Christmas is fast approaching and before you know it, the yearly present-buying panic will set in. Rather than slog through your local high street, try something more exciting this year and spend a day in one of the UK’s legendary Christmas markets.
Sip on a steaming mug of mulled wine, take a photo with Santa and wander around quaint Christmas stalls, whilst helping out local crafts sellers and small independent businesses. Ensure you check out the website for your market of choice before heading off on your festive adventure, as many now have live music and guest food stalls.
So, grab your favourite Christmas jumper, wrap up warm and prepare to be inspired by our choice of the best markets in the kingdom!
Edinburgh Christmas Market
East Princes Street Gardens
Edinburgh is guaranteed to be a show-stopping affair this year, with six weeks of yuletide entertainment and spectacular light shows. Located in the historic center of the UK’s most festive city, there’s a huge range of Christmas activities to get stuck into. From stunning Santa’s Grottos, to taking romantic walks through picturesque settings, this traditional market checks all our boxes.
Belfast Christmas Market
Belfast City Hall
Belfast Christmas Market is a must this year, even if you don’t make it past the legendary Candy Alley! Set around the City Hall, it is a true feast for the senses, featuring wooden chalets with stalls to suit your every Christmas need. Kids and adults alike will love whizzing around the vintage helter skelter with breathtaking views across the city. Don’t forget to write Santa a letter before you leave to ensure your every Christmas wish is fulfilled!
Leeds Castle Christmas Market
Set in the idyllic Kent countryside, Leeds Castle has to be the most picturesque market on our list. Lose yourselves in Christmases past and present in the Castle’s beautifully decorated rooms, without a trace of the regurgitated commercial decor found on many high streets. From traditional fairground rides, to garland making workshops, there are activities for the whole family. Be aware: many events need to be pre-booked and will sell out fast.
Winter Wonderland London
Winter Wonderland may be a little pricier than many of the markets on our list, but it’s an unforgettable experience and in our opinion, worth every penny. With German beer halls and an unrivalled selection of adrenaline-inducing rides, Winter Wonderland is more than just a market. Head to the Bavarian Market for an array of delicious dishes and once your bellies are full, stroll through an admirable selection of independent stalls to find unique gifts for friends and family.
Manchester Christmas Market
Manchester’s award-winning Christmas Market boasts over 300 stalls selling tasty morsels and crafty Christmas gifts. The market has a buzzing atmosphere and is conveniently located in the city center. There are gifts appropriate for everyone in your life, from bespoke jewellery to perfume, childrens toys to house plants! Manchester boasts superior Christmas decorations this year with a giant glowing Santa and an abundance of twinkling fairy lights.
There are a huge number of fabulous Christmas Markets across the UK that are well-worth a visit. But in our opinion, these are the top 5 you need to be visiting this year. Most offer programs of live entertainment, festive food and crafty gifts, guaranteed to get even the biggest scrooge in your life in the Christmas spirit!