60 independent traders are here in their German-style chalets, offering a combination of delicious food, homemade gifts and various Christmas decorations. 

One visitor to Christmas by the River told JLDN, “You can have hot chocolate, churros and all sorts of yummy things, it’s great!”

While another said, “As you walk around you see everyone enjoying themselves, there is a lot of yummy treats and a lot of really cute things.”

“I think it smells fantastic, it has a Christmas sort of cinnamon spicy smell and it’s just a really lovely warm atmosphere, with lots of beautiful products.”

The market also holds a series of free workshops, with several activities as Christmas wreath making, crafts, storytelling or even food and drink tastings.

Christmas by the River runs from November 26, 2019, to January 5, 2020, and is often seen as London’s prettiest riverside market.

Running alongside this year’s Christmas by the River market is also a special art trail. Raymond Briggs’ famous children animation, “The Snowman” comes to life in the area. Twelve snowmen sculptures were made to represent the popular song The Twelve Days of Christmas. 

Each snowman has been individually decorated by a professional artist. The sculptures are displayed in different locations of the market, for people to come to contemplate their message and take photos.

Behind this project is Wild in Art, a public art event that claims to entertain, enrich and inform. They animate cities across the world and create public art events internationally, with the intention of leaving an impact and lasting legacy.

Wild in Art’s co-founder and managing director, Charlie Langhorne told JLDN, “Growing up you sit down with your family every Christmas and watch The Snowman film, so actually see it now in this huge, big three-dimensional way is really exciting, it’s so lovely to see them all.”

“I think the snowmen are going to provide that really fun free activity for families to come down, to go to see all the snowmen and count them all of. It’s for all people, all ages because everyone just loves The Snowman.”

Christmas markets are really popular in London, people love to gather in order to do their Christmas shopping and feel the Christmas spirit. Every year the best Christmas Markets in London are gathered in a list. 

Here are the JLDN’s top 5 Christmas markets to visit in London in 2019:

  1. Christmas by the River holds the first place of the list this year.
  2. Winter Wonderland, Hyde Park, runs from November 21 to January 5. Between the rides at the famous Christmas fun fair you will find lots of festive food stalls, German beer tents, an ice bar and an Après ski inspired village.
  3. Leicester Square Christmas Market, runs from November 8 to January 5. At the heart of London’s tourist area, this market sits under the trees full of sparkling lights.
  4. Christmas At Flat Iron Square, Southwark, runs from November 11 to January 6. For an Après ski Lodge vibe, this is the place to go to. This market hosts many street food vendors and holiday workshops.
  5. Southbank Winter Festival, runs from November 8 to January 5. Right next to the London Eye, you will find the Southbank riverside market, which hosts lots of delicious street food stalls.