Call us now on

0800 201 4811

Best Christmas Markets Across The UK


The UK's Best Christmas Markets

Christmas is coming and the country is getting full with festive markets!

According to specialist website there are over 150 to choose from this winter, merrily sprinkled across the UK, from Edinburgh to Truro. Some are brief Christmas Fairs held in stately homes, others grand extravaganzas that set up stall in city centres for up to six weeks. Victorian and German theming is popular, while the common link for such celebrations is that they are not just about finding choice gifts for your loved ones. Christmas markets are also a good reason for a family outing, with larger venues offering live music, carousel rides and an ice rink. Here's our pick of 12 of the most appealing, where you can be sure to enjoy some rewarding shopping and a glass of mulled wine as the big day approaches.



26 November–20 December

 Salisbury Christmas Market

The Salisbury Christmas market in this famous cathedral city takes place in the central Guildhall Square with over 70 exhibitors selling gifts and foodie treats from decorated wooden chalets. The market is open daily, including till 8pm on Thursdays, and events include a Lantern Parade along with a chance for youngsters to meet Father Christmas. Check out our properties near Salisbury here. 


6 November–22 December

 Bristol Christmas Market

Image courtesy of shrinkin’violet

Bristol is celebrating Christmas with a German-themed market that provides the perfect excuse to enjoy some robust sausages, stollen and glühwein. It takes place in Broadmead and has 38 chalets, a giant advent calendar, a nativity scene, Bavarian music and a beer garden. Open daily from 10am-8pm. Check out our properties near Bristol here. 

South East

Leeds Castle

5–6, 12–13, 19–23 December

 Leeds Castle Christmas Market

This historic castle near Maidstone, Kent, provides a majestic backdrop for a Christmas market that also features fairground attractions and the opportunity to admire reindeer and birds of prey. The admission charge includes entry to a 'Notes of Christmas' exhibition inside the castle featuring illuminated paper artworks inspired by Christmas carols. Open 10am-5pm, book online for a 10% discount. Check out our properties in Kent here. 

London Southbank

20 November–24 December

 London Southbank Christmas Market

Image courtesy of James Miller

Close to Waterloo, the Southbank Centre is a good place to head if you want to take a trip into central London to enjoy its Christmas lights and festive atmosphere. Running along the riverbank, the Winter Market offers stalls and food outlets that reflect the creative and international energy of the capital. Open daily from 11am–9pm (10pm on Friday and Saturday). Check out our properties in London here. 



19 November–19 December

 Exeter Christmas Market

Image courtesy of Exeter Christmas Market

Set on the green beside Exeter's magnificent Gothic cathedral, this tasteful Christmas market promises over 50 traders offering stalls with 'unique, handmade and unusual' gifts, decorations and food items. The market stays open till 9pm from Thursday to Saturday, with communal carol singing, choral and theatrical performances and religious services taking place in the cathedral. Check out our properties near Exeter here


8–13, 18–20 December

Truro Christmas Market

Image courtesy of

There's plenty of festive fun in Truro this winter, starting with a six-day Victorian Christmas Market held in Lemon Quay Piazza and ending with a three-day Last Chance Christmas Market. In between this there are regular Christmas street markets on selected Wednesdays and Saturdays from 25 November – so there's simply no excuse for not getting that shopping done! Check out our properties near Truro here



12 November–22 December

 Birmingham Christmas Market

Birmingham's Frankfurt Christmas Market and Craft Fair is billed as the largest outdoor Yuletide market in the UK, with over 180 stalls filling Victoria Square plus there's an ice rink in nearby Centenary Square. Locally-made hand-crafted items and imported ethnic goods are mixed with a brightly-lit carousel and traditional treats including bratwurst, mulled wine and hot chocolate. Open daily till 9pm. Check out our properties in Birmingham here.


11–13 December

 Ipswich Christmas Market

Held over one joyful weekend, some 50 stalls will be set up in Ipswich town centre for a lively Christmas market offering stalls selling gifts, decorations, crafts and food, along with street entertainment, a music stage, a mini-train ride and, of course, Father Christmas! Open daily 10am–6pm (4pm Sunday). Check out our properties near Ipswich here



13 November–20 December

Leeds Christmas Market

Images courtesy of Hilverd Reker

Leeds well-established German Christmas market sees over 40 wooden chalets set out in Millennium Square with takeaway foods such as bratwurst, schnitzel, stollen and gingerbread available, along with an indoor alpine-style beer hall and restaurant. There are children's activities and costumed characters on Sunday mornings. Open daily till 9.30pm (Sunday 6.30pm). Check out our properties near Leeds here. 


