Best UK Christmas Markets to visit this festive season

How is the festive season already approaching?! As December draws closer, it's time to get into the spirit of things and visit one of the many fabulous UK Christmas markets. While you're at it, why not make a weekend of it and explore a part of the country you've never visited before? Alongside our selection of the best Christmas markets to browse, we've chosen some fantastic places to stay this Christmas in each area, ranging from city centre hotels and apartments to boutique B&Bs.


Head to Edinburgh's East Princes Street Gardens and find a traditional market and an abundance of seasonal goodies in the heart of the capital. Elsewhere in the historic centre, there's an ice-skating rink, a big wheel, and 'Santa Stories' for littluns. If you're with a group, hire luxurious self-catering townhouse 94DR; couples wanting to escape the bustle after a day's shopping should consider The Bridge Inn at Ratho, a contemporary canalside pub with rooms. Christmas market is open from November 17th to January 6th.
Hyde Park is once again hosting the famous Winter Wonderland, with rides, ice skating, live music and street food. Check out the magical ice kingdom, rink and slide, plus the giant wheel and festive circus – plus much more, including Christmas singalongs. Across the river, head to the free Southbank Centre Winter Festival for a seasonal stroll along the Thames with a glass of mulled wine. Fancy staying in the capital? We love Hazlitt's, a characterful and super-comfortable hideaway in the heart of Soho, or for something a short train ride from the city, check out sleek bolthole Brama. Winter Wonderland is open from November 17th to January 1st / Southbank Centre Winter Festival October 28th till January 7th.


Situated in the heart of Bristol, expect over 35 stalls plus visits from Santa and his elves. There’s live music in the Jäger Barn and you can book a private igloo or gondola for a drink and a rest for all the festivities! It'd be rude not to stay the night – Artist Residence Bristol is a characterful hotel that's also uber-comfortable. Meanwhile, Brooks Guesthouse is a central choice – and for something a bit different, they have Airstreams on the roof. Christmas market is open from November 3rd to December 23rd.


Head to Birmingham and this fab Frankfurt-themed Christmas market for traditional wares plus yummy food and drink, including bratwursts, pretzels and schnitzels. Why not wash all that down with a glass of gluhwein or weissbeer? Oh, and did we mention it's the largest German version outside the country itself or Austria? For a chic place to stay, book into Staying Cool at the Rotunda. Or make your way to Edgbaston Park Hotel in the city's leafy southern side for modern rooms and apartments. Christmas market is open from November 2nd to December 24th.

Blenheim Palace

How about enjoying a Christmas market with magnificent Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire as its backdrop? Escape to the Great Court and shop for pressies or check out a contemporary twist on Sleeping Beauty within the palace walls! Tick some Christmas delights off the list, then hop in the car to The Kingham Plough, a gastropub with individually decorated rooms, for some well-earned rest. Five Bells Cottage is a wonderful self-catering choice – chic, boutique accommodation sleeping six. Christmas market is open from 17th November until 17th December.


Manchester's Christmas markets are legendary, spanning nine locations, including Exchange Square and Cathedral Gardens. Enjoy tasty food, drinks and seasonal gifts – available at over 225 stalls. After some comfortable budget accommodation? Check in to the YHA or head to Whitworth Locke, a contemporary yet wallet-friendly apartment hotel. Christmas market is open from November 10th to December 21st.


What doesn't this Nottingham Christmas market have? Their Winter Wonderland boasts a number of bars and street food, an ice rink, tobogganing, rides, an array of entertainment and seasonal stalls. A quick car journey north into the countryside takes you to Sherwood Forest, where you can stay at Forest Holidays. The home of Robin Hood awaits... Or for something else a bit different, go south just 20 minutes to Birdholme, where you'll find luxury lodges with hot tubs. Christmas market is open from November 7th to December 31st.


Exeter's Christmas market is Devon's biggest, with more than 100 festive chalets, a food village, and bars mixing up warming tipples. You also get free entry into the Cathedral, including artist Peter Walker's Light of Hope Star installation. Afterwards, hunker down at The Turk's Head, a historic watering hole with modern rooms just a five-minute walk away. Or make your way to Weeke Barton, a stylish six-room B&B. Christmas market is open from November 17th to December 17th.


Stroll York's medieval streets and enjoy its festive cheer this festive season, with the Christmas market featuring the return of charming alpine chalets along Parliament Street and St Sampson’s Square. Accommodation-wise, we rate the excellent-value YHA. For something a bit quirkier, take a short drive northwards to Rufus's Roost, a secluded, eco-friendly escape. Christmas market is open from November 16th to December 22nd.


Winchester's Cathedral offering is 'recognised as one of the best Christmas Markets in Europe because of its unique location, high-quality exhibitors and bustling atmosphere'. Expect German-inspired wooden chalets, festive lighting, Christmas carols and oodles of mulled wine. Just a 10-minute stroll away is The Westgate, a historic pub with comfy rooms. And if you fancy staying a little out of the centre in rural surrounds, head to Forest Holidays Blackwood – self-catering cabins in the countryside. Christmas market is open from November 17th to December 21st.

With that, our best Christmas markets post draws to a close, but for more fantastic recommendations for things to do and places to stay, head to our Inspiration page. And if you're looking for a top accommodation offer, browse our Hot Deals.

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