The 11 Best Christmas Markets in the UK

edinburgh xmas

Edinburgh’s stunning festive skyline

1. Manchester

As one of the UK’s largest Christmas markets, Manchester offers a huge choice of Yuletide treats to shoppers. The market takes place in a variety of locations around the city, each of which offers a slightly different experience to visitors. More than 300 stalls in Alpine chalets are set up each year offering a colossal range of goods from all over Europe. The market also offers a wide range of opportunities to relax with a beer or sample some international cuisine.

2. Edinburgh

The European Christmas Market has been taking place in Edinburgh for more than twenty years. It is held in the historic centre of the city, from just below The Mound, along East Prince’s Street Gardens Terrace and up to the Scott Monument. This makes it perfect as part of a shopping trip along Prince’s Street, or for those who want to soak up the culture of the Scottish capital. The market offers arts and crafts along with a range of European food and drink.

3. Birmingham

Claiming to be Britain’s largest outdoor Christmas market, the Frankfurt Christmas Market takes place in Victoria Square, Chamberlain Square and Centenary Square in the centre of Birmingham. As its name suggests, the market has a heavy bias towards German produce with bratwurst, gluhwein, and schnitzel all being widely available. The market also has a major arts and crafts component centred on Chamberlain Square where shoppers can pick up crystal lamps, rugs and handmade leatherwork.

4.Bath

bath christmas

Enjoy a festive break in Bath

Taking place in the heart of Bath’s shopping district, the Bath Christmas Market runs from the Abbey to the Roman Baths and includes more than 170 chalets. As one of England’s most scenic towns, Bath is a perfect location for a festive weekend break. The market boasts that the majority of the goods available from its stalls are handmade in the UK. Visitors can also take part in open air ice skating, bathing in the spa waters or relaxing with a glass of mulled wine.

5.York

There are a range of Christmas markets that take place in York during the festive season, with the most famous being the St Nicholas Fayre. This market has a Victorian theme, with shopholders dressed up in Dickensian outfits and a range of traditional produce on offer. Roast chestnuts are abound, as are Christmas carollers. Other markets that take place in the city include the Medieval Market, which takes us even further back in history and includes the popular Medieval bar for all of your traditional ale needs, and the Made in Yorkshire market for local produce.

6.Exeter

The Cathedral Green is the site for Exeter’s Christmas market, with the historic cathedral making a perfect backdrop to the festivities. The market offers a range of handmade local produce from across the South West and is within easy reach of Exeter’s main shopping district.

7. Cardiff

The Craft Folk Cardiff Christmas Market has a focus on traditional Welsh arts and crafts. It is located in the heart of the city’s shopping district, allowing you to pick up unique Welsh items as you do your Christmas shop. As well as hand crafted Welsh slate, pewter and traditional Welsh lovespoons, the market offers a range of delicious food and drink from the predominantly Welsh stall holders.

8. Lincoln

Few Christmas markets have a more spectacular backdrop than Lincoln’s. The stalls are located in the Medieval Square sandwiched between Lincoln Cathedral and the Norman Castle. The cobbled streets of the city’s cultural quarter are an atmospheric place to visit as part of a festive get away. The market itself has more than 250 stalls and there will be a range of cultural entertainment on offer for visitors. The Lincoln Christmas Market is ideal for families who want a more cultured shopping experience.

9. London

london xmas

Christmas on the Southbank

There are a range of Christmas markets taking place across the capital this year with the biggest being the Hyde Park Winter Wonderland. This incorporates its famous ice rink along with a range of rides and attractions for all the family. The market offers traditional German crafts along with a range of festive treats. For a more modernist festive backdrop, the Southbank Centre Christmas Market offers mead, door wreaths, sheepskin rugs and a range of other festive treats.

10. Oxford

The city’s Christmas market takes place in amongst the colleges of Oxford University. History weighs in on all sides making the market among the most scenic in England. A wide range of hand crafted goods and unique foodstuffs are on offer to allow you to give your loved ones something special this year. There will also be singing and bands playing festive music on a daily basis.

11. Winchester

Located in the Cathedral Inner and Outer Closes, Winchester Christmas Market attracts more than 350,000 visitors a year. It is a traditional German-style Christmas market and offers a wide variety of British handmade goods. There are also lots of different foods to sample and take home, including bratwurst, mince pies and stollen. An open air ice rink is available, with a cafe alongside it for anyone who wants to sit down in a warm environment for some food or a coffee.

The UK’s best TV filming locations

ted village

Ted on set of ‘The Village’

With so many great dramas, comedies and adaptations hitting our screens over the last few years, the UK is now awash with interesting and beautiful TV filming locations for us all to visit. Although not all of them are available to tour directly, they still make great holiday locations where you can soak in the atmosphere, feel and aesthetics of your favourite TV programmes. But with so many to choose from, and each with their own visitation limitations and restriction, how will you ever decide on which ones to visit? Well don’t worry, we’ve picked out some of the most famous, beautiful and interesting TV filming location in the UK to help you make up your mind. So here you are, five of the best TV filming locations to visit in the UK:

Downton Abbey – Highclere Castle

First on the list is probably the most famous. Downton Abbey has been a revelation not only in the UK, but also in America where its popularity has exceeded expectations. The show is revered for its accurate historical costume and setting, and critically acclaimed for its realistic representation of social relations in the Edwardian era, and now you can visit the abbey itself. Whilst many of the indoor scenes are filmed in specially constructed studio sets, the outdoor shots of the Abbey are filmed at Highclere Castle in Berkshire, the seat of the Earl of Carnarvon. You can visit the castle most days of the year, and since the show has attracted considerable tourist attention.

