There might still be a while until Christmas, but that doesn’t mean we can’t get excited about the Christmas markets that start open their doors throughout winter. If mulled wine isn’t enough to tempt you, we’ve got a list of the best UK Christmas markets displaying everything from traditional hand-made gifts to temporary ice rinks.
Edinburgh Christmas Market
Edinburgh has more than one Christmas Market to enjoy during the festive season. The Christmas Market on Princes Street is famous as Edinburgh’s traditional market with a host of artists, gift shops and bars. You can hop on a couple of the rides before enjoying mulled wine and looking out to the busiest street, or pop down to George Street for a visit to Santa’s Grotto and an Ice Adventure feature.
Bath Christmas Market
Bath Market is a huge event with over 200 stalls selling local produce and hand-made items lining the streets of the city. You can also find food and drink, and there’s an ice rink open for you break up the shopping with a little skating.
London Christmas Markets
As you would expect, London offers multiple UK Christmas markets spread out across the city. There is anything from the magical Hyde Park Winter Wonderland with an ice rink, circus shows, rides and an ice bar, to the Southbank Centre Winter Market that boasts a traditional style and hand-made gifts. If you head to Clapham Common you’ll find indoor entertainment for those slightly colder days, including street food, crazy golf and roller skating all beside the market itself.
Belfast Christmas Market
Belfast UK Christmas markets hosts a number of international stalls letting you try anything from French tarts and Belgian chocolates to European arts and crafts, perfect for presents that are a little different. For children, you can head over to Santa’s Grotto.
Cardiff Christmas Market
Cardiff transforms into a Christmas town for the winter season, with 80 stalls and a centre stage for different acts and exhibitors. The market showcases a lot of local artists with art and craft stalls alongside food and drink. It’s a short walk to Cardiff’s Winter Wonderland, when you’re tired of shopping.
Birmingham Christmas Market
Birmingham’s Frankfurt Christmas Market is a little different. It’s the biggest German market held outside of Germany and Austria, hosting a variety of German beer, meat and pastries as well as traditional mulled wine. There’s a Christmas craft fair right next door, extending on to Chamberlain Square, featuring local crafts, artwork and handmade gifts.
Manchester Christmas Markets
In winter, various UK Christmas markets pop up throughout Manchester city. There’s a European market in Albert Square, and various other themed markets at St Ann’s Square, King Street and Brazennose Street. Alongside a selection of food, arts and crafts the markets also offer jewellery, leather and speciality food. If you’re looking for a few fairground rides, head over to Cathedral Gardens.
Exeter Christmas Market
Exeter’s Christmas market stands on the historic Cathedral Green. As well as local produce, gifts and drinks, the market’s wooden chalets are known for their Belgian chocolates and speciality cheeses. The stunning market with a Cathedral backdrop draws thousands of people to this market, one of the most beautiful UK Christmas Markets.
Glasgow Christmas Markets
Scotland’s largest city is host to two different Christmas markets each year, one in George Square and one in St Enoch Square, both offering handmade crafts and gifts as well as street food. There are also a number of independent markets dotted about the city for more locally made crafts. Both of the main markets have a bar where you can grab a drink once you’ve finished your shopping.