South west London Christmas markets are still going ahead this winter despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
With social distancing measures in place, the Christmas markets that many of us know and love are facing extra challenges as they look to support businesses and bring some festive cheer across south west London.
Events such as the Kingston Christmas Market have sadly been cancelled, though many markets are still planning to go ahead in one way or another as they look to end 2020 on a more positive note.
With less than a month to go until Christmas Day, we take a look at some of the best Christmas markets and events taking place across south west London this winter.
Christmas at Kew
The ‘after-dark’ light display and trail at Kew Gardens was set to open this month though the second national lockdown pushed the start date back to the 4th December, with extra dates added in January so people can still attend.
Covid restrictions mean there will be no fairground this year though there will still be a wide range of food and drink stalls this year, with Montezuma’s Chocolate managing director Debbie Epstein delighted that the luxury chocolate company is one of those included.
She said: “Christmas at Kew is the perfect showcase for Montezuma’s and our very own showstopping light installation will act as a great backdrop for that totally ‘Instagrammable’ selfie!
“We’re hoping that while visitors enjoy the wonder of walking through dazzling light and colour, they will also be able to indulge their senses with our chocolate treats.”
Kew Gardens marketing manager Sandra Reynolds added: “We could all do with a bit of festive cheer, and I am confident that a wander through our spectacular Gardens, illuminated by over one million lights, will bring joy to our visitors this winter.”
Wandsworth Small Business Virtual Christmas Market
With social distancing measures still in place Wandsworth Borough Council are taking a different approach to their Christmas market this year, sponsoring a virtual market that will take place from the 4-5th December.
The council is sponsoring the event run by Enterprise Nation and 45 small businesses from the borough will feature, with applications now closed due to the high amount of interest.
In a statement the council said: “The free online market aims to boost small businesses who have been impacted by Covid-19 restrictions by driving online sales whilst celebrating the range of unique products available in the borough.
“It will also be an opportunity for independent traders to showcase their products and reach thousands of potential customers across the country in the run up to Christmas.”
Wimbledon Christmas Market
Running every weekend, the Wimbledon Christmas Market promises to be the destination to enjoy a ‘festive outdoor shopping experience’ this winter.
Currently running a food stall only market, stalls selling Christmas gifts and home decor will be present once national lockdown finishes at the weekly events.
In a statement, Love Wimbledon said: “Our Christmas Market on The Piazza is the destination to enjoy a festive outdoor shopping experience, where you’ll find bespoke home discord, sumptuous gifts, artisan bakes, delicious hot food and much more.
“With up to 50 stalls at each market and different stallholders each weekend, no two market days are the same.”
The market takes place just a two minute walk from Wimbledon train and tram stations at The Piazza, making it easily accessible by public transport for anyone who wants to visit over the next few weekends.
Heron Square Christmas Artisan Market
Heron Square in Richmond has held markets every Sunday in 2008 and despite restrictions this Christmas is proving to be no exception, with the Duck Pond Markets running events as usual.
The market is currently selling essential foods and takeaway treats but will start selling artisan crafts and gifts from the 6th December once national restrictions ease next week.
Duck Pond Market prides themselves on providing an outlet for small and ethically sound small businesses in the area and is just a short walk from nearby bus stops in Richmond, though they are also running events at Gunnersbury Park and Chiswick House.
They said: “We will be back to our usual glorious full house of locally, ethically and sustainably handmade or sourced crafts, gifts, foods, great coffee, mulled wine, street food and the friendliest traders in London!”
“We’ve worked hard to make sure all our customers, staff and traders are able to socially distance and operate in a very Covid secure manner.”
Featured image credit: Creativecommons.org