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UK Christmas Markets

Updated: Oct 9, 2019

Well it’s that time of year again; well actually it isn’t, but it’s the time of year to plan something to do at that time of year, if you know what I mean. I had a friend whom worked for a major supermarket in one of their distribution depots. They had a saying along the lines of “We always know when it’s Christmas, because the Easter Eggs start arriving”. My point being that we must plan ahead – oh yes!

Anyway I digress, what we are bringing you in this article is some basic bitesize information on a selection of Christmas Markets from around the country. These events have become extremely popular in recent years and many not only attract the local community but also considerable numbers travelling from further afield. Some of these markets are humongous affairs with over a million visitors attending. Offering not only Christmas goods, many of which are unique and hand-made, but also a selection of international food and drink that would be hard to find in any one place anywhere else. Not only that but the entertainment and attractions that are provided are very impressive, making these markets very much part of the Christmas experience for many.

Visiting any of these markets is the ideal opportunity for pre-Christmas mini breaks; do some shopping, indulge in the food, enjoy the entertainment, get in the spirit of Christmas and explore the local area at your leisure, all whilst enjoying the relaxing surroundings of a comfortable Hotel or B&B. The vast majority of the markets are open every day (usually from early/mid-November to mid/late December) so you have the choice of a midweek break if you prefer. Anyway here is a small selection of the markets which shall be operating in 2019.

Bath Christmas Market

Spread throughout the city centre with over one hundred and fifty Chalet Stalls selling a vast array of goods from homeware to personalised gifts. This is very much a local market in that the majority of vendors are from the south west. In addition ninety-nine percent of all goods are hand-made! There are plenty of places to eat and drink with a wide variety of choices available. Entertainment for children includes festive storytelling, face painting, Christmas arts and crafts to name but just a few.

Open: 28th November to 15th December. Hours: Monday to Wednesday 10:00 to 19:00. Thursday to Saturday 10:00 – 20:00. Sunday 10:00 – 18:00

Bath Christmas Market

Belfast Christmas Market

Hosted in the grounds of Belfast City Hall. Over ninety stalls selling crafts, gifts and all things associated with a festive market. You won’t go hungry either with a wide variety of foods on offer, including Kangaroo burgers! Two bars will also help if you happen to get a bit of a thirst on. Entertainment is on offer for both kids and adults.

Open: 16th November to 22nd December. Hours: Unknown

Frankfurt Birmingham Christmas Market

Located in Victoria Square and New Street. The largest German Christmas Market outside of Germany. Over eighty stalls purveying a huge selection of traditional goods and items and of course the famous German snacks: Pretzels, Bratwursts, Schnitzels along with a selection of festive drinks to enjoy. Runs concurrently with the Christmas Craft Market situated next door. Entertainment is also on hand.

Open: 7th November to 23rd December. Hours: 10.00 to 21:00

Blenheim Palace Christmas Market

A Chalet Stall market set in the grounds of the magnificent Blenheim Palace. A range of ceramics, jewellery, toys, toiletries, fashions plus much more is on offer. A good selection of seasonal foods and snacks are available. The market runs alongside the Christmas at Blenheim Palace themed attraction. Entry Charges may apply, see web for details: https://www.blenheimpalace.com/whats-on/events/christmas-market/

Open: 22nd November to 23rd December. Hours: Everyday 10:30 to 20:30

Bristol Christmas Market

Situated in central Bristol at Broadmead. Over fifty stalls selling all kinds of gifts; in particular unique and hand crafted items. You shall also be able to find ample food stalls selling a wide variety of seasonal foods.

Open: 8th November to 23rd December. Hours: 10.00 to 19.00

Canterbury Christmas Market

Located in several streets; Whitefriars Square, Gravel Walk, Marlowe Arcade, Whitefriars Street, Rose Lane and St George’s Street. Featuring over seventy Stalls selling a wide range of festive goods and in addition Craft and Produce areas. To eat, there is the choice of both local and international cuisine. For the children there is Santa’s Grotto and on selected dates arts and crafts activities. Live music and performances can be enjoyed on Wednesdays and the weekends.

Open: 22nd November to 24th December. Hours: Sunday to Thursday 10:00 – 17:00. Friday – Saturday 09:00 – 18:00 (Close 15:00 on Christmas Eve)

Cardiff Christmas Market

Located in the Pedestrianised streets of Cardiff City Centre (St John Street and neighbouring streets). Focus is on original hand-made crafts and original and unusual art pieces. Over eighty stalls participate so there is a great choice of goods to peruse and you will not be disappointed with the food and drink options on offer; in particular the hot mulled wine is very popular.

Open: 14th November to 23rd December. Hours: Unknown

Edinburgh Christmas Market

East Princess Street Gardens will this year play host to the Christmas Market. A unique shopping experience with crafters, artists, gifts and traditional Christmas items featured.

Open: 16th November to 4th January. Hours: Everyday 10:00 – 22:00

Exeter Cathedral Christmas Market

Situated on the Cathedral Green. Traditional Christmas Market inspired by the German markets. Wooden Chalet Stalls offering a selection of crafts, gifts and fresh food along Bavarian style bars to enjoy. The market is extremely popular attracting over six hundred thousand visitors each year.