14 November–21 December

Manchester Christmas Market

Image courtesy of Mark Waugh

They love Christmas markets in Manchester and this year there'll be some 350 stalls spread over ten sites. Albert Square is home to the principal one, open daily till 9pm, but you'll also be able to get shopping and feasting in the new-look Corn Exchange, while other key venues are in Market Street and Cathedral Gardens. Check out our properties near Manchester here



20 November–4 January

Edinburgh Christmas Market

Image courtesy of Alasdair

Now in its 20th year, Edinburgh's European Christmas Market is centred on East Princes Street Gardens with over 100 stalls, open daily till 10pm. In the same area, Santa Land includes a Children's Market and you can also enjoy an ice rink, carousel, helter-skelter and Scottish Market in St Andrew's Square. Check out our properties near Edinburgh here. 


23 November–20 December

Glasgow Christmas Market

Image courtesy of Instagram

Christmas fun comes to St Enoch's Square in the form of wooden chalets selling gifts, crafts and foods from local and continental traders. Highlights include a Glühwein House and Bavarian beer bar, and you can combine a visit here with some time at Glasgow on Ice in George Square, with its ice rink and Big Wheel. Check out our properties near Glasgow here

The UK's favourite Christmas market - as voted for by you!

We asked you which of these markets is the best and you voted for......Manchester! 

 Manchester Christmas Market

Thank you to all who voted, Manchester won with 33% of the votes, with Edinburgh coming second, followed by Birmingham.

Don't forget to check out our properties near Manchester here so you can enjoy the market in the future!

If you’re visiting Christmas market this year, why not come and pay us a visit too? Merry Christmas!

Like this article? Subscribe to receive updates...
Subscribe to receive notifications when we post new articles to our online magazine.
By subscribing to these updates you’re agreeing to receive email updates when new articles are published to the McCarthy & Stone online magazine.
We’ll never send you spam or sell your details. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Related Articles


Hurry to Surrey

A small commute south of London but a million miles from the hustle and bustle of the capital sits rolling countryside, vast woodlands and quaint English villages ...Read more


Beautiful Bistros

Our in-house catering team have been working behind the scenes to bring new services into our Retirement Living PLUS developments for our customers to enjoy ...Read more


Couple Forge New Friendships in Retirement

Leslie and Ann Harpin, 87 and 81 recently made the decision to move to McCarthy and Stone’s Isabella House Retirement Living development in Hertford. The couple are not only enjoying spending more time together, they also have a new group of friends who they refer to as their extended family.  ...Read more


Your Resale Questions Answered

McCarthy & Stone’s Resales Director, David Gabriel has over 20 years’ experience selling preowned retirement properties and heads up our dedicated in-house resales service. ...Read more


Your Retirement Move is Safe in Our Hands 

The loss of a loved one is such an emotional experience for the family without the added stress of them being faced with selling their home. But if you need to sell your property, McCarthy & Stone Resales can take care of everything. ...Read more


McCarthy and Stone Resales Success

McCarthy & Stone Resales is having a positive impact when it comes to supporting those who wish to resell their retirement properties, as well as helping new customers experience what a retirement living lifestyle is all about. ...Read more


Tuning in To Singing in Later Life 

A singing group comprised of retirees from McCarthy & Stone’s Chinnerys Court Retirement Living development in Braintree, is showing how singing lifts the spirits and can be good for your health.  ...Read more


A Tale of Happily Ever After

Good communication, consideration for each other and never going to bed without making up – are the secrets to a long, loving and successful marriage, says homeowners Mr and Mrs Bowhill. ...Read more


£130,000 and Counting

Thanks to your generosity, we have smashed our target for this year’s charity partner Beanstalk. Here's a round up of some of the activities we have been getting up to across the UK. ...Read more


Our Ultimate Christmas Recipes 

We've spoken to our Catering Manager who provides us with his ultimate Christmas recipes for you to try this season. They’re great for putting you in the Christmas spirit, and your friends and family members will love them. ...Read more


Christmas Events – Roundup

We’re hosting a series of ‘At Home’ Christmas events for our residents and their families. Find out more about what’s happening in our roundup blog post.  ...Read more


DIY Christmas Gifts you Still Have Time to Make 

With the countdown to Christmas now on, it’s time to start thinking about Christmas gifts. There are those people who buy and wrap everything by October, and then there’s the rest of us, who possibly leave things till the last minute. Well, why not get organised this year? ...Read more


Christmas Decorating Tips 

To help make your home full of Christmas cheer, we’ve spoken to Clare Gibson, Head of Interior Design at McCarthy & Stone who’s provided her top Christmas decorating tips. ...Read more


Tips for Successfully Downsizing

Many people find that later in life that their home is far bigger than they need. Downsizing can bring a variety of benefits, including both financial and practical ones. That said, it can often be an emotional or difficult time.  ...Read more


