One of the major holiday attractions in the UK is the Christmas market. The beauty of these places is insane. If you want to be somewhere where Christmas is celebrated all out, these places are for you. Read more to know about the top 15 best Christmas markets UK.
1. What to do in Christmas Markets?
The tradition of the Christmas Market can go back to a long ago in Germany . It started in Germany as a way to celebrate the birth of Christ. This tradition eventually traveled to various parts of the continent during the time of the old Roman Times.
There are stalls for Christmas decorations, festive food and drink, and a magical Christmas experience. In some places, the market can be as big as a theme park, and you can even go on a Ferris wheel and enjoy live entertainment.
2. 15 Not-to-miss Best Christmas Markets UK
2.1. Edinburgh Christmas Market
The first one on the list is a world-renowned Christmas market. Edinburgh Christmas Market is one of the major Christmas markets UK. While the city on its own is magical, especially in this season, Christmas Markets in this city add to its beauty.
There are a lot of Edinburgh Christmas markets UK. It can range from small and cute to luxurious and magical. The most famous one is the East Princes Gardens on George Street. It is where the festive cheer of the city begins.
It is a spectacle to be there. You can munch on vegan roasts and sip on hot drinks in this festive city center’s chilly weather.
You can also get traditional Christmas gifts or harry potter theme gifts for your loved ones. There are also stores apt for Christmas shopping with decorations to ornaments. There are also rides for all that go from Santa Land, a Xmas tree maze, to Castle Street, home to Santa’s grotto.
- Other things besides the Christmas market include the Edinburgh playhouse, fountains, the Scottish library, and many great restaurants and bars.
- As New Year’s Eve is near, you can enjoy music and festivities in the East Princes Gardens of Edinburgh Christmas market.
2.2. York’s Christmas Market
York Christmas Market is a wonderland. Victorian cobbled streets in York lead to the famous St Nicholas Fair. Even though the name says it is fair, it is a Christmas Market. This year’s market marks the 30th year of this Christmas market.
On parliament and St. Sampson square, you can find some Scandinavian chalets. The whole streets are covered in lights and Christmas toys and gifts.
You can find vinyl-themed coasters, mittens, funny paintings, and pop posters. There is something for everyone in the York Christmas market.
There are museums, galleries, and the iconic real Diagon Alley of Harry Potter fame.
Food stalls and drink stalls offer local, and festive food treats like beer, Yorkshire Pudding, cheeses, wines, and handmade crafts. These quintessential Christmas streets also have stalls selling gingerbread and mini golf with a Christmas theme.
2.3. Cardiff Christmas Market
This market is made up of small Welsh businesses. It was first organized in 1992 by an organization called CraftFolk. This market focus on small business and most of the stalls here are of artists and artisans.
You can find the business of cushions, love spoons, textiles, wall hangings, silver jewelry, glassworks, quilts, and even ceramics at Cardiff Christmas Market. Most of them sell soaps, fragrances, and also prints by Louise Jones.
This Christmas market is spread from City Centre Trinity Street, Working Street to St. John Street and Hayes. Even though they are relatively unusual markets, they also have the textbook Christmas festivities like the magical fairy lights, big ice rinks, and even a winter wonderland.
For foods and drinks, some stalls sell local specialties like Hot Welsh cake, Welsh honey, Welsh honey, and brews. There are also seasonal delicacies like hot chocolate, mulled hot wine or cider, and hot roasted chestnuts.
You can also visit Santa’s Grotto, elf dash, watch ballet, winter trails, history museums, a forage farm, and a common castle.
2.4. Oxford Christmas Market
The city lights up with festive Christmas lights and a festive atmosphere. This city has many places that set up Christmas markets UK. The main market is set in the city’s heart, Broad Street. The Oxford Christmas Market is often mentioned as the best in the UK.
These markets sell Christmas ornaments and decorations, with choirs that sing carols. The traders sell handmade gifts, candles, spirits and liquors, and handmade crafts in their brightly lit wooden stalls. There are all kinds of fun for all.
You get to view artists performing in the area during that time. There is even a local choir called Handy Voices– which also uses signs with their music.
- You can also visit the History of Science Museum, Roald Dahl children’s museum, Art & archeology museum, and park near the Thames.
- Drinks and food play as fuel for people to continue shopping. Foods like hog roast, Bratwurst, fresh chips with pork, cheese, and chili as toppings, and the famous churros can be eaten here.
The traditional German Christmas drink, Gluhwein (Mulled Hot wine), and hot chocolate can also be available here.
2.5. Nottingham’s Winter Wonderland.
This Christmas market is great to visit if you are all for the feels. The vibe of this place is very Christmassy. As the name suggests, it’s like an icy winter wonderland with lots of things to buy and see.
Nottingham Christmas market should be on your bucket list as it is so much to experience here. There is a Sky Skate ice route around the ice rink, Ice bar, ski lodges, many stalls selling treats, gifts, and goods, and a 60 Ft. fir tree adorned with almost 4k Christmas lights.
