As the nights get colder and the days get shorter, city centres across the UK start to smell of bratwurst, goulash and mulled wine. This can only mean one thing: Christmas market season has begun. From the Tate Modern to Manchester city centre, here are 12 of the best Christmas markets in the UK:



Manchester Christmas Market

14th November – 21st December 2015
At Manchester Christmas Market, you can explore over 300 stalls spread across the city centre. From browsing hand-crafted leather bags on Exchange Street to enjoying a hearty Hungarian goulash on Albert Square, the Manchester Christmas Market is the ideal way to get ready for Christmas.



Belfast Christmas Continental Market

14th November – 20th December 2015
Enjoy a continental day out with a Northern Irish twist at the Belfast Christmas Continental Market. Pick up some gifts at the Dutch Bulb and Plant Garden, sample some of the exotic and rare meats on offer (alligator, anyone?) before polishing the day off with a pint at Lavery’s traditional Irish bar.



European Christmas Market, Edinburgh

20th November 2015 – 4th January 2016
Don’t let the cold put you off – Scotland’s capital might be chilly, but the delights of the European Christmas Market are well worth the extra layers. Whether you’re warming your hands with a mulled wine on St Andrews Square, or picking up presents unusual presents on the market, Edinburgh is sure not to disappoint.



Frankfurt Christmas Market & Craft Fair, Birmingham

12th November – 22nd December 2015
No need to fly to Frankfurt for the authentic Christmas market experience – in Birmingham, they’ve brought the market straight to you. With over 180 stalls, this is the largest German Christmas market outside of Germany and Austria, making it the ideal destination for satisfying your Glühwein, German beer and Bratwurst needs.



Christmas Market at Tate Modern, London

20th November – 23rd December 2015
This season, why not combine Christmas shopping with a trip to the UK’s best contemporary art gallery? Enjoy traditional Christmas music, snack on roasted chestnuts and you can even take a ride on the Victorian carousel – all within sight of the wintry River Thames.



Glasgow Christmas Market

13th November – 20th December 2015
See St Enoch Square transformed into a global festive wonderland this season, with traders coming from as far afield as Ecuador, Russia and Lapland. A visit the Glühwein House is a must – it’s operated by one of the top 100 wine producers in the world.



Bath Christmas Market

26th November – 13th December 2015 
The historic city of Bath is the perfect venue for this traditional, distinctively British Christmas market – 75% of products on sale are handmade in the UK. Whether its exclusive ironwork or artisan West Country cider you’re after, with over 180 stalls, you’re sure to be spoilt for choice.



Padstow Christmas Festival

3rd – 6th December 2015
This four-day festive extravaganza is a Christmas market with a difference, as it combines artisan craft shopping with celebrity chef demonstrations, a winter lantern parade and even fireworks – no wonder it attracts 45,000 visitors each year. A must for any foodie.



Cardiff Christmas Market

12th November – 23rd December 2015
Enjoy traditional, local crafts with a contemporary Welsh twist. Most of the exhibitors are local artists and crafts people, many of whom are happy to demonstrate their skills in action. From traditional pewter gifts and slate products to hot welsh cakes, the Cardiff Christmas Market offers a truly alternative, independent shopping experience.



Exeter Christmas Market

19th November – 19th December 2015
If crowds aren’t your thing, the Exeter Christmas Market is the ideal choice – with over 50 traders in the beautiful Exeter Cathedral grounds, this market is small, but perfectly formed. Keep an eye out for the local glass blower demonstrating his skills, not to mention the range of specialty cheeses and meats on sale from across the continent.



Winchester Christmas Market

19th Novemeber – 22nd December 2015
Regarded by many as ‘England’s Christmas Capital’, it’s hardly surprising that Winchester hosts one of the best Christmas markets in the UK. Wander between charming wooden chalets, housing bespoke Christmas goodies, before taking a peak at the gigantic Christmas tree inside the gothic vault of Winchester Cathedral.



Leeds Christkindelmarkt

13th November – 20th December 2015
Experience a little slice of Germany at this traditional Christmas market. Buy handcrafted toys and bespoke Christmas cards amidst festive greenery and lights, before taking a break at the Alp Chalet – a traditional Bavarian eatery, complete with music and alpine decorations.


For more Christmas gift ideas (and also gifts for yourself), browse our ‘gifts for him’ range, as well as our ‘gifts for you’ range for further inspiration.

Imagery Credits:
Jennifer Boyer
Visit Belfast
Visit Birmingham
amateur photography by michel
Padstow Christmas Festival
Marketplace Europe
Winchester Cathedral Christmas Market