Christmas shopping can be a tricky business. Some start stocking up as soon as the January sales begin, and others like to buy when the shops are shimmering with tinsel and Noddy Holder is screeching in the background. A big part of Christmas shopping is the experience, and there’s nothing better for a bit of festive cheer than going to a top-notch Christmas market! We’ve found twelve of the best Christmas markets from around the UK, so brave the cold and go foraging for presents.
Manchester is hosting several markets this Christmas, so it’s the perfect place for anyone who wants to go all out on festive shopping. There’s a German-style market at St Ann’s Square, French-themed stalls at King Street, arts and crafts at Exchange Street, and a world market at Brazennose Street with an international selection of jewellery, leather goods, and specialty foods.
The largest German market held outside of Germany and Austria returns to Birmingham for its 11th year. Visitors can soak in the festive atmosphere while enjoying lots of delicious German fare, from mulled wine and beers to meats and pastries. The Craft Fair will also have plenty of handmade gifts from local artists.
Exeter Cathedral, at the heart of the city, will be brought to life this Christmas by a market showcasing local shops and produce. The stalls will be offering unique hand-made gifts, decorations, and a variety of foods, including roast hog, baklava, Belgian chocolates, crepes, and speciality cheeses.
Edinburgh will be hosting a variety of festive markets and fairs this year, taking place from November through to the New Year. Visitors can choose from the traditional German Christmas market, the Scottish market, selling the best locally sourced food and drink, and St Mary’s Christmas market, which will have children’s activities and carol singing.
Belfast’s City Hall gardens has been transformed into a picturesque village for the festive season. Visitors can walk around the chalets, sampling authentic continental food including Belgian chocolates, French tarts, cheeses, and sausages. You can also find clothing, arts and crafts, and decorations from all over Europe.
Swansea’s Oxford Street will have stalls selling arts and crafts, a specialty German food quarter, and plenty of other delicious food items on offer, for both the sweet and savoury-toothed among you. There’ll also be a Waterfront Winterland, which includes ice rinks, a Santa’s Grotto, and plenty of funfair rides.
Bristol’s German Christmas Market is a feast for the eyes, as well as the stomach! The 38 traditional chalets offer an amazing array of goods, including traditional German Christmas decorations, wooden toys, baskets, soaps, lamps, and jewellery – and not to mention a delicious array of food and drink.
Clustered along the riverbank, the Southbank Centre in London is hosting wooden chalets filled with festive food, drinks, gifts, and treats. Enjoy mulled wine, quality edibles, and handmade crafts while making the most of London at Christmastime.
The Christmas Market at Candleriggs Square in Glasgow is the perfect festive shopping destination for family and friends. The traditional Bavarian stalls will bring together Scottish hand-crafters and delicious food, and if that’s not enough to keep you happy, there’ll be funfair rides as well.
An abundance of festive treats and gifts, including local and regional products, crafts, clothing, accessories, jewellery, and unique stocking fillers can be found at Chester Christmas Market. But if you find yourself struggling with the cold, make sure to warm up with the delicious hot food and drinks available.
If you’re in the area, don’t miss this year’s Bath Christmas Market. With 170 chalets lining the streets, selling clothing, accessories, jewellery, decorations, ceramics, and much, much more, there’ll be more than enough to grab and keep your attention. And don’t forget to partake in the mulled wine and freshly baked mince pies!
Chichester Christmas Market is now in its sixth year, and boasts over 50 stalls offering a huge selection of festive goods. There will be all manner of gifts available to buy for friends and family, from crafts and unique finds to tried and tested Christmas gifts and foods.