Top Christmas markets in the UK

Christmas, Days out, Events, Family, Seasonal

Whether you’ve been feeling festive since last February or you’re still to get into the spirit of the season, we’ve picked six of the best Christmas markets across England and Scotland for you to visit in 2017. Find the perfect UK Christmas market to visit below!

Winchester Christmas Market

Image: Alexander Baxevanis

Set in the beautiful grounds of Winchester Cathedral, the market circles around a stunning open air ice rink at the centre of the stalls. Inspired by the traditional German markets, you’ll have over 100 chalets to explore with a bounty of food and gifts available to purchase, and all stalls are hand-picked by the organisers to ensure a diverse and superior selection of produce. Highly regarded in not only Britain but Europe too, Winchester’s market is a euphoric yuletide experience sure to have you singing carols and tacking up the tinsel in no time.

When: November 20th-December 22nd

Edinburgh's Christmas

Much more than just a market, the whole city of Edinburgh comes alive at Christmas. A European market is held at East Princes Street Gardens, hosting an array of goods from across the Channel, with quirky crafts and presents on sale. For an authentic Scottish experience, from November 26th until Christmas Eve the traditional Scottish Market will be on West George Street, stocking tempting local produce for enjoyment. Add to these markets the fairs, shows and children’s entertainment scattered throughout the city, and it’s a recipe for guaranteed festive fun.

When: November 17th-January 6th

Manchester Christmas Markets

Perhaps the biggest in Britain, boasting over 300 traders, Manchester is home to a jolly gigantic Christmas market. The city centre has multiple streets packed with stalls offering a multitude of tantalising food and drink, as well as an extensive range of gifts to buy for loved ones. Each market section has a distinct theme, with Albert Square home to the traditional European market, Brazennose Street hosting a world market, King Street the base for a French theme, and St Ann’s Square accommodating the German market. Add to all of that the family friendly area at Cathedral Gardens where there will be an ice rink for the first year ever, and craft fayres dotted on other streets, it’s a good job they provide you with a walking map so you can take it all in!

When: November 10th-December 20th

Cardiff Christmas Market

A Welsh wintery wonder, Cardiff’s Christmas market features beautifully decorated stalls and an ever-changing line up of traders each year. The market will take over The Hayes at the heart of the city centre, filling it with festive cheer and a huge selection of goods to choose from. The organisers handpick which exhibitors will be appearing each year, switching stallholders throughout the six-week market stint to keep the experience fresh and enticing, even for those who have visited before. Meanwhile, in front of City Hall, the Winter Wonderland has an ice rink and fairground rides for the whole family to enjoy. Explore the stunning city of Cardiff at its most joyous, and take in all that the Christmas festivities have on offer.

When: November 9th-December 23rd

Bath Christmas Market

This year Bath will once again be transformed into a magical Christmas utopia. With the striking architecture of Bath Abbey and the Roman Baths encompassing the whole festive affair, this small city in Somerset is a marvel in its own right, but it is the Christmas season when it truly comes into its own. Over 170 chalets will line the picturesque streets selling everything from candles, decorations and ceramics, to slightly more niche products like wooden ties and a stand selling varieties of pickled eggs… There really is something for everyone, and you won’t be short of food options either, with gastronomic wonders all over the market and delectable goodies to buy and take home for later too.

When: November 23rd-December 10th

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland

The Hyde Park Winter Wonderland is the pinnacle of London’s festivities, which is saying something as there is a huge amount to choose from. Markets at Southbank, the Tate Modern and Leicester Square all have their perks, but none have quite the impact that the Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park has. The variety of thrill rides, market stalls, eateries and attractions, combined with it being a centrally accessible area in London, means that millions of people flock to enjoy the festive vibes, with the footfall rising with every year. The atmosphere is unlike any other, and with so much to see and do, it’s an adventure for the family, friends or couples alike. Open until January, there’s plenty of time to visit, take it all in, and even return for another exploration later in the festive season.

When: November 17th-January 1st

Making the most of your festive frolics

Don’t rush – Make sure wherever you go that you’ve got enough time to properly enjoy the atmosphere and all that the market has to offer. The last thing you want is a wonderful winter’s day out planned, only to be so stressed about running back to the car that you miss out on fun things to do.

It’s the season of good will – Patience is a virtue, and some of these venues can get super busy, particularly as the big day nears ever closer. So, pause, breathe, and remember what time of year it is. You’ll see everything you want to in good time – just enjoy the atmosphere and take it all in.

Try something new – Don’t fear that giant Bratwurst sizzling on the swing grill. Embrace the taste of mulled cider. Say yes to that strange German beer stein. If you’ve put off trying something for years and it’s there fresh in front of you, there’s no better time than the present.

Tis the season for self-insulation – Sure, it would be nice to have skinny legs and for those muffin tops to be burnt off, but for a few weeks of the year why punish yourself with a gruelling diet when there’s so much to enjoy? Have that churro you’ve told yourself is bad, indulge in a mince pie or two, and say yes to extra cream on that homemade hot chocolate that will warm your hands up nicely.

Enjoy yourself – Let loose, have fun, and have a very Merry Christmas!

Make this Christmas an extra-special one

If you're looking for a holiday for the Christmas period, take a look at our beautiful cottages for a festive break! You'll find cosy cottages, coastal apartments and charming country houses adorned with tinsel and perfect for your Christmas celebrations.

Posted by Kirsty Fensome on 17th October 2017