If Highclere Castle isn’t enough for you, you can also visit the village of Bampton in Oxfordshire, which is the setting for Downton Village. There is a scheduled tour of the village, or if you prefer you can walk around at your leisure and experience the setting for some of the major plot developments in the show. You can also get access to some of the closed off filming locations and see the Crawley House, Downton Hospital and St Mary’s Church.

Sherlock: The Hound of the Baskervilles – Hound Tor and Dewer’s Hollow

Hound Tor is the site of a deserted Medieval village on Bodmin Moor, and was the inspiration for Arthur Conan Doyle’s story The Hound of the Baskervilles. It’s fitting, then, that when the BBC came to adapt the story for the new series of Sherlock that they decided to film some of it there. The location has a history of being used as a TV location, being featured in Doctor Who in the 1970s and The Sontaran Experiment. This historical and archaeological landmark lies within the rugged woodland of Bodmin Moor, and offers beautiful views across its expanse.

Scenes for this episode were also filmed in Three Bears Cave in Forest Fawr Country Park near Cardiff, which was used to represent Dewer’s Hollow. Again a rugged and traditionally British woodland, this provided the dark eerie backdrop for the sighting of the hound, and has also been used in various other BBC TV programmes, such as Torchwood and Merlin. The woodland expanse of the country park is a beautiful walking holiday destination, which also allows you to take in some TV history whilst you’re at it!

Jamaica Inn – Cornwall

iStock_000013502099Smallbodmin

The BBC remake of Jamaica Inn divided opinion, but whatever you think of the shows recent foray onto our screens, Jamaica Inn remains one of the defining novels in history. Although the TV programme itself was filmed on a number of locations, including Cornwall and Kirkby Lonsdale in Cumbria, fans of the show, book or film adaptations can still visit the famous Jamaica Inn itself, from Daphne Du Maurier took the name of her novel – in fact, the Inn is now so famous it has been given Grade II listing status by English Heritage. Located in the middle of Bodmin Moor, the inn has been on the site since the 18th century, when it was used a resting house for smugglers and pirates in the area. Because of this interesting history, it has also been named one of the most haunted places in the UK.

Regardless of this connection with the novel and various TV and film adaptations, the Inn as a beautiful and historic site in its own right, and the nearby village of Bolventor and the surrounding moorland are typical of the rugged and sublime north Cornish landscape.

Doc Martin – Port Isaac

Nestled on the north coast of Cornwall, the small fishing village of Port Isaac has found fame in the last ten years as the filming location of Doc Martin. Called Port Wenn in the show, all the exterior scenes are filmed in the village, and can be visited all year round. Many of the interior scenes were also shot in the village, but in a converted barn on a local farm, which you can also visit. The village has a history as a TV filming location, having previously been the location of Poldark in 1970s, which is due to make a comeback on our screens next year. As well as a must for fans of the show, this picturesque fishing village is a great holiday spot regardless of its TV associations.

Broadchurch – Dorset

iStock_000010512607Smalldorsetbeach

Slightly less cheerful coastal comings and goings took place in ITV’s drama series Broadchurch. The serial made good use of Dorset’s stunning coastline to tell a gripping tale of the dark secrets underlying a seemingly idyllic community. Thankfully, while the script (and the titular location) was a work of fiction, the beautiful landscape on England’s south coast is far from, with breath-taking landscapes, stunning scenic vistas and warm welcomes aplenty.

The success of Broadchurch has already prompted an increase in screen tourism to the area, but thanks to the abundance of tranquil beauty in Dorset we’re fairly sure that you won’t notice the increased numbers. Of course that may chance when they screen series 2!

Doctor Who – Cardiff

Doctor Who is known for inspiring serious levels of fandom, and its filming locations around Cardiff have become the stuff of legend. Although you can’t get access to any of the sets, you can take an unofficial tour or use the tour app to discover and visit the filming locations of the show. Cardiff is a great city, with fantastic scenery, architecture and museums, and is a great holiday destination even if you’re not a fan of the Doctor.

Aside from the location featured here, there are a whole host other beautiful, history and rugged TV filming locations which make great holiday destinations. It’s the perfect way to fulfil your TV fandom whilst having a great holiday at the same time. With cottages4You you can do both, staying in self-catering accommodation whilst visiting the famous locations of your favourite TV shows.

Calennig – Cardiff’s New Year’s Eve celebrations – 31 Dec

31 December 2008
Calennig – Cardiff’s New Year’s Eve celebrations
Cardiff Civic Centre, Cardiff

Welsh capital welcomes in 2009 with fireworks, live music and a funfair.

For information realting to this, keep an eye on http://www.cardiff.gov.uk

For accommodation near the events, visit cottages4you – click here