The ultimate guide to Britain’s biggest and best Christmas markets for 2017. Starting in Scotland and heading south, you will find dates, locations and a few festive treats to tempt you into the Christmas spirit!
Edinburgh – 18th Nov to 6th Jan
Edinburgh’s European Christmas Market has been bringing festive cheer to the city centre for more than two decades.
Based on George Street (until 24 December) and East Princes Street Gardens (until 6 January), it’s a perfect opportunity to shop and soak up the culture of the Scottish capital as you start to feel festive!
The market offers arts and crafts along with a range of Europe’s finest food and drink.
York – 16th Nov to 22nd Dec
There are a few Christmas markets in York during the festive season, the most famous is the St Nicholas Fair which has a lovely Victorian theme.
Shop holders dress up in Dickensian outfits and offer a variety of traditional festive trimmings as carollers serenade you.
You’ll find handcrafted gifts in the Small Business Xmas Market and fantastic food down the festive Shambles – it’s a one stop Santa shop!
Manchester – 10th Nov to 20th Dec
One of the UK’s largest Christmas markets, Manchester in the lively North West offers a huge choice of Yuletide treats for shoppers.
The market takes place in a variety of locations around the city, with festive festoons guiding you to the German market at St Ann’s Square, the World Market on Brazennose Street, the markets at Cathedral Gardens, Exchange Square and more!
More than 300 stalls in Alpine chalets offer a wonderful range of goods from all over Europe. You can relax with a beer, mulled wine or sample some international cuisine.
Grassington – 2nd Dec to 10th Dec
This gorgeous Dales village welcomes all ye faithful to their annual Dickensian Festival and Christmas Market.
Everyone dresses up in Victorian costumes, and with mulled wine, hot chocolate, glowing braziers and lots of entertainment along the cobbled streets, the atmosphere is very special.
The village offers a fantastic festive experience and a lovely day out for everyone. There’s even a chance to meet Santa and take part in a torch lit nativity procession!
Chester – 16th Nov to 20th Dec
A magical time awaits in the historic walled city of Chester, with a festive market gathered around a big Christmas Tree.
There are over 70 traditional wooden chalets offering an amazing mix of festive treats and gifts – perfect presents for someone special.
Sample delicious food and drink, mulled wine, local ales and steaming hot chocolate in the city’s historic surrounds, just the thing to stave off the winter chill and get you ready for Santa!
Nottingham – 17th Nov to 24th Dec
Nottingham becomes a Winter Wonderland during the Festive Season.
Browse the cabins selling seasonal food and drink plus crafts and gifts, and when you’ve finished enjoy the ice rink and make a night of it at the Ice Bar.
Birmingham – 16th Nov to 24th Dec
One of Britain’s largest outdoor Christmas market, the Frankfurt Christmas Market takes place annually in Victoria Square, Chamberlain Square and Centenary Square in the centre of the city.
The market has a heavy bias towards traditional German produce with bratwurst, gluhwein, and schnitzel all widely available!
For something festive, fancy and completely different, the market also has art and craft stalls on Chamberlain Square where shoppers can choose from all kinds of one-off gifts!
Lincoln – 7th Dec to 10th Dec
Few Christmas markets have a more spectacular backdrop than Lincoln’s!
The stalls are located in the Medieval Square between the cathedral and the Norman castle.
The cobbled streets of the city’s cultural quarter are an amazingly atmospheric place to visit as part of a festive getaway, and the market itself has more than 250 stalls.
Cheltenham – 23rd Nov to 16th Dec
The historic town centre of Cheltenham hosts the popular Christmas market with over 40 traditional chalets selling a lovely variety of festive crafts and gifts, including hand-painted decorations and baubles.
You can also choose from wooden carved ornaments, puppets, jewellery plus mulled wine, beer and bratwurst with music from around the world playing the background.
Worcester – 30th Nov to 3rd Dec
This Victorian Christmas Fayre is in its 25th year and boasts carousels, juggling stilt walkers, Victorian characters and local choirs.
With over 180 market stalls selling gifts and crafts, as well as the sounds and smells of Christmas, the streets are brimming with festive cheer!
You can also combine a trip to the market with Worcester’s historic attractions for a truly traditional festive break.
Gloucester – 16th Nov to 24th Dec
This is the biggest market in the South West and boasts the impressive backdrop of the Victorian quayside.
With an open air ice rink, more than 250 stalls with an amazing range of food and drink, plus unique gifts, jewellery and much more you won’t be disappointed on a day out in Gloucester.
Wrexham – 1st Dec to 31st Dec
The Victorian themed Christmas market is possibly the most eagerly awaited event in the Wrexham’s calendar and attracts thousands of shoppers.
Each of the 70 stalls, bustling and attractive during the day, become magical in the evening with twinkling lights. Soak up the atmosphere in the church of St Giles where there will be carols and music to enjoy.
Cardiff – 9th Nov to 23rd Dec
The Cardiff Christmas Market has a real focus on traditional Welsh arts and crafts, plus it supports local food producers!
Located in the heart of the city’s shopping district, you can pick up unique Welsh items. As well as hand crafted Welsh slate, pewter and traditional Welsh love spoons, the market offers a range of delicious traditional, local food and drink.
Oxford – 7th Dec to 17th Dec
The city’s Christmas market takes place amongst the beautiful colleges of Oxford University.
A wide range of hand crafted goods and unique foodstuffs are on offer to allow you to give your loved ones something really special this year. There’s also singing and bands playing festive music to add to the festive atmosphere!
London – 10th Nov to 4th Jan
There are some great Christmas markets taking place across the capital this year. The biggest is the Hyde Park Winter Wonderland which incorporates the famous ice rink along with a range of rides and attractions for all the family.
The market offers traditional German crafts along with a range of festive treats. For a more modernist festive backdrop, the Southbank Centre Christmas Market has mead, door wreaths, sheepskin rugs and much more!
Winchester – 20th Nov to 22nd Dec
Located in the Cathedral Inner and Outer Closes, Winchester Christmas Market attracts more than 350,000 visitors a year.
This traditional German-style Christmas market offers a variety of British handmade goods, plus it features an open air ice rink and cafe to warm up in! There are lots of different festive foods to sample, including bratwurst, mince pies and stollen cake.
Bath – 23rd Nov to 10th Dec
Bath’s annual Christmas Market takes place in the heart of the shopping district and this year extends into SouthGate street, Union Street and Hot Bath Street. This is the perfect location for a festive weekend break in one of England’s most scenic towns!
Visitors can also skate on the open air ice rink, bathe in the spa waters or relax with a glass of mulled wine.
Exeter – 16th Nov to 17th Dec
The Cathedral Green is the site for Exeter’s Christmas market, with the historic cathedral a perfect backdrop to the festivities.
The market offers a range of handmade local produce from all across the South West and is within easy reach of the town’s main shopping district.
What to enjoy…