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London Frost Fair - Bankside Winter Festival

Enjoy the festive spirit at this annual festival.

Come to London for the festive season and enjoy the London Frost Fair Festival taking place at Bankside. There will be many activities to enjoy for the whole family including a winter market, a lantern parade and a procession of traditional Thames Cutters.
London Frost Fair

The Frost Fair Lantern Parade

The Frost Fair will open on Friday 14th December with approximately 270 school children taking part in a lantern parade. The lanterns will celebrate past and present activities of the Frost Fair, with lanterns shaped as dancing bears, ice skaters etc.

The Frost Fair themed lantern parade will start at 4.30pm and end at the Tate Modern, the lanterns will then be assembled together and placed on display for the entire festival.

The Winter Market at the Frost Fair

There will be around fifty arts and crafts stalls at the London Frost Fair winter market. Here you will be able to buy handmade Christmas gifts and small stocking fillers. There will also be some refreshment stalls at the Frost Fair selling food and drinks – you might want some mulled wine to keep warm.

Other Activities to Enjoy at the Bankside Winter Festival

There will also be a procession of Traditional Thames Cutters at the London Frost Fair on the River Thames. They will be carrying Frost Fair flags and you can enjoy the sight of them from the Millennium Bridge.

For those who want an informative and educational time, there will be Frost Fair guided walks taking place once a day from the Mansion House tube station. You can even have a picture of yourself with a Siberian Husky – a perfect souvenir for the festive event.

The History of the London Frost Fair Festival

In the past, the River Thames would freeze over between Blackfriars Bridge and London Bridge on exceptionally cold winters, this tempted the Londoners and even royalty onto the ice to enjoy many different activities. Hence the annual Frost Fairs were born and the festive season celebrated. The activities that the Londoners enjoyed included:

  • Tavern Booths – where revellers can refresh themselves with ale, brandy, mulled wines etc.
  • Different Sports – many different snow and ice sports took place at the Frost fairs, such as running, sliding and skiing.
  • Food and Souvenir Stalls – here traders would set up stalls on the ice and sell trinkets and children’s toys with labels that say that they were bought on the Thames. There were also food stalls that sold spiced foods, nuts and fruits as wells as roast meat.

The Frost Fairs were celebrated regularly from 1607 right up until 1814 when the milder winters and the increase of the flow of the River Thames (caused by the draining of the riverside marshes and the dismantling of the old London Bridge) brought the old Frost Fairs to an end.

The Frost Fair Today - The Bankside Winter Festival

The Frost Fair is still held annually, however the activities now take place at the banks rather than on the river. The Frost Fair is also known as the Bankside Winter Festival and is today a very fun and festive event.

For more information, please visit: www.visitsouthwark.com/events.php?section=bankside&id=396

Georgian House Hotel is ideally situated in a very central location, so visiting sights all over London is quick and easy. Why not book Georgian House Hotel when you visit the Frost Fair at the Bankside Winter Festival? You can book online or email to make a reservation on reception@georgianhousehotel.co.uk, or telephone on 0044(0)207 834 1438