10 top Christmas markets in the UK

Christmas, Days out, Family

Posted by Ruth King on 1st November 2023

Two young women shop for Christmas decorations and candy from a pop-up store.

Are you planning a city break over the oncoming Christmas period? There's nothing quite like Christmas in the city, as there are always throngs of merry people, colourful lights, happy children, and most importantly Christmas markets. Whether you need some Christmas-themed food and drink or are looking to renew your Christmas decorations and search for elusive presents for your loved ones, a trip into the city is the answer.

If you’ve been feeling festive since last February or you’re still getting into the spirit of the season, we’ve picked the best Christmas markets in the UK for you to visit this year from Liverpool to Edinburgh, and London to Bath, we've included their highlights here.

Why not choose a self-catering holiday cottage or apartment in the city for your Christmas shopping spree? We have lots of interesting properties, with a good number to be found in the UK's many cities, in our collection. Click on the button below to find your perfect winter hideaway.

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Edinburgh Christmas Market by night.

Edinburgh's Christmas Market

17 November 2023 – 6 January 2024

The whole city of Edinburgh comes alive at Christmas, so if you're looking for big Christmas markets, this is the place to visit. 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 experience, the traditional Scottish Market will be on George Street, stocking tempting local produce for enjoyment. Add to these markets the fairs, shows and children’s entertainment scattered throughout the city, and Edinburgh's Christmas is a recipe for guaranteed festive fun. No wonder it's also one of the best places to spend Christmas!

Good to know

  • Where is Edinburgh's Christmas Market? East Princess Street Gardens, Edinburgh EH2 2EG
  • Is Edinburgh's Christmas Market free to visit? Yes
  • Stay nearby: Hopetoun Apartment | sleeps 2

Cottages in Edinburgh

Manchester Christmas Market in St Ann's Square by day.

Manchester Christmas Markets

10 November – 21 December 2023

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 and some kids' shows, and craft fayres dotted on other streets, and it's clear that Manchester has to be one of the best places for Christmas markets in the UK. 

Good to know

  • Where is Manchester's Christmas Market? St Anns Square and Exchange Street, Manchester M2 7PW
  • Is Manchester's Christmas Market free to visit? Yes
  • Stay nearby: The Elliotts | sleeps 2

Cottages in Manchester

Bath Christmas Market in Abbey Churchyard at night.

Bath Christmas Market

23 November – 10 December 2023

Being the largest Christmas market in the South West and often voted as one of the most popular events in the UK, Bath Christmas Market boasts 170 magnificently decorated wooden chalets in the heart of Bath’s World Heritage Site. 

This winter shopping spectacle invites stallholders from across the region, with a high percentage of the vendors from Bath and the surrounding area. Thousands of visitors descend upon the architecturally significant city for the festivities and flood the picturesque streets surrounding Bath Abbey – it doesn’t get much more magical than this for a Christmas setting.

Good to know

  • Where is Bath's Christmas Market? Abbey Churchyard, Bath, Somerset BA1 1LY
  • Is Bath's Christmas Market free to visit? Yes
  • Stay nearby: 16 Loves Lane | sleeps 4 + 2 dogs

Cottages in Bath

Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market

2 November – 24 December 2023

Popular with festive fans from the UK and overseas, Birmingham’s traditional Christmas market takes over Victoria Square and New Street and fills it with seasonal cheer. As the largest German market outside of Germany and Austria, it’s one of the best Christmas markets in the UK; you can drink gluhwein, tuck into bratwurst and pick up some traditional handcrafted gifts for your nearest and dearest, as well as listen to live music from both local and German performers. 

The market is the star on top of the tree of Birmingham's Christmas offering - you can also ice skate, visit another market at Cathedral Square and watch live music at the underpass near the Mailbox over the festive period. Make sure you visit the iconic Christmas tree in Victoria Square, given to Birmingham by the Frankfurt Christmas Market to commemorate the market's 20th anniversary in 2019. 

Good to know

  • Where is Birmingham's Christmas Market? Victoria Square, Birmingham B1 1BD
  • Is Birmingham's Christmas Market free to visit? Yes
  • Stay nearby: Roe Cottage | sleeps 4 + 2 dogs

Cottages in Birmingham

Winchester Christmas Market - woman shopper shops for presents outside - Winchester Cathedral in the background - pop-up Christmas shops laden with fancy goods.Photo credit: Winchester Cathedral

Winchester Christmas Market

17 November – 21 December 2023

Set on the beautiful grounds of Winchester Cathedral, the market circles around a stage at the centre of the stalls, showcasing a rolling programme of local musicians spanning a wide range of genres to put you in the festive mood. 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 handpicked by the organisers to ensure a diverse and superior selection of produce. 

