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The Festive Guide to South Bank

November 9th, 2021 | by Tom Harrow-Smith

The Festive Guide to South Bank

Winter markets, live theatre, mulled wine and hot chocolate on the illuminated Queens Walk... South Bank has got it all going on this festive season. We've rounded up the top twelve things to do between now and New Year, because there's no where quite like South Bank at this time of year! 

And as ever, for even more things to see and do, make sure you check out our What's On events page which features a selection of what's happening right across South Bank.

  • Roy's Art Fair

    When?

    25 - 28 November.

    Where?

    Bargehouse, Oxo Tower Wharf. 

    What to expect...

    Looking for some unique, quirky Christmas shopping ideas? Or just fancy immersing yourself in artwork from fantastic emerging and established artists. Experience live painting, creative workshops, interactive installations plus the chance to buy pieces from the artists themselves.

    Find Out More

    Oxo Tower Wharf
  • Southbank Centre's Winter Festival

    When?

    4 November to 24 December.

    Where? 

    Southbank Centre.

    What to Expect?

    This year, not only is the hugely popular Winter Market returning to South Bank, but Southbank Centre are also relaunching Winter Light along the Queens Walk, featuring outdoor installations, including David Ogle's iconic illuminated trees which lit up the Queens Walk in 2020. This year you'll be able to find the Winter Market underneath Hungerford Bridge, featuring scrumptious street food and seasonal goodies from traditional alpine chalets. 

    Find Out More

  • Hex

    When?

    4 December to 22 January.

    Where?

    The National Theatre.

    What to Expect?

    This ground breaking original musical production retells the story of Sleeping Beauty that goes beyond the waking kiss. This is the true story of the bad fairy, which flips the whole fairy tale as you know it on its head. Based on the book by Tanya Ronder, Rufus Norris directs with music by Jim Fortune and Rosalie Craig stars as the 'bad fairy'. Expect some big musical numbers, magic and mysticism and a story with a big heart. Exactly what you need during the festive season. 

    Find Out More

    National Theatre
  • Electric Winter at Between the Bridges

    When? 

    18 November to 23 December.

    Where?

    Between the Bridges, Queens Walk.

    What to Expect?

    Between the Bridges Festival is getting a festive makeover, with four heated tents featuring cocktails, craft beer, winter themed food stalls, markets, live music and DJ's, bottomless drag brunches and more! Set behind Jubilee Gardens in a unique riverside venue, there's free entry on weekdays after 5pm, making it the perfect place to pop in for a festive after work drink with a bit of added flare.

    Find Out More

  • Circus 1903

    When?

    16 December - 2 January

    Where?

    Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre.

    What to Expect?

    All the fun of the circus in this rip-roaring family fun extravaganza, which takes you back to the golden age of the big top.Expect acrobats, contortionists, trapeze artists, a death-defying high-wire act and sensational life-sized elephants, created by the puppeteers behind War Horse. This hugely popular show has become a fixture of Southbank Centre's festive calendar and it's easy to see why once you've experienced it!

    Find Out More

  • It's a Wonderful Life at the BFI

    When?

    12 - 23 December.

    Where?

    BFI Southbank.

    What to Expect?

    If you haven't seen probably the most iconic Christmas film of all time, then there's probably nowhere better to experience the magic of Frank Capra's beloved story than at BFI Southbank. Starring two of the greats of Hollywood in James Steward and Donna Reed and famed for its dark but ultimately uplifting narrative, It's a Wonderful Life follows the story of George Bailey of small town Bedford Falls, NY at a time when he is full of despair and without hope, it's up to Angel 2nd Class Clarence Odbody to help George see his life for what it is and the impact he's had on the lives of those around him.

    Find Out More

  • Jimmy's Lodge is Back

    When?

    Throughout November and December.

    Where?

    On the Queens's Walk adjacent to Queen Elizabeth Hall.

    What to Expect?

    The iconic igloos on South Bank's riverside are back as Jimmy's Lodge opens up again this winter. Jimmy's serves up a feast of Alpine culinary delights, from fondue to sharing steak platters. Tickets are now on sale for November and December, and always sell out fast. But fear not, as you can still get in on the action at the Lodge Grill, which serves up takeaway street food and hot cocktails, including their beloved raclette burger and wild boar hotdogs!

    Find Out More

  • Mulan Rouge!

    When?

    Performances every week throughout November, December and January.

    Where?

    The Vaults Theatre, Leake Street.

    What to Expect?

    For those of you who love a Christmas Panto, The Vaults are back with their own unique twist on this great British tradition with a raunchier, grown up spin on things. In collaboration with ShayShay, The Vaults have taken the wonderful worlds of Disney’s Mulan and Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge and crashed together a drag-tastic parody - fusing comedy, cabaret, burlesque and a feast to boot. Expect a whole lot of cocktails, great food and glamour.

    Find Out More

  • Grab a Cocktail at 12th Knot's Winter Terrace

    When?

    Open from the 10th November.

    Where?

    12th Knot rooftop bar at Sea Containers.

    What to Expect?

    Twelfth Knot have given their terrace a winter makeover. Inspired by the Northern Lights and Icelandic landscapes, you'll be able to wrap yourself up in sheepskin blankets to keep you warm as you enjoy a tipple from their new range of vodka based cocktails. With stunning views over the Thames and their own polar light installation and decor, it's the perfect place to give yourself a festive treat. Because if you can't indulge at Christmas, when can you? 

    Find Out More

  • The Tiger Lillies' Christmas Carol

    When?

    14 - 30 December.

    Where?

    Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre.

    What to Expect?

    It wouldn't be Christmas without some form of Charles Dickens' classic tale, but don't expect to find Kermit the Frog or Michael Caine here. The post-punk pioneers, The Tiger Lillies, present a dark musical twist on the story we all know and love, dissecting and reassembling it to shine a light on the poverty and depravity laid bare on the cold London streets.

    Find Out More

     

  • Witness for the Prosecution

    When?

    Performances every day (except Monday).

    Where?

    The London County Hall.

    What to Expect?

    Step inside the magnificent surroundings of London County Hall and experience the intensity and drama of Agatha Christie’s gripping story of justice, passion and betrayal in a unique courtroom setting. Set inside the former debating chamber of the GLC at County Hall, there's not a more atmospheric setting to watch Christie's courtroom drama to play out. You can even choose to be part of the jury! With twists and turns a plenty, we can guarantee you'll be on the edge of your seat throughout. 

    Find Out More 

  • London Eye's Pub Pod

    When?

    11 November to 24 December

    What to Expect?

    Get a round in as you rotate during the ultimate festive Pub experience. In partnership with Absolut Vodka, this is the perfect place start your festivities with an exclusive Christmas cocktail, and of course, the view's not too bad either!

    Find Out More

Find The Venues

  • 1 - Oxo Tower Wharf

    The Oxo Tower
    Bargehouse Street
    South Bank
    London SE1 9PH 

    Learn More
  • 3 - National Theatre

    Upper Ground, South Bank
    London
    SE1 9PX 

    Learn More