Nottingham Christmas market, located in Market Old Square of the town, has many fun rides for kids and a cozy bar for adults to have a great time. You can also get delicious food here. The foods like fudge, artisan cheese, and delicacies can be seen.
More than 60 chalet stalls sell crafts, gifts, Christmas ornaments, toys, and glassware. All this makes this one best Christmas markets UK.
2.6. Bath Christmas Markets
The old Victorian streets do full justice to the most magical Bath Christmas Markets UK. These Christmas Markets have at least 150 brightly lit stalls that sell foods and crafts.
You can see the festive cheer in the people of this historic city and go Christmas shopping for Christmas decorations, ornaments, jewelry, homeware, and homemade crafts in the Bath Christmas market.
The food stall in the Christmas markets UK offers hog roast, pudding, and festive treats. The available drinks include mulled wine that can warm you up as you walk around.
You can even visit the Thermal Rooftop Baths for a soak that can make your tiredness go away from walking around the markets. This year the market marks its 2nd decade.
The cobbled streets, ice rinks, and adorable wooden huts can make you feel like you are in a wonderland.
- You can see a musical performance, ancient roman baths, and alpine ski bars.
2.7. Belfast Christmas Market
This is the best Christmas market to visit if you want to taste various food treats worldwide. This market is set in the garden of Belfast City Hall . There are over 100 stalls.
These stalls in Belfast Christmas Market sell Christmas wreaths, gifts by artisans, crafts, gifts, garlands, and many more. Food and drink stalls in the Belfast city hall sell foods from all across the world.
These include French crêpes, Belgian chocolates, and more from almost 32 nationalities. Drinks include traditional warm drinks and mulled wine.
- There are so many other places to visit in Belfast, like the grand opera house, try ice skating, the bowling alley, and a few forts.
There is something for everyone. There are fun rides like a vintage carousel Helter- Skelter for children and adults. There are also Santa trains, Olaf rides, and many more. All of this makes this one loved Christmas market in the UK.
2.8. Winchester Christmas Market
This market has a German Christmas feel to it. More than 100 stalls are there that surround a real open ice rink. The whole area is bathed in the festive spirit and is brightly lit. It is just next to Winchester’s medieval church and is the best place to grasp the festive cheer.
The Winchester Cathedral Christmas Market stalls there sell traditional holiday gifts, ornaments, hand-crafted decorations, textiles, and festive food and drinks.
The food available here includes Bratwurst, cranberry sausage rolls, mince pies, cheeses, and many more. You can also get cinnamon-flavored hot mulled wine to keep warm.
You can always stop and skate around the ice rink. There is often an open-air stage for performances for carol choirs and live bands. There are also specialties like cheeseboards, Victorian baubles, handmade cards, tree decorations, and special soaps to buy.
- The Gothic church and its presence are fascinating. You can also participate in a lantern parade, tower tours, puppetry, concert, and many other things.
Your time at the Winchester Cathedral Christmas Market will be well-spent.
2.9. Manchester Christmas Markets
Like most Christmas markets UK, they also sell Christmas decorations, ornaments, jewelry, French soaps and fragrances, Belgian kitchenware, wool slippers, leather-cover books, and many more in the city Centre. There is a French market.
You can eat local food, German bratwurst, Spanish paella, and Hungarian goulash, to almost all food from across the continent. You can drink traditional drinks and hot mulled wine while walking across the markets.
As to what to do there, you can always walk around as there is so much to see in this region. A winter garden in Piccadilly Gardens is open even after the markets.
- Other things to do here during this time include skating, collecting unique mugs, and seeing the giant Santa.
- There is also a stage with DJs and live bands. There is even a huge lit-up Santa who pops up that can light up your mood too.
2.10. Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Marketplace
While the main market is in Victoria Square, it is eventually taking over New Street.
Many themed bars and stalls sell German treats. Most of these stalls in Victoria Square are German, like bratwurst, gluhwein, Weissbier, cider, Berliner donuts, schnitzel, roasted almonds, pretzels, and many more. Also visit the museum and gallery of Art, library and many theaters.
You can visit during the evening to see and enjoy the music sessions featuring singers and songwriters from Germany and Birmingham and wander in the bustling small village and enjoy the Christmas cheer.
2.11. Blenheim Palace Market
Blenheim Palace is one beautiful place. It has an illuminated trail with lights and glowing trees. It is also the ancestral home of Churchill. The surroundings are decorated immensely with mistletoe, crystals, holly, baubles, and snowflakes.
An orangery is even changed into a magical ice kingdom for the season. It is a group of miniature chalets in the Oxford shire. With the drop-dead palace in the back, the lakeside view, and all the treats and cheer, it is a magical place to be.
