‘tis the season to be jolly! Nothing else gives you that festive feeling quite like visiting a Christmas market in December. The smell of mulled wine wafting through the air, plenty of mince pies to keep you fuelled up and twinkling lights shining away. Many Brits plan on taking winter weekend breaks to enjoy a market, but they needn’t do as the UK has some of the best Christmas markets in the world.
We’ve put together a list of the best markets to visit in the UK this festive season.
Birmingham is home to the biggest German Christmas market outside mainland Europe and this year will be bigger and better than ever with the 50th anniversary celebrations of the Frankfurt–Birmingham Partnership Agreement, an ongoing collaboration between the two cities. Expect lots of schnitzels and bratwursts, Bavarian beers and gluhwein to tuck into.
Famous for being one of the UK’s favourite Christmas markets, Edinburgh has one of the longest-running markets and is filled with both traditional European and Scottish crafts, gifts and food. If you’re visiting with family, explore the magical Santa Land, where you’ll find a Christmas grotto, festive-themed rides, a Christmas tree maze and a children’s market, all brightly lit with hundreds of lights.
The award-winning Christmas market in Manchester takes place over an entire month and has an impressive 200 stalls to wander round. With international influences, visitors can expect to find gift, food and drink stalls that offer treats from France, Spain, Belgium and more.
Our capital has an abundance of Christmas markets on throughout the month of December! Take your pick from the best, including the South Bank’s traditional event with wooden chalets and the extremely popular Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park, where visitors can ride a giant observation wheel, be in awe of circus performers and skate around the enormous ice rink.
Witness the amazing transformation of Belfast’s City Hall gardens as the scene is decorated to the nines into a traditional festive village. Get involved in the many tasty samples on offer at food stalls and peruse all of the arts, crafts and decorations on sale.
Come and visit Father Christmas as he rides through the town in a sleigh pulled by reindeers! Whilst you wait, you can wander the market, looking at the amazing range of artwork, crafts, toys and jewellery on offer, or race around the funfair and ice rink.
Enjoy a Christmas market surrounded by the beautiful medieval city of Winchester. Over one hundred tiny wooden chalets surround the famous cathedral, as well as an open-air ice rink and lots of Victorian-style food and drink stalls.
Surrounding the beautiful Roman baths and abbey, the city’s Christmas market is one of the biggest in the UK, with over 170 stalls showcasing beautiful arts and crafts, toys, homeware, clothes and food and drink. There is even an ice rink and glow-in-the-dark crazy golf course to keep the rest of the family entertained.
Go out and embrace the UK’s festive markets with all the family!
Keep up to date with the best of Britain’s markets with our news and blog.