The UK's Best Christmas Markets
Christmas is coming and the country is getting full with festive markets!
According to specialist website www.Christmasmarkets.com 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
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
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.
5–6, 12–13, 19–23 December
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.
20 November–24 December
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
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
Image courtesy of enjoytruro.co.uk
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'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.
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
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
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
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
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!
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!