Christmas markets are one of the best ways to welcome in the festive season – and from North to South, the UK is home to a plethora of them. Though a hard task, we’ve selected five of our favourites for you – all that’s left is to pop the coat, scarves and gloves on and see what you can find in the way of gifts, fun, and most importantly hot mulled wine…
Winchester Cathedral Christmas Market – Ideal for Families
Held in the grounds of Winchester’s beautiful cathedral, this Christmas market features an array of wooden stalls, all bordering an ice rink. Adults and children alike will love zooming around on the ice amid all the festive fun – expect sounds of carolling and other entertainment, too.
As well as all the family fun, Winchester market is a great place to purchase high-quality Christmas gifts – from crafty bits to jewellery with a good dose of food on the side, there is plenty to interest every kind of shopper.
Winchester Cathedral Market is open from November 21st until December 22nd.
Once again, the Christkindelmarkt has taken over Millennium Square in the heart of Leeds’ city centre. Though the market does feature some beautifully crafted goods, it’s the food and drink that really draws the crowds. From authentically German bratwurst and schnitzel to the real ales, the market is popular from early evening with revellers looking for a seat to sit and enjoy their German goods.
To add to the festive European atmosphere, steins of beer are served alongside the sounds of a traditional German brass band, along with an ice skating rink next to the market too.
Leeds’ Christkindelmarkt is open November 8th until December 18th.
Manchester’s Christmas Markets – Ideal for Foodies
Taking up nine separate sites across the city centre, the Manchester Christmas Markets only seem to grow year-on-year. This year there are 300 stalls to peruse, selling crafts, toys, jewellery and other bits that make such perfect gifts.Whilst the shopping here is great, it’s the food that offers the most variety. The markets celebrate cuisine on a global scale, so festive foods from around the world are really represented here. You can tuck in to Dutch mini pancakes, Spanish paella, Hungarian goulash and French pastries, with many more dishes available besides.
The Manchester Christmas Markets are open December 15th until the 22nd.
With wooden huts sat against the beautiful Georgian backdrop that Bath offers, this Christmas Market is one of the most beautiful in the country. There are 140 stalls situated around the abbey and surrounding squares and streets, all beautifully lit to create the most festive of atmospheres.
The stalls themselves are renowned for selling really high-quality gifts, with everything from jewellery to leather-bound notebooks on offer. It’s when the sun sets that the market feels truly festive though, and there’s nothing better than a gentle peruse with a steaming cup of hot chocolate – idyllic.
The Bath Christmas Market is open November 28th until December 15th.
York is one of the most picturesque cities in the country, and this is only enhanced at Christmas time. The fayre hosts traders that dress in period costumes, selling traditionally styled gifts such as jewellery, and food and drink such as sloe gin, mulled wine and roasted chestnuts.
Carol singers only enhance the period-styled festivities that fit so well into the city of York, and many of the stall holders will be sat making things using traditional methods throughout the duration of the fayre – who knows, you might learn a thing or two!
York’s St Nicholas Fayre is open November 28th until December 1st.