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Time: 16:21 23 May 2011

Christmas celebrations set to kick off on the South Bank this weekend

11th November 2013

There are few cities that do Christmas better than London, and the festive period is about to begin in earnest in the capital with the launch of the Southbank Centre's Winter Festival.

Each year the entire South Bank is transformed into a winter wonderland, with the Southbank Centre itself – which includes venues such as the Royal Festival Hall and the Hayward Gallery – playing a starring role in the celebrations.

Anyone visiting London over the holiday season should therefore definitely try to make time to visit the centre, which will once again play host to its famous Christmas Market this year.

Launching on Saturday (November 16th), this German-style market will feature more than 80 stunningly decorated wooden chalets, with each one selling a fantastic range of unique hand-crafted gifts.

Naturally, there will also be a terrific selection of seasonal food and drink available at the market, with German classics like bratwurst on sale along with mulled wine, mince pies and much more.

The market will remain in place until December 24th, so if you still haven't got our Christmas shopping done by then it could be the perfect place to go to pick up some gifts for your loved ones.

The Southbank Centre's Winter Festival will also feature a number of excellent performances, with a celebrity reading of Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol among the highlights.

Taking place on December 15th in the Queen Elizabeth Hall, the show will star Welsh Olivier Award-winning actor Griff Rhys Jones as Dickens, along with an all-star cast.

This particular production has been created to celebrate the 170th anniversary of the novel's publication, and is sure to get audiences into the Christmas spirit.

The Southbank Centre can be accessed from Waterloo and Embankment underground stations, while Covent Garden tube station is also just a short walk away, on the other side of Waterloo Bridge.


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