2.12. Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, London
This is one large and best Christmas markets UK. This huge market has an ice kingdom, an ice rink for skating, slides, an ice sculpting workshop, a giant Ferris wheel, an ice bar, and many more fun rides.
Other sights to see in the winter wonderland are the circus, comedy club, tallest Observation Table, carol singers, and some fantastic ice sculptures. All of these give this market a Disney-esque feel to it.
2.13. Chester Christmas Market
This market might be small and quaint, but it is not any less of the festive Christmas market. It is in its 10th year. This market is opposite the town’s old cathedral in Town Hall and the City Centre. It is a cluster of bright and cozy 70 stalls.
Some of the other items are tree decorations and artwork.
Many drinks and food stalls offer local food, like pulled pork rolls with fillings, hog roast, apple sauce, bundles of caramel crumble fudge, mulled wine, gin, spiced rum, and many more. You can even refuel yourself with the Portuguese Pasteis de Nata.
The main attraction of the market is the sparkling and brightly lit glittering Christmas tree as their centerpiece.
- You can also participate in various parades, visit Chester castle, and even visit Santa’s Grotto.
2.14. Padstow Christmas Market
This one is unusual. This Christmas market is more of a festive food festival. But don’t see it any less Christmassy.
- This year, three celebrity chefs, Nathan Outlaw, Paul Ainsworth, and Rick Stein, will appear in this market by the sea.
There will be more than 60 chefs that give free cooking demonstrations. Christmas stalls sell local Cornish drinks and food like jellies, jams, cheeses, brie, yarg, chocolate, and marmalade.
Some stalls sell artwork, silver jewelry, homeware, and excellent gifts for your loved ones. The other things worth seeing are the county’s artists’ performances.
- There is also an excellent firework to see with your partner or loved ones. Have Cornish breakfast, visit the breweries, and eat at the quiet restaurant.
2.15. Exeter Cathedral Christmas Market
This market celebrates Christmas in a true West Country style. It is next to the historic cathedral of Exeter. This year’s Christmas market is one of the biggest, with over 100 vendors. Most of the stalls are Western country businesses.
You can buy their products and support these small businesses. The products include regional crafts, unique gifts, pottery, stocking fillers, chutneys, jams, and homeware. Not to forget, they also sell decorations, tree ornaments, and treats.
The historic cobbled streets have many stalls offering street food from around the world. You can find great mulled wine and cider here. There is also a bar tent that has local drinks available.
- Some of the sightings include the carol choirs from the cathedral and the Exmouth miniature railway, which often happens on weekends. There is always live entertainment and so much more.
Your time here is spent well.
3. Must-Buy Things to Get from Christmas Markets
While most of the Christmas markets UK sell superior Christmas-themed products like ornaments, decorations, and traditional gifts, some markets like Exeter and Cardiff sell homewares, handmade crafts, and artisan art goods. Some stalls sell a great variety of food and drinks.
If you are a harry potter buff, get harry potter theme gifts from the Edinburgh Christmas Market. You should also get unique homewares, home decor, paintings, jewelry, and ceramics from Cardiff Market, York Market, and Padstow market.
It would be best if you got fluffy cushions, pop posters, mittens, vinyl coasters, and glasswork from Cardiff, Edinburgh, and York markets. Buy premium Christmassy candles, soaps, fragrances, and liquors.
As for the foods and drinks, you can get the usual Christmas treats, but there are some seasonal-specific delicacies like hog roast, churros, hot chocolate, mulled hot wine or beer caramel fudges, and many more.
Regional specialties include bratwurst Berliner Donuts, gingerbread and mulled wine from Germany, Welsh honey, Welsh cake and brews, Belgian chocolates, French Crepes, Spanish Paella, and many more. Make sure to taste these delicacies in the Padstow, Belfast, Birmingham, Frankfurt, and York markets.
4. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q.1. Which are the best Christmas Markets UK?
Many best Christmas Markets UK offers a lot of festive goodies. But one best Christmas markets is in Hyde Park’s winter wonderland in London.
Q.2. Which all cities have a Christmas market UK?
Some cities with famous best Christmas marketplaces UK are Manchester, Bath, Oxford, London, Birmingham, and Nottingham.
Q.3. What can you find in a Christmas market?
You can find all kinds of goodies in the best Christmas markets UK. You can find gifts for your loved ones and even homeware for your home for this season.
Q.4. How long do the Christmas Markets UK last?
Most Christmas markets in the UK last for more than 20 or 25 days of holiday. But some exclusive ones are only open for some days.
Christmas markets UK are a joy for all. It gives everyone who goes there something to remember. Be it the good food, fun rides, Santa’s grotto, or the big, lit trees, it can fill you with the Christmas spirit.
It is also heaven for shoppers and foodies and can be great for collectors. There are so many things other than markets to do, like having a tour, taking part in parades, visit libraries and museums of the region.
Since the holiday season has started, run to the best Christmas markets UK to get your share of fun, festive treats, and goodies.