If the thought of spending hours trawling the internet or high street shops in search of that perfect Christmas gift fills you with dread, why not try something different this year? Growing in number year by year, Christmas markets are becoming increasing popular in the UK and they are the perfect way to find those unusual stocking fillers.
Whilst some traditional markets aren’t going ahead this year, there are still plenty of Christmas fairs, markets and activities to put the fun back into the festive season.
Our top 10 UK Christmas markets
Lincoln Christmas Market sits in poll position as it instigated the revival of the Christmas market some twenty six years ago and started as a German-style market. Much-loved, this famous Christmas market still has a strong German influence and takes place this year from the 2nd to the 5th December. The setting for the market is enchanting, amongst the cobbles of the cultural quarter of the city, in the medieval square between the impressive Gothic cathedral and Normal Castle. A true festive experience for the whole family with some 250 stalls to browse. See our selection of holiday cottages to rent in Lincolnshire and make a weekend of it.
Another of the country’s largest Christmas markets usually takes place in the beautiful City of Bath. Unfortunately the Christmas Market itself will not be taking place this year, but for anyone who fancies a bit of Christmas sparkle you will not be disappointed. From street entertainment, carol singing and Victorian carousel rides to artisan markets and traditional Christmas celebrations, there is something for all the family in the run up to Christmas in Bath. Find your perfect holiday cottage near Bath.
Whilst the Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre is also not taking place this year, there is still plenty of festive fun to be had in this magical town. Enjoy the Winter Makers Market on 7th November, the Christmas Crafts Market on 20th to 21st November or the Cathedral Christmas Market on 25th to 27th November. We have a range of holiday cottages in Suffolk, close to Bury St Edmunds.
With its strong German influence, the Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market and Craft Fair will take place between 4th November and 23rd December so it is ideal for those who leave Christmas shopping until the last minute! Possibly one of the most popular Christmas markets in the country, it has a unique feel that perfectly combines a traditional quaint village theme with the hustle and bustle of the city. You may also like to visit the Festive Gift Fayre that will be held in the NEC between the 18th to 21st November – a popular place for buying unusual and affordable gifts. Both Warwickshire and The Cotswolds are within easy reach of Birmingham and are popular choices for a weekend break.
In the heart of the city centre, Bristol is another popular venue with over forty pretty chalet style stalls (plus five hundred shops!) brimming with German goodies including gifts, arts, crafts and culinary delights. The Bristol Christmas Market starts early on the 5th November this year and runs right through to 23rd December. Located in the Broadmead pedestrian shopping quarter, the pretty decorations light up the streets and make it a magical experience for the whole family with an ice skating rink and Santa’s Grotto for the children.
The Edinburgh Christmas Market, running from 20th November to 2nd January, is bound to put the sparkle back into the festive season. Edinburgh is a mecca for festive celebrations, shopping and fine dining, and its Christmas markets make the festive season an extra special time to visit. The Highland Village Christmas Market in East Princes Street Gardens offers an eclectic mix of Scottish goodies from woollen hats to delightful delicacies. There really is something for everyone in Edinburgh this festive season! See our selection of cottages in and around Edinburgh and start planning your city break.
If you are staying in a holiday cottage in Wiltshire there is plenty to keep you entertained over the festive season. Get creative and make your own gifts or Christmas decorations in a Christmas Craft workshop or browse the independent shops for a range of locally made crafts and festive gifts. The hugely popular Salibury Christmas markets hope to return next year.
The Victorian Festival of Christmas at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard is not taking place this year, but if you are staying in a holiday cottage in Hampshire there is plenty to keep you busy during the festive season. Have breakfast with Santa at the Spinnaker Tower, watch Cinderlla at the pantomine at the New Royal Theatre in Portsmouth and even enjoy a festive paddle on the Beaulieu River with New Forest Activities.
Whilst the Medieval Christmas Fayre at Caerphilly in South Wales is also not taking place this year, Caerphilly are hosting a series of food and craft markets in the run up to Christmas in Bargoed, Blackwood, Caerphilly and Ystrad Mynach. With mouth watering food, craft stalls and funfair rides, there will be plenty to eat, buy and keep the family entertained. Browse our selection of holiday cottages in South Wales.
Skipton, the gateway to the Dales, makes a fine setting for a Yuletide Festive and Christmas Market. Taking place on Sunday 5th and Sunday 12th December, why not treat yourself to a weekend away in a holiday cottage in the Yorkshire Dales and snap up one of the many winter discounts being offered. It is a perfect opportunity to write the Christmas cards, visit the Christmas Market, relax in front of a log fire and walk off some calories in preparation for the festive feast ahead!
There are numerous other large and small Christmas Markets taking place throughout the country so why not put the fun back into Christmas shopping and combine it with a break away to recharge your batteries before the Christmas madness begins.
If you have visited a Christmas market that you could recommend, please leave your comments below.