Remarkable UK Gardens for Autumn Colour 

Another season has flown by and now the summer heat has faded with the turn of autumn. With the cooler days and longer nights, our gardens are transforming into a rich tapestry of colour, from fiery reds and oranges to majestic golds. ...Read more


Caring for House Plants 

From succulents to spider plants, the demand for indoor foliage is showing no signs of slowing down. No matter what the season, low maintenance house plants are ideal for brightening up the look and feel of a room. ...Read more


Foraging Favourites

For many people, collecting and eating wild plants and fungi has been part of life since childhood, filling punnets with wild edibles from ripening berries to sweet chestnuts. ...Read more


Spotlight on York

A city of extraordinary cultural and historical wealth woven into  every  brick and beam, York seeps history at every turn. ...Read more


Summer Events in 2019 To Look Out For

The summer season is packed with a variety of events to appeal to a range of interests and ages. Savour the delights of new and exciting cuisine, enjoy the thrill of world-class horse racing and discover the latest super cars, at events taking place across the summer months.  ...Read more


It's All Greek To Us

Sparkling white beaches, deep blue seas, sugar-cube villages and venerable ancient sites make the
Greek islands an idyllic holiday destination for many. Tourists can immerse in the Greek cuisine,
century-old sites and local culture each island has to offer, while enjoy luxurious accommodation
and the locals’ warm and welcoming hospitality. ...Read more


Fishing for Fun

Looking for an exhilarating and challenging activity that brings a sense of serenity and calmness? We think we’ve found the perfect catch. ...Read more


It’s time to start living life to the full again

A McCarthy & Stone Retirement Living Plus apartment is about getting more from life for the over 70s. It’s the perfect combination really - company when you want it, help when you could use it, care when you need it. And all in the comfort of your own stylish new home. ...Read more


Staying Cool and Well During A Heatwave

Although warmer weather can be a welcome sight for many, the increased temperatures can lead to
added risks for some, particularly those with health issues or those that are more vulnerable. Stay well with these tips.  ...Read more


The History of Father's Day

Father’s Day is the perfect time to thank fathers and father figures for their help and support. In this post, McCarthy & Stone look at the history of Father’s Day. ...Read more


A New Adventure 

Colin and Pat Mackay are looking forward to making the most of their retirement following their move to North Berwick.

...Read more


The Benefits of Downsizing in Retirement

There are many benefits of downsizing and if this is something you are considering, here, we share our knowledge about downsizing, and explain why it could be one of the best things you can do for your retirement.   ...Read more


Blooming Marvellous: The Chelsea Flower Show

The world-famous RHS Chelsea Flower Show. It’s the most glamorous day out in the gardening calendar.

The grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea are once again blooming with flora as the Royal Horticultural Society prepares to welcome 157,000 spectators to their annual five-day flower festival in May. ...Read more


Working After Retirement – Is It For You?

More and more people are choosing to put off their retirement and continue working. Plus, in many other cases, those who have already retired are looking to return to work. Here, we weigh up the pros and cons of each situation. ...Read more


How To Manage Your Diet In Retirement

There are many extra demands placed on our bodies as we progress through life and because of this our nutritional needs also change as a result. It is never too late to revamp your nutrition and nurture your body with a healthier diet.   ...Read more


Tackling loneliness among older people with Pen Pals

We understand the problem of loneliness amongst older people and we want to do something to combat it. That’s why we have created our latest Pen Pals programme, an outlet to connect older people with other older people in communities by the writing and exchanging of letters. Click to find out more. ...Read more


How To Make New Friends In Retirement

Friendship is hugely important at every stage in life, and retirement is no exception. What’s more, in retirement you could make the most of the extra free time you have to discover different experiences and meet new people – leading to new friendships and relationships.  ...Read more


Sheffield – The Steel Centre of the World

Famed for its industry and innovation, the green, modern cityscape now replaces the smoking chimneys from the industrial revolution. There’s a friendly, independent and alternative spirit that can be hard to find in other cities alongside a thriving cultural scene. ...Read more


Wally & The Flying Scotsman

Popular North Gate Court customer Wally Blazey moved into their McCarthy & Stone apartment with his wife Gladys seven months ago, and the couple have just celebrated their 72nd anniversary. At 92, Wally is one of the two last surviving drivers of the Flying Scotsman, the most famous steam locomotive in the world. ...Read more


The Top 11 British Hidden Gems

Where are the best locations in the UK to visit... that you've probably not heard of? We've ranked the best hidden gems around Britain, that are easy to access, and offer a great weekend away with the family. ...Read more


Do Pets Make You Happier?

Whether you're a pet owner or have a pet free home, animals of all kinds have been proven to improve the happiness of their human counterparts. To find out more McCarthy & Stone conducted a survey to see how pets enrich their owners lives. Here are the results! ...Read more