Highly regarded not only in Britain but in Europe too, Winchester’s market is a euphoric yuletide experience sure to have you singing carols and tacking up the tinsel in no time.

Good to know

  • Where is Winchester's Christmas Market?  The grounds of Winchester Cathedral, 9 The Cl, Winchester SO23 9LS
  • Is Winchester's Christmas Market free to visit? Yes
  • Stay nearby: Birdwatch Cottage | sleeps 4 + 1 dog

Cottages in Winchester

Lincoln Christmas Market - Jolly Christmas snow man toys await purchase.

Chatsworth House Christmas Market, Peak District

4 November – 26 November 2023

Enjoy one of the UK's classiest Christmas markets this winter. Chatsworth House near Bakewell in the Peak District is open daily and hosts 100 stalls selling bespoke fancy goods as well as food and drink. You can also visit the Stables Shop which has an exclusive range of Chatsworth Estate-related goods.

While you are at Chatsworth House's Christmas Market, you may want to extend your visit with a lovely long winter walk around Chatsworth House's extensive grounds. There's a very good reason that Chatsworth House and Estate are amongst the jewels of the Peak District National Park; it's so beautiful. 

Good to know

  • Where is Chatsworth House's Christmas Market? Chatsworth House and Estate, Chatsworth, Bakewell, Derbyshire, DE45 1PP
  • Is Chatsworth House's Christmas Market free to visit? No. Admission to the market is included with all Christmas at Chatsworth tickets.
  • Stay nearby: Paeony Cottage | sleeps 6

Cottages in the Peak District

York Christmas Market - Gorgeous Christmas flowers.

York St Nicholas Fair

16 November – 22 December 2023

The historic streets of York never look better than when all lit up at Christmas, and so the St Nicholas Fair is an excellent time to visit this wonderful city. One of the top Christmas markets in the country, you can be transported to a wintery wonderland as you discover the alpine chalets lining Parliament Street and St Sampson’s Square. 

The Shambles also plays host to events, including the food court where you can dine on festive fare from all over the world. In our opinion, York is one of the most atmospheric cities to visit at Christmas time and in the winter. You will think you have been transported to the pages of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol.

Good to know

  • Where is York's Christmas Market? Parliament Street and St Sampson's Square, York, YO1 8SG
  • Is York's Christmas Market free to visit? Yes
  • Stay nearby: YO1 Mickelgate | sleeps 10 + 2 dogs

Cottages in York

Christmas lights in Liverpool - the Three Graces seen from Albert Dock at night.

Liverpool Christmas Market

18 November – 24 December 2023

Liverpool is one of the UK's most vibrant cities at any time of the year. It is an extra special place at Christmas because you can really feel the festive cheer in the air. Liverpool's Christmas Market is back again for 2023 and is set in front of the iconic St George's Hall on Lime Street on the plateau. 

This year the market is playing host to a host of pop-up bars including the ski bar, tipi bar, windmill bar, and a Bavarian bar. For kids, there are some cool fairground rides like a big wheel, a snow slide and Santa Land. If you are thinking of a city break this Christmas, Liverpool should be top of your list, it's amazing.

Good to know

  • Where is Liverpool's Christmas Market?  St George's Place, Lime Street, Liverpool, Merseyside, L1 1JJ
  • Is Liverpool's Christmas Market free to visit? Yes
  • Stay nearby: The Old School House | sleeps 4

Cottages in Liverpool

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland as seen by night across the waters of the Serpentine.

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, London

17 November 2023 – 1 January 2024

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 and 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.

Good to know

  • Where is Hyde Park's Christmas Market? Hyde Park, Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7LX
  • Is Hyde Park's Christmas Market free to visit? Yes
  • Stay nearby: The Warren | sleeps 5 

Cottages in London

Cardiff Christmas Market - Icer rink and big wheel lit up for nighttime rides.

Cardiff Christmas Market

9 November – 23 December 2023

A Welsh wintery wonder, Cardiff is home to one of the most famous Christmas markets in the UK. The 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 (as well as St John Street, Working Street and Trinity Street), 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, Cardiff's 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.

Good to know

  • Where is Cardiff's Christmas Market? Throughout St John Street, Working Street, Hills Street, and Trinity Street, Cardiff, CF10 1GJ
  • Is Cardiff's Christmas Market free to visit? Yes
  • Stay nearby: Pontcanna Mews | sleeps 4 

Cottages in Cardiff

Make this Christmas an extra special one

Make this Christmas and extra special one, stay at one of our self-catering holiday homes. If you're looking for a place to stay for the yuletide, take a look at our beautiful Christmas cottages for a festive break. You'll find cosy cottages, coastal apartments and charming country houses adorned with tinsel which are perfect for your Christmas celebrations.

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Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.