Best Christmas Markets in the UK

Discover the best Christmas markets here in the UK with our festive travel guide.

Published: 16th November 2016

With Christmas right around the corner, millions of Britons will be travelling across the country to visit friends, family and loved ones.

If you are one of those people, then chances are you’ll be looking for festive activities to enjoy. Christmas markets are one of the most popular seasonal activities with everyone from family to friends, and are great for picking out last-minute presents. ALA GAP Insurance has compiled a handy guide to 2016’s best Christmas markets across the UK, where you can find delicious food, gift ideas, top entertainment and – of course – the good old Christmas spirit.

London Christmas Markets: Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland – 18TH Nov to 2nd Jan

This would be a pretty incomplete list without the numerous bustling Christmas markets of London. There are a huge range of Christmas markets open for jovial visitors to the Capital. The big standout is Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland, celebrating its 10th anniversary this year with two circuses – ‘Zippos Christmas Circus’ and ‘Cirque Berserk’. There is also a traditional outdoor ice rink, and a wide variety of attractions and shows for people of all ages.

Additional markets include the Christmas Market at the Tate Modern and the Real Food Christmas Market just outside Kings Cross – St Pancras station. There is also the all-new-for-2016 ‘Christmas in Leicester Square’, which will be boasting a traditional Christmas market, a grotto and a vintage Spiegeltent playing host to a stacked programme of Christmas shows.

Manchester Christmas Market: 10TH Nov – 21st Dec

Luring thousands of people from all across the UK, Manchester’s Christmas markets are a tremendously popular attraction year after year. With Christmas markets spread across 10 locations within the city, there are a multitude of prime festive food, drink and shopping locations to choose from.

In what has become something of a nationwide trend, the Manchester Christmas markets have a distinctly European flavour. The food on offer ranges from the traditional hog roast and German bratwurst to Spanish paella and Hungarian goulash. With almost 350 food, drink and shopping stalls across the 10 market sites, you’re bound to find something for everyone no matter where in the city you may find yourselves.

Bath Christmas Market: 24TH Nov – 11th Dec

Bath’s annual Christmas market has become increasingly popular in recent years and it’s not difficult to see why. This deeply historical city market boasts over 170 individual chalets’ worth of Christmas gifts, food and drink, surrounding the famous Roman Baths and Bath Abbey. More than 87% of the stallholders are businesses from Bath itself, with each stall “carefully selected to give you the best shopping offer possible”. With an ice rink and grotto for the little ones located nearby, this progressively large yet quaint Christmas market is well worth the journey.

Edinburgh’s Christmas Market: 18TH Nov – 7th Jan

With such a strong reputation in the performing arts world, ‘Edinburgh’s Christmas’ is rich with attractions. ‘Edinburgh’s Christmas’ extends into its West End with an entire programme of live theatre to be played out in the new Festival Square Theatre. The ever-popular ‘Street of Light’ will also be making a return. If you have children and live in the area, the partnership between ‘Edinburgh’s Christmas’ and Standard Life is offering 10,000 free ice skating tickets to the St. Andrew Square Ice Rink to Edinburgh’s schoolchildren.

Birmingham’s Frankfurt Christmas Market: 17TH Nov – 29th Dec

2016 sees Birmingham celebrating the 50th anniversary of the partnership between the city and the German city of Frankfurt. It should come as no shock, then, that 2016’s instalment of “the largest authentic German Christmas market outside of Germany or Austria” promises to be a momentous occasion. As well as the expected abundant range of both traditional English and German food and drink available, the market includes traditional Christmas crafts. The market also features West Midlands traders selling a huge selection of hand-crafted items created by local artisans, as well as traditional goods imported from all over the world. Wunderbar.

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Published: 16th November 2016
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