The best Christmas markets in the UK*
Can you believe that it’s almost Christmas? I’m super excited for it! I’ve already bought an advent candle, and we’re getting the decs out ready for 1st December. But Christmas isn’t Christmas until you attend some markets, although sometimes it can be a struggle to decide which the best ones are. With the help of Stagecoach, who offer cheap bus fares, I’ve decided to write about some of the best Christmas markets in the UK.
Remember to wrap up warm in some cosy knitwear when venturing out to some of these top picks! You’ll be singing some of your favourite carols and glugging mulled wine in no time!
Newcastle transforms into a winter wonderland at Christmas time, with decorations travelling down the long and narrow streets to create that festive feeling for the people of the city. The market is located at the top of Grey Street, just under Grey’s Monument where you can find wooden huts that are built and decorated especially for Christmas.
But what does the market have to offer and what makes it so special? The Newcastle Christmas Market brings cultures together and celebrates differences, perfect for anyone who wants to explore the world. Tradesmen and women from across Europe come to bring a touch of their country to Newcastle – you’ll get to witness one of the best atmospheres in the country during this festive time. From foods to ornamental items, you’ll be spoilt for choice with what you can buy. You’ll even be able to do most of your Christmas shopping. If you’re into ice skating, head down to the Centre for Life to show off your skills in Times Square! I’m actually a terrible ice skater (I’ve only been once and I kept to the side the whole time!) but I love watching people skate.
Open: 11th – 17th December
For 12 years now, the German Christmas Market in Birmingham has been a top attraction and it’s a spectacular Christmas market. Located in Victoria Square, it makes a beautiful setting for any Instagram pic – lights descend down the centred fountain and the iconic carousel is at the top of the steps creating an uncanny version of Santa Claus’ Village – you’d think you were at the North Pole!
With 180 stalls, you’re bound to see something that takes your fancy. You might even be able to snatch up a unique gift, whether this is a piece of jewellery or a handmade toy for any little ones you may have in the family. Grab a hot chocolate with marshmallows and have a stroll around the village. My brother and his girlfriend actually visited this one last week and they loved it.
Open: 17th November – 29th December
Take a trip to Exeter this year to discover the magnificent Christmas market on the West Front of the Cathedral – creating an enchanted atmosphere in the city. With the cathedral towering over you, you will be able to take a long walk around the different wooden huts and experience something from each continent of the world – perfect for discovering different cultures.
Unlike previous years, the Exeter Christmas Market now has a bandstand which will host the entertainment for the evening – with local bands, singers and choirs spreading the magical spirit by singing some of our favourite Christmas carols – don’t forget to sing along! If you can’t get enough of Christmas markets in Exeter, there’s two more – one on Castle Street and one on Fore Street – so pop down and indulge yourself in more Christmassy treats. You can never have too much Christmas!
Open: 16th November – 17th December
Immerse yourself in the historic culture of Lincoln by attending their Christmas market – over 280 stalls surrounded by the iconic castle and cathedral – for a real sense of magic on your day out. From freshly cooked food to some of the most exceptional gifts, you’ll be able to experience something different from this market that will make you want to come back again next year.
Not only are new stalls put up outside, but shops along the cobbled streets come outdoors to sell their products too, creating the perfect atmosphere up the steep bank. Not only can you shop at the market for hot food or baked treats, you can also take a trip on the big wheel and the other fairground rides – once you get high enough, you might be able to spot one of Santa Claus’ elves in the crowd – so make sure you’re on your best behaviour to remain on this year’s nice list. This market is only on for one weekend so make sure you visit while you can.
Open: 7th December – 10th December
If you’re heading to the capital this Christmas, why not take a trip to the Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park? I’ve been for two years running and I absolutely love it (read more about Winter Wonderland here)! Full of festivity, there’s nothing that you can’t do at this market, from ice skating, to circus’ and even Cinderella on Ice, although booking is strongly advised as the activities and attractions can get booked up.
There’s no excuse not to attend this Winter Wonderland as it even remains open after Christmas has ended! Remember to take your camera and capture plenty of selfies. Once you’ve tackled the magical kingdom of Winter Wonderland, why not take a stroll to nearby Buckingham Palace to take photographs outside of the iconic landmark – you might even see the Queen if you’re lucky!
Open: 17th November – 1st January
So, what Christmas market will you be heading to this year? Let me know in the comments!