Ah Christmas, my favourite time of the year. I’m just a little bit obsessed with this holiday and everything it brings. Christmas lights and decorations, warm mulled drinks, snow snow snow, cosy fires, lots of delicious foods and above all, family time – and what better way to spend that Christmassy family time than at a Christmas market?
The UK is home to some of Europe’s best Christmas markets so you don’t need to worry about expensive flights and hotels to Vienna or Switzerland, you can find it all on your doorstep or just a short train journey away if you’re based in the UK.
So if you’re ready to get into the festive spirit then pop on your Christmas jumper and visit some of these markets on across the UK this November and December.
Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland opens on Thursday 22nd November and runs right through into January, only closing for Christmas Day. The list of festive attractions, rides and games are endless, so I advise mapping out a plan before going, especially if travelling with young children.
From the classic German chalets to a whole Bavarian village full of festive food and drink as well as spectacular light displays and shows, you’ll be spoilt for choice. This truly is the perfect festive day out in London but do keep in mind that it will be particularly busy, especially on the weekends.
Although it is free to enter Winter Wonderland I highly recommend booking tickets to individual attractions to avoid long queues. This year shows include Peter Pan on Ice, Teletubbies Christmas, and Zippo’s Christmas Circus, so there is something for all ages to enjoy.
Last year this was voted the best Christmas market in the UK and for good reason. The Edinburgh market along East Princes Street Gardens is easily one of the most picturesque. This year there’ll be locally sourced and homemade gifts, as well as festive food and drink, and fun rides for the kids including the Big Wheel and Star Flyer. For grown-ups, the Johnnie Walker Bothy Bar will provide the perfect nightcap before heading home – choose from a variety of whisky cocktails and hot toddies.
Edinburgh residents will receive a 20% discount on rides and attractions, and on Edinburgh’s Christmas shows in the Festival Square Spiegeltent. The EH postcode discount requires residents to bring proof of address when purchasing tickets or collecting tickets booked online.
Open from: 17 November to 5 January, from 10am-10pm.
There’s something extra magical about Belfast at Christmastime. From the occasional snowfall to the always-bustling pubs – there is festive cheer to be found around every corner of the Northern Irish capital.
With the city hall as the beautiful backdrop, you can indulge in a number of treats including cheese and olives, bratwurst, Belgian chocolates and French tarts made on-site. It is also perfectly located for those with kids as Santa has his very own grotto located within the market.
The Belfast Christmas Market returns to Belfast City Hall on Saturday 17 November until 22 December.
Claiming to be the biggest German Christmas Market outside of Germany or Austria is Birmingham’s Frankfurt Xmas Market.
The annual attraction is open daily from 15 November to 23 December in Victoria Square with tens of thousands of people expected to visit the city during the events five-week run.
You’ll find a huge array of Christmassy goods to buy from traditional gifts such as handcrafted decorations, toys and jewellery and also a large selection of food and drink from pretzels and schnitzels to bratwurst – whatever you fancy there’s plenty to tempt the tastebuds and plenty to entertain all ages with live music adding to the atmosphere and the option to go for a skate at Centenary Square’s ice rink.
If food is your thing then you’ll love Manchester’s Christmas market. The festivities kick off from 9th November and you’ll find an array of mouthwatering foods from around the world, including Spanish Paella, German sausage and a good old Hog Roast, so you’ll be able to fully indulge yourself this Christmas.
The event will be hosted in Albert Square, as it has been for the past 4 years and will also span across nine different areas of the city with around 300 stalls selling everything from jewellery to clothes and toys.
The Manchester Christmas markets will be open from November 9th – December 22nd.
The Christmas markets return to Glasgow’s George Square and St Enoch Square offering a wide selection of festive gifts and gastronomic treats guaranteed to warm the coldest of Christmas hearts. Along with the usual markets, Glasgow also has a whole host of independent Christmas gift fairs and craft markets throughout the city during the festive season.
These include the Riverside Christmas Fair at the Riverside Museum, with traditional fairground rides and a Santa’s grotto aboard the Tall Ship along with the 3D/2D Christmas Art and Design Fair at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall (1-2 December) and a Christmas special of Super Market, a vintage and flea market based at Argyle Street Arches.
St Enoch Square’s market will be open from 9 November until 23 December whilst George Square’s Christmas market will open on 25 November through until the last day of December.