The UK’s best Christmas Markets

ByAndrea Thompson

October 24, 2023
It’s that time of year again and we all love a Christmas Market so a roundup of some of the Christmas markets around the UK.It’s that time of year again and we all love a Christmas Market so a roundup of some of the Christmas markets around the UK.

It’s that time of year again and we all love a Christmas Market so a roundup of some of the Christmas markets around the UK.

BATH

From 23rd November until 10th December. Bath Christmas Market sees more than 160 pop-up chalets set up on the pretty Georgian streets around the beautiful Abbey.  From local artisans selling local produce and the usual food, decorations you can keep warm with a cup of mulled wine with a perfect backdrop.

BIRMINGHAM

From 2nd November until 24th December, Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market is the largest German Christmas market outside of Germany or Austria, and incredibly popular.  Located in Victoria Square and New Street with an estimated 5.5million visitors each year.  With a large range of traditional gifts from handcrafted wooden decorations to leatherwork and toys adorning around 180 stalls, you can also get into the festive spirit on glühwein and weissbeer (wheat beer) whilst tickling your tastebuds on pretzels, schnitzels, bratwursts and crepes listening to the live music and carol singers.

BRIGHTON

From 18th November until 24th December.  Brighton’s festive season is magical and proves that this seaside town isn’t just for summer. With delicious food and drinks on offer, live music, a pop up Après Ski Bar, you can eat, drink and be merry!

LEEDS

From 24th November until 22nd December Christkindelmarkt it is expected to be bigger and better than ever.  Spread across the city centre from Millennium Square, Briggate and Cookridge Street.  There you can ride the Christmas Carousel or pop into the Corn Exchange where independent traders offer traditional handmade gifts.  Indulge yourself on the local street food vendors, try your hand at curling or snuggle up with a hot chocolate in a heated ski lodge.

LONDON

From 17th November until 1st January Hyde Park will once again transform into Winter Wonderland, the biggest Christmas attraction in the capital. With over 100 wooden chalets selling festive decorations and culinary delights from the numerous bars and food stalls.  Together with the added attraction of fairground rides, the world’s tallest transportable Ferris wheel, the UK’s largest open air ice rink, ice sculpting, circus and don’t forget Santa himself.

SOUTHBANK

From 28th October until 7th January 2024.  You will find fairy lit cabins selling an array of gifts, food and drinks alongside the banks of the River Thames. This popular Winter Festival returns along with street artists, food trucks and entertainers to put you in the festive spirit.

MANCHESTER

From 10th November until 21st December.  One of the largest in the UK, it will return to Exchange Square and spread out over New Cathedral Street, St Ann’s Street, King Street and Market Street.  This market is one of the more atmospheric and family friendly.  With close to 300 stalls and chalets each selling the traditional bratwurst, hog roast, paella, middle eastern dishes, locally brewed beer and much more.

There is a giant Santa, ice rink and even a gin bar offering over 100 types of gin

WINCHESTER

From 17th November until 21st December.  Winchester Cathedral’s Christmas market is widely regarded as one of the best.  Situated in the grounds of this stunning Cathedral there are over 100 chalets offering exclusive gifts that visitors won’t find on the high street – from local produce to hand-crafted decorations, festive treats to craft beer and mulled wine made by local artisans.

YORK

From 18th November to 23rd December.  The annual St Nicholas Fair Christmas market opens its doors with a array of festive decorations, foodie treats and gifts including the Made in Yorkshire Yuletide Village for your local Yorkshire treats.  There are plenty of attractions including a Victorian-style helter-skelter or stop at the rustic barn for a tipple.

ROCHESTER

From 25th November to 10th December. This Medway market coincides with the Dickensian Christmas Festival.   You must go to meet the costumed characters and listing to Christmas carols.  It attracts more than 130,000 visitors a year and is situated around the Castle Gardens.  With over 200 chalet-style stalls selling everything from Fairtrade clothing to homemade jams.  Includes a Bavarian food village and old-fashioned fairground rides and plenty of entertainment.

NORWICH

From 17th November until 3rd January.  Norwich has several Christmas markets, the largest of which is the Festive Fair at The Forum, and spills onto the pedestrianised amphitheatre opposite Norwich’s biggest medieval church. Lots of stalls selling handmade East Anglian crafts, art, food and drink, live Christmas music, and includes a one-day Santa’s Grotto for Dogs.

PADSTOW

From 7th to 10th December.  This deserves a mention because food is the main draw in Padstow’s Christmas Festival.  Obviously with well know names such as Rick Stein, Nathan Outlaw and Paul Ainsworth and over 60 more experts giving advice and demonstrations across four days, you’re sure to pick up some top tips for your Christmas cooking.

STRATFORD UPON AVON

From 7th to 10th December.  This is a new Victorian Christmas market spreading traditional festive cheer with shopping, street food and free entertainment.  With over 300 stalls and Vendors clad in period Victorian costumes selling gifts and seasonal products together with a traditional funfair and carousel to keep the little ones entertained

CHESTER

From 19th November to 21st December.  The centre of this market is the Christmas tree.  With around 70 pretty chalets around the Town Hall Square capturing the holiday atmosphere selling handmade gifts and arts and crafts goodies to fudge, vodka and other stocking fillers.

NOTTINGHAM

From 7th November until 31st December.  Know as Winter Wonderland this traditional German-style market serves all the classic elements you would expect and a very popular attraction in the region.

EXETER

From 17th November until 17th December.  This Bavarian-style market has stalls that line the paths surrounding the Cathedral and offers traditional Christmas food, gifts, and decorations.  Local entertainment gives atmospheres for all the family.

CANTERBURY

From 10th November.  This Christmas market is reopening for 2023 with over 70 traditional wooden chalets and the backdrop of the most famous Cathedral.

BAKEWELL

From 18th to 19th November.  This quintessential English Christmas market takes over the town centre of this pretty Peak District town with over 100 chalets and unique opportunities to purchase the infamous Bakewell Tarts and other handmade gifts and treats.

BRISTOL

From 3rd November until 23rd December.  This is a relaxed market to catch up with friends and soak up the festive atmosphere.  With cosy igloos, a Bavarian bar all centred around a stunning Christmas tree.

THE CHATSWORTH ESTATE

From 4th November until 26 November.  Although the “Place of Advent” runs from 4th November to 7th January at the House, the Christmas market is slightly shorter.   With over 100 stalls offering the usual gifts and decorations you can explore the stately home, gardens and farmyard and an array of seasonal activities.

LIVERPOOL

From 18th November until 24th December.  This winter wonderland is set in the heart of the city.  Over 40 traditional wooden chalets allow visitors to sample local delicacies, mulled wine, and other festive drinks from one of the three outdoor German-style bars.

NEWCASTLE

From 18th November until 23rd December.  Soak up the atmosphere at this Christmas market with over 50 stalls offering traditional Georgie delicacies and a wide range of crafts and souvenirs.  From Alpaca hats to locally brewed beer there is array of unique gifts.