It’s that time of year again—the holiday magic in the air, the warm Christmas lights all aglow, and that much-needed family time together. From Edinburgh to Leeds to London, the United Kingdom’s Christmas markets should be at the top of everyone’s holiday bucket list travels this season. To those in search of the best Christmas markets in the UK, we did all the hard work for you—all you have to do is choose which of these Christmas markets you want to spend your holiday cheer at!
Edinburgh Christmas Market
Amidst a flurry of concerts, celebrations, group sing-alongs and general festive merriment, the traditional-style Edinburgh Christmas Market in the weeks leading up to Christmas and New Years is a complete bliss for holiday visitors. Expect German-style wooden stalls selling an array of charming gifts, tasty treats, mulled wine and other soul-warming beverages.
Leeds Christmas Market
The ‘Christkindelmarket’ has been one of the largest and best established authentic German Christmas markets in the UK since 2002. Every Christmas season, the city transforms its Milennium Sqaure into a majestic winter village with over 40 traditional chalets displaying authentic gifts and traditional food and drink. Don’t miss the Alp Chalet, the centrepiece of the Leeds Christmas market which offers fabulous evening entertainment.
London Christmas Market
There are plenty of options for enjoying the holiday magic in London’s Christmas Markets. Home to the world’s tallest transportable observation wheel, a Magical Ice Kingdom, and an impressive selection of comedic acts at its Comedy Club, the Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park offers a festive paradise at the heart of the city. The Southbank Centre is a Nordic-inspired market with lines of wooden stalls along the Thames River bank, where visitors can snack on traditional fresh mince pies and spiced cider alongside international cuisine options while catching a Christmas concert or seasonal show.
York Christmas Market
Taking place on Parliament Street in the heart of the city, the York Christmas Market is a classic festival soaked in medieval charm. Take in the scents of spiced mulled wine, rich fudge and sweets wafting from the numerous stalls lining the streets. Although it is small, York is the perfect place to take part in holiday festivities because no matter where you trek you will never be far from the Christmas cheer!
Birmingham Christmas Market
The Birmingham Christmas Market, the biggest outside of Germany and Austria, offers a great place to meet up with friends or family and enjoy live music on Victoria Square or banish the winter chill with a mug of warming glühwein while you peruse the stalls full of handcrafted wooden decorations, leatherwork, crystal lamps, and more. When you need a break from shopping, have a skate around Centenary Square’s ice rink or tempt your tastebuds with some bratwurst or schnitzel.
Chatsworth Christmas Market
Soak up the holiday atmosphere at the Chatsworth Christmas Market as you follow the trail of more than a hundred twinkling stalls tempting visitors with an array of delicately crafted Yuletide gifts at the heart of this charming town.
Manchester Christmas Market
Situated in Albert Square beneath the town hall, the Manchester Christmas Market offers unique finds such as amber jewellery, Belgian chocolate, and French soaps. Recently hailed as one of Europe’s 20 best Christmas Markets for 2019, you know you will find an amazing holiday experience in this northern city. In addition to the market in Albert Square, visitors will be pleased to know that there are countless other festive market locations located across the city, such as Cathedral Square, Market Street, Exchange Square, and the Corn Exchange.
Winchester Christmas Market
Attracting close to half a million visitors each year from all over the world, the Winchester Christmas Market is recognised as one of the best Christmas Markets in Europe because of its unique location, high quality exhibitors, and lively atmosphere. Situated under the mighty Winchester Cathedral, decorations and festive foods can be found in abundance within the hundred chalets and British Craft Village. All of the exhibitors attending have been hand-picked for their interesting and unique products which cannot be bought on the high street.
Bath Christmas Market
With over 150 sparkling chalets spread out across Bath’s historical Georgian streets, the Bath Christmas Market is back this holiday season for more magical merriment. Throughout the market, visitors are guaranteed to find the perfect unique homeware, jewellery, and artisanal works to tick off their Christmas shopping list, as well as an astounding array of tasty food to satisfy all appetites. This year there is also an opportunity to get the full Bath Christmas Market Experience, which allows visitors to try their hand at making festive wreaths or blow-your-own glass bauble at Bath Aqua Glass. Once you’ve shopped and explored your heart out, take the opportunity to rejuvenate at the Thermae Bath Spa and admire the city’s holiday splendour from the steaming rooftop pool.
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