If you’re visiting the UK during the festive season, the Christmas markets dotted around the country are an absolute must. Forget about the cold for a few hours and get lost among cute wooden stalls, fairground rides and perhaps even an ice rink!
Christmas markets are a brilliant place to meet friends, spend time with family, buy last minute gifts, discover independent craft sellers and enjoy the best of festive food and drink. Feast on bratwurst, crepes, roasted chestnuts and sip a cup of steaming hot mulled wine or spiced cider – what could be better? Read on for our guide to the best Christmas Markets in London and the rest of the UK!
Christmas Markets in London
Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland is a combination of fairground, Christmas market, festive bars, food stalls and ice rink. It’s got it all. Due to the sheer size and scope of this festive-al, it can get pretty busy. We advise going on a weekday and you’ll need to pre-book.
(18 Nov – 2 Jan)
London Bridge City
Enjoy scenic views over the river and Tower Bridge as you peruse the wooden winter huts of London Bridge. Market goers can enjoy Christmas cocktails, gourmet hot chocolate, mulled wine, craft beer, pop-up street food vendors and a wide range of independent gift and craft sellers.
(TBC; More London Riverside, Hay’s Galleria, London Bridge City Pier)
London’s South Bank is a cultural hub along the River Thames. At Christmas, it’s transformed into a frosty wonderland where you can find festive favourites like mulled wine, traditional Alpine wooden huts selling stocking fillers and delicious global cuisine including cheese fondue sessions.
(3 Nov – 8 Jan)
West End’s Leicester Square is always bustling with tourists, street performers and theatregoers. And during the festive period, there’s no exception. Enjoy hand-crafted gifts, as well as traditional food and drink including sausages, crepes, waffles and mulled wine.
Out of London Christmas Markets
The beautiful city of Bath is an excellent place for a day trip when visiting from London. The architecture, history and natural beauty is breathtaking and when you add a Christmas Market the city looks like it’s part of a Christmas card! The market is made up of over 150 wooden chalets, selling everything from mulled wine and cider, to artisan cheese and handmade crafts ideal for unique Christmas gifts.
(24 Nov – 11 Dec; across Bath city centre)
Founded by ancient Romans with a Viking past, York is a beautiful walled city with many great attractions and museums. This year, the Christmas Market at York is celebrating its 30th anniversary so expect a festive wonderland full of famous alpine chalets hosting local traders and products. Discover artisan gifts, magical Christmas lights, homemade fudge as well as traditional market food and drink.
(17 Nov – 23 Dec; Parliament St and St Sampson’s Sq)
The second-largest city in the UK, Birmingham is home to the largest Christmas Market outside of Germany and Austria. Come along to enjoy a large selection of traditional food and drink including pretzels, schnitzels, bratwurst, gluhwein, weissbeer and hot chocolate. After wandering through the stalls, take a spin on the Carousel or glide across the ice rink for a truly Christmassy day out.
(3 Nov – 23 Dec; Victoria Sq and New Street)
Another excellent place for a day trip from London, Edinburgh is one of the most beautiful cities in the UK and there is plenty to see and do, especially at Christmas! Edinburgh’s Christmas Market has an ice rink, fairground rides, Santa Land and of course, plenty of arts and food stalls. Come along to try Glayva, a sweet local whiskey flavoured with spices, tangerines and honey.
(19 Nov – 3 Jan; East Princes Street Gardens)
Discover the festive period in Paris by visiting the one of many Marchés de Noël or Christmas Markets. It’s never been easier to take a day trip to Paris using the Eurostar, and with a metro card, you can travel around the city exploring all the iconic sights as well as the magical markets.
(Mid November until early January)
Will you be visiting any Christmas markets this year?
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