There is nothing quite like the feeling you get at a Christmas Market, your holding a warm mug of mulled wine, that’s steaming in the crisp chilled air. The intoxicating aroma of freshly baked goods, oranges and cloves fill your senses and the welcoming warmth of an outdoor fire brushes against your cheeks while you peruse through the stalls of local and handcrafted goods. Lets not forget the fresh hot grub that tantalises your tastebuds. While you might think you have to travel to Germany, Austria or Vienna to experience the magic, the UK has some exceptionally magical Christmas Markets and this is a list of our big city favourites.
Dates: 12th November – 3rd January
Location: Piccadilly Gardens, St Ann’s Square, Exchange Square, New Cathedral Street, King Street, Market Street and Cathedral Gardens.
Being a Manchester based company there is no surprise Manchester is on our list of favourites. Spanning across eight different citywide locations each with its own themed chalets of which there are over 300 to check out. The city has created a merry trail making its city centre a true Christmas Hub. You’ll find Christmas Market stalwarts and new local favourites with a multitude of yuletide bars, award winning market stalls, and food huts. Don’t forget to check out the idyllic light sculpture trail and Manchester’s favourite red visitor – The returning Giant Santa.
Dates: 20th November – 4th January
Location: East and West Princes Street Gardens, The Mound and George Street
The Scottish capital’s heart is the enchanting backdrop to Edinburgh’s Christmas Markets. A winter showcase of the delights from across the border that will have you switching up a traditional mulled wine for a mulled Irn Bru. With over 60 stalls bursting with handmade goods and Christmas joy seeping out of every crevice, you’ll find yourself having a very merry Christmas, while attractions including the Christmas Tree Maze and a Santa’s Grotto will keep the kids distracted.
Dates: 26th November – 26th December
Location: Hyde Park
Drenched in Christmas Spirit, it doesn’t get more merry than London’s huge Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park. Grab yourself a slice of the glittering action, by enjoying the ‘Magical Ice Kingdom’ or ‘Bavarian Village’. Tuck into festive treats and a tipple or two at the plethora of themed bars whilst enjoying live music or one of the two circus performances. There is truly no end to the magic at this ultimate Christmas destination.
Dates: 20th November – 23 December
Location: City Hall
The historic City Hall is the epicentre of Christmas joy in the heart of Belfast. Famed for offering everything from gifts to grub from over 30 international traders displayed in lavishly decorated chalets. Soak up the atmosphere whilst devouring a Nutella Crepe or dare to be adventurous and snap up a crocodile burger. Finish off your trip by slipping a pint of Guinness down you, while the kids take a slide on the vintage helter skelter.
Dates: 4th November – 23rd December
Location: Victoria Square
Filled to the brim with tradition, Birmingham brings the biggest authentic German Market outside of Germany or Austria to the UK. Coined Birmingham’s Frankfurt Christmas Market, you can anticipate plenty of traditional German wares and fares, from Bratwursts to Stollen all washed down with a warm mug of Gluhwein or a stein of Weissbier. And once your belly is full you’ll be ready to trawl the stalls for gifts of traditional artisan toys, decorations and ornaments.
Dates: November 11th – December 23rd
Location: St John Street, Working Street, Trinity Street and the Hayes
Step into a Welsh Winter Wonderland, at the Cardiff Christmas market. The perfect place to find an original or innovative gift, that you won’t find on the high street. Ran by craft fair organisers Craft*folk for over 20 years, showcasing the very best in local artistry with everything from bespoke jewellery, handmade textiles, beautiful glass work and hand-thrown ceramics, to name a few. Even their food vendors are local and once you’re there you have to try scrumptious hot welshcakes and a Welsh buttered Bara Brith from Hot Welshcakes by Mum and Me.