Christmas Markets in the UK to visit this festive season


The UK is in the midst of the festive season: it's time to get into the spirit and visit one of the many fabulous Christmas markets on offer across the UK. Why not make a break of it and check out one in a part of the country never visited before. Alongside our selection of great markets to spend a few hard-earned pounds at, we've also picked out some wonderful places to stay in each area, ranging from rustic B&Bs to city centre boltholes.

Edinburgh

Head to Edinburgh's East Princes Street Gardens and find a traditional market in the heart of the city and an abundance of seasonal goodies and festive cheer. Make a weekend of it and visit the Johnnie Walker Bothy Bar too (both are open until January 5th), then spend the night at sharply designed guesthouse 94DR.

Bristol

Situated in the  heart of Bristol's city centre, expect 50 stalls plus Santa and reindeer visits. Open until December 23rd, there’s also live music, a bar by the name of Jäger Barn and the chance to try our curling. It would be rude not to stay the night – Brooks Guesthouse is a fab choice. And for something a bit different, they have Airstreams on the roof for a glamping option.

Birmingham

Until December 23rd Birmingham has a range of traditional gifts plus yummy food and drink including bratwursts, pretzels and schnitzels at this fab Midlands market. 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 of the country itself or Austria. For a chic place to stay, book into Staying Cool at the Rotunda.
Hyde Park in London is one again hosting Winter Wonderland, with rides, ice skating, live music and street food. Check out the Snowman Experience, the Secret Forest or the Teletubbies show – plus much more. Or, south of the river there's the Winter Series, with free performances, magical family shows, comedy and a host of stalls. Both are open until January 6th. Fancy staying in the capital? We love Artist Residence, a delightful boutique spot.

Blenheim Palace

How about enjoying a market with magnificent Blenheim Palace in oOxfordshire as its backdrop? Until December 16th escape here and shop for pressies such as toys, stationery, bags, ceramics and hats. Tick a few off the list, then mosy along to the Lion at Wendlebury – just a short drive away – for some R&R.

Leeds

Leeds' Millennium Square has been transformed into a winter wonderland with over 40 traditionally decorated wooden chalet stalls. What to expect? Handcrafted toys, jewellery, authentic German delicacies and a Christmas carousel. Join Santa every Saturday and Sunday morning at the Alp Chalet for breakfast – a real family treat. The market runs until December 22nd. For those staying overnnight, Malmaison is a stylish option.

Manchester

Manchester's markets are across eight different locations, including Corn Exchange and Cathedral Gardens. Enjoy tasty food, drinks and seasonal gifts – available at over 300 stalls. Most are open until December 22nd with Albert Square closing one day later. After some comfortable budget accommodation? Check-in to the YHA.

Oxford

Trading since 2009, Oxford's Christmas market is being held on historic Broad Street until December 22nd. Join the festivities and rejoice in choirs singing carols, wooden stalls housing an array of different traders and warming glasses of mulled vino. Fancy staying in a magical woodland treehouse? 10 minutes out of the city there's glamping spot Cedar Hollow.

Nottingham

What doesn't this Nottingham market have? A trio of bars and street food, plus an ice rink, rides and an array of entertainment. And until the 24th there'll be over 70 seasonal stalls. It's the place to be this December. A quick car journey north of the city centre, visit the countryside and stay in Sherwood Forest with Forest Holidays. The home of Robin Hood awaits...

Glasgow

Returning to Glasgow's George Square (until December 23rd) and St Enoch Square (until December 31st) there'll be a wide variety of festive treasures to peruse and top-notch street food, with over 100 traders across both. And let's not forget bars serving seasonal libtations. Hotel wise, we recommend Citizen M, a modern yet wallet-friendly option.

Exeter

Running until December 16th, Exeter Cathedral's market has over 90 stalls, a food village and bars mixing up warming tipples. And yes, last year’s popular mulled apple gin will be making a comeback! Afterwards, hunker down at The Salutation Inn, a classy revamp of a seventeenth-century pub.

York

Stroll York's medieval streets and enjoy its festive cheer this December: until the 23rd there are a number of festooned stalls, an ice rink and plenty of spots to simply take it all in with a glass of something comforting. Accommodation-wise, we rate the excellent-value YHA.

Winchester

Winchester's Cathedral market is open until December 20th and is 'recognised as one of the best Christmas Markets in Europe because of its unique location, high quality exhibitors and bustling atmosphere'. Not to mention housing a fabulous ice rink too. Enough said. Fancy staying a little out of the centre in rural surrounds? Head to Forest Holidays Blackwood, luxury self-catering cabins in the coutryside.