Sparkling lights, a festive ambiance, mulled wine and an assortment of wonderful gifts – this is exactly what you can expect from some of the UK’s best Christmas markets. From local markets to those further afield, there are a number of locations to choose from, many of which sit in some of the country’s most picturesque cities. The ultimate Christmas market experience can mix all-day shopping for goodies with discovering some of the UK’s most scenic destinations, as we reveal here…
Winter Wonderland – Hyde Park, London
Perhaps one of the most famous Christmas markets, Winter Wonderland transforms one of London’s most celebrated parks, Hyde Park, into a Christmas extravaganza. This Christmas market promises to transport you to a festive paradise in the heart of the city. It is here you’ll find one of the world’s tallest transportable observation wheels, an array of comedic acts, a Magical Ice Kingdom and one of the UK’s largest open-air ice rinks. On top of this, you’ll discover an assortment of bars and food stalls. This is a great Christmas market to visit if you’re looking for something for all of the family to enjoy.
When: 21 November – 5 January
Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market
A great Christmas market to add to your yuletide calendar, Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market is said to be the largest authentic German Christmas market to be found outside of Austria or Germany. Its 80 stalls boast a huge range of traditional and personalized gifts, as well as traditional German food in the form of bratwursts, schnitzels, glühwein and weissbier. Asides from its bandstand location in Victoria Square, another big draw is the promise of live music and carol singers, which certainly encompasses a festive atmosphere.
When: 7 November – 23 December
Southbank Winter Festival, Southbank Centre, London
This prevalent Winter Market is situated around London’s Southbank Centre and is a seasonal pleasure that boasts a wide range of family shows and festive fun. The South Bank comes alive with brightly colored strings of decorations and cutesy illuminated wooden cabins that showcase an assortment of Christmas gifts, from the eccentric to the traditional. You’ll also be able to fill your boots with moreish mince pies, steaming mugs of mulled wine, spiced cider, and rich hot chocolate. There is also a larger than life Christmas tree that is not to be missed!
When: 8 November 2019 – 5 January
Bath Christmas Market, Abbey Churchyard
This Christmas market offers the perfect mix of historic ambiance and winter style. Abbey Churchyard comes to life with over 150 pop-up chalets, all of which decorate the city’s pretty Georgian streets. It is here you’ll find an array of gifts to take home, including homeware goods, jewelry, and decorations. Bath Christmas Market usually comprises 80% of stallholders from Bath and southwest England, with nearly all of the products handmade in Britain. All those made abroad come with Fairtrade certification, making this an eco-savvy shopping experience as well as a festive one. Asides from presents, visitors will be able to fill empty bellies with a range of festive food delights, all of which are served up in the heart of the market.
When: 28 November – 15 December
Leeds Christkindelmarkt, Millennium Square, Leeds
Millennium Square in Leeds comes to life with an assortment of bright lights and festive displays for the city’s annual Christkindelmarkt German Christmas Market. It is here you’ll find over 40 traditionally decorated wooden chalets brandishing hand-crafted jewelry and festive decorations, as well as authentic German food and a Christmas Carousel. There is also an Alp Chalet restaurant, for those who are feeling extremely hungry, which sits in the center of the market in the shape of a Bavarian-style eatery offering a palatable selection of traditional food and drink.
When: 8 November – 21 December
Manchester Christmas Markets, Albert Square Manchester
From mid-November, the latest installment of the Manchester Christmas Markets will decorate an array of locations across the city. Visitors will be subject to an assortment of festive gifts and delightful food and drink stalls, boasting the likes of hog roast, traditional bratwurst, paella, and many more dishes. These markets will comprise over 300 stalls and chalets, with the heart of the markets situated in Albert Square. It’s here you will find toys, jewelry, plants, bags, homeware, and other quirky gifts. There is a German market, a French market, a World Christmas market, and a dedicated Arts & Crafts market.
When: 8 November – 21 December (Albert Square stalls open until 22 December)
Edinburgh Christmas Markets, East Princes Street Gardens
The Scottish capital really comes alive at Christmas, with a huge festive market held in the shadow of the spectacular Edinburgh Castle. With plenty of stalls selling everything from arts and crafts to traditional treats, as well as food and drink in abundance, there’s plenty to keep you busy. Don’t forget to take try out the Big Wheel and the many different funfair rides – there’s something in Edinburgh for all the family!
When? 16 November – 4 January