What would this time of the year be without a cracking Christmas market to get you in the festive spirit!? Even if you’re feeling as grumpy as the Grinch, one stroll through a festively decorated Christmas market is bound to raise your spirits and remind you why this time of the year is so magical. Whether you want to warm up with a delicious mulled wine, purchase some unique gifts for a loved one, or just take the kids out to help get them all excited in the lead up to what is bound to be their favourite day of the year, Britain’s best Christmas markets won’t disappoint. Offering more than just snow globes, sparkly baubles, and winter hats, we’ve rounded up eight of our favourite Christmas markets all across the UK for you to check out this year.
The Christmas market in which all other Christmas markets are compared, the annual Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park in London is a must visit if you’re planning a charming trip to the capital this December for a bit of shopping or you’re a Londoner looking for a lovely spot to get into the festive spirit. Open every day from 23rd November until 6th January except Christmas Day, this year aims to be the best year yet with new attractions like ice sculpting workshops, Peter Pan on Ice, their very own comedy club, and a Teletubbies Christmas Show the kids will just love. There’ll also be the usual favourite attractions like their ice rink, which this year is even bigger than last, and thrilling entertainment from daring performers in the Circus MegaDome. Free to attend and with tons of stalls selling Christmas gifts and warming festive foods, this is one Christmas market you won’t want to miss out on.
Old Market Square in Nottingham will welcome a winter wonderland this festive season from November 15th to December 31st with over 70 traditional Bavarian-style stalls selling everything from wooden crafts, winter clothes and jewellery to chocolates, cheeses, and a wonderful selection of warming festive foods and sweet treats. There will also be exciting rides to keep the kids from complaining while you rush around trying to find the perfect gifts for the family. From a helter-skelter and ice rink to a brand-new 30ft toboggan slide on King Street, this is far more than just your traditional Christmas market. The market is even home to the UK’s biggest mobile ice bar along with a hugely popular ski lodge-style bar to chill out in after hours spent on your feet in the cold at all the Christmas stalls.
Returning to East Princes Street Gardens in the heart of Scotland’s capital and close to the city’s iconic castle, Edinburgh’s Christmas Market promises to get you singing Christmas songs and wanting to dance around the Christmas tree in no time at all. Offering a unique shopping experience complete with stalls selling a wonderful selection of bespoke and traditional Christmas items, along with once again hosting the Big Wheel and Star Flyer rides and a carousel, this fantastic and traditional market would make even Ebenezer Scrooge smile. With plenty of food, drink, crafts, gifts, and surprises, one trip here and you’ll have Christmas all wrapped up in a neat and festive bow. Open from the 17th November to the 5th January from 10am to 10pm, if you’re in the capital, you can’t miss this one.
One of the largest German markets outside of the country itself, Frankfurt Christmas Market in Birmingham brings a festive village feel to Victoria Square this December. Open from November 15th to December 23rd and featuring over 80 stalls selling everything from pretzels, schnitzels, bratwursts, and roasted almonds to handcrafted wooden decorations, glass baubles, crystal lamps, toys and jewellery, this Christmas market is guaranteed to raise your Christmas spirits, and that’s not just because of all the glühwein and weissbier you’ll be downing throughout the day.
The biggest, and some would say best Christmas market in the country attracting over nine million visitors each year, the award-winning Manchester Christmas Market in the city’s bustling centre is jam-packed with over 300 festive stalls selling a sensational selection of Christmas gifts and festive food and drink guaranteed to keep all the family happy. Spread over 10 sites, this year Manchester Christmas Markets will play host to a family site where they’ll be tons of rides and entertainment your kids will just love. From LED light performers to magicians and street theatre, this is truly set to be a show-stopping event.
Returning to St John Street, Woking Street, Hills Street, Trinity Street, and the Hayes in Cardiff City Centre from Thursday 15th November to Sunday 23rd December, you can’t take a trip to the Welsh capital this year without checking out all the cracking stalls at Cardiff Christmas Market. Boasting an exciting variety of unique festive gifts and treats, this December there’ll be a whole host of both new and returning exhibitors to get you spending your money.
Cocooned in your favourite Christmas jumper and wrapped up warm in your woolliest winter scarf, there are few more romantic or breathtakingly beautiful cities to take a brisk stroll through in December than the historic, captivating and magical city of Bath, and there’s no better time to see this city than during Bath’s Christmas Market. Gracing the city with its presence from 22nd November to 9th December, the market features close to 200 wooden huts selling a selection of Christmas gifts, wooden statues and toys, unique jewellery, and of course a wonderful selection of fantastic festive foods to feast on between shopping.
From the 7th to the 22nd December, the enchanting and historic city of Oxford, known as the “city of dreaming spires”, will come alive with fairytale magic as the beautiful Broad Street in the heart of the city is filled with stalls selling handmade gifts, toys, and decorations, along with festive food and drink. Stroll along this city’s beautiful streets with a glass of warming mulled wine clasped in your cosy glove-covered hands and soak up this spectacular city lit up and dressed all in its Christmas colours.