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.


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.


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.


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.

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