Open: 16th November to 19th December. Hours: Unkown

Folkestone Christmas Market

The first ever Christmas market to be held in Folkestone, located in the town centre near Sandgate Road. At the moment there are fifteen stalls booked to bring you all the traditional Christmas goods, gifts, food etc..

Open: 29th November to 22nd December. Hours: Monday to Friday 10:00 – 18:00. Saturday 09:00 – 18:00. Sunday 10:00 – 17:00

Glasgow Christmas Market - St. Enoch Square Christmas Market

A Christmas village featuring over fifty Chalet Stalls. A wide variety of foods including local crispy duck rotisserie, bratwurst sausage, hog roast and more. New this year is the introduction of two German Bars.

Open: 9th November to 23rd December. Hours: Monday to Wednesday 10:00 to 21:00. Thursday to Sunday 10:00 to 22:00 (23rd Dec Closes 18:00)

Glasgow Christmas Market

Glasgow Christmas Market - George Square Christmas Market

Over fifty traders both local and international. High quality crafts and artisan products are the main features of the market. There are fairground rides for the kids along with the opportunity to meet Santa. For the adults, how about a visit to the authentic German bars.

Open: 25th November to 31st December (Closed Christmas Day). Hours: Monday to Wednesday 10:00 to 21:00. Thursday to Sunday 10:00 to 22:00 (23rd Dec Closes 18:00)

Harrogate Christmas Market

A huge Christmas Market with over two hundred stalls, which unfortunately lasts for only four days. Held on the Stray in the Montpellier Quarter of the town centre. Specialises in selling local Yorkshire goods and foods. Funfair rides are on hand to entertain the kids and music is provided by local Buskers. Apart from the market vendors there is also a fantastic choice of eats and drinks to be found in the surrounding town centre. A true Yorkshire Christmas experience.

Open: 14th November to 17th November Hours: Thursday and Friday 10:00 – 20:00. Saturday 09:30 – 20:00. Sunday 09:30 – 17:30

Kingston Christmas Market

Located in the Town Centre at the Ancient Market Place and surrounding streets. Over fifty wooden Chalet Stalls and Marque selling a wide variety of traditional festive goods. Two German bars, traditional German street food help keep you fed and thirst free. Street entertainers for your amusement and there is a dedicated children’s entertainment area.

Open: 15th November to 31st December. Hours: Sunday to Wednesday 10:00 – 18:00. Thursday to Saturday 10:00 – 20:00

Leeds Christkindelmarkt Traditional German Christmas Market

Held in Millennium Square featuring over forty wooden Chalet Stalls offering handcrafted toys, jewellery, festive decorations and authentic German delicacies. As usual there are plenty of rides for kids including the much favoured Christmas Carousel along with a weekly show.

Open: 8th November to 21st December. Hours: Monday to Saturday 10:30 – 21:30. Sunday 10:30 – 19:30 (10th November the Market will open at 12 midday)

Leeds Castle Christmas Market

Hosted on the lawn overlooking the Castle. Chalet Stalls selling seasonal gifts, toys, decorations etc. along with specialist food and drink outlets all surrounding a vintage fairground. There are daily live music performances to keep you entertained. Please note access to the Market is included in the price of admission to the Castle & Grounds only.

Opening: 23rd November to 15th December (Weekends Only). Hours: 10:00 – 17:00

Lincoln Christmas Market

Hosted in the streets around Lincoln's Cathedral Quarter containing over two hundred and eighty Wooden Chalet Stalls selling arts, crafts, gifts, and more. There is also a Christmas Bazaar along with a Christmas Pantry with a huge variety of food and drink. For the kids there are fairground rides galore including the Big Wheel. A whole host of entertainment is on offer for all of the family.

Liverpool Christmas Market

Located in St George’s Plateau featuring Stalls offering a range of traditional gifts, arts and crafts along with food and drink outlets.

Open: 16th November to 23rd December. Hours: Unknown

London - Hyde Park Winter Wonderland

Over one hundred Chalet Stalls selling every conceivable festive related items. Food and drink choices are abundant and if you get tired of shopping, there is of course the amusement area with around one hundred different rides, ice rink, live entertainment (including Circus Acts) plus much, much more.

Open: 21st November to 5th January. Hours: Everyday 10:00 – 22:00

London - Christmas by the River London Bridge City

Features more than sixty traders located along The Queen’s Walk from Hays Galleria and London Bridge City. A diverse range of goods on offer from the usual and traditional Christmas gifts, crafts etc. to boutique fashion. Also hosts free seasonal workshops.

Open: 26th November to 5th January. Hours: Everyday 10:00 – 21:00

Manchester Christmas Markets

The original and largest UK Christmas Market. Now located in ten different locations around the city: Albert Square - Brazennose Street - St Ann’s Square - Exchange Street - New Cathedral Street - The Corn Exchange - King Street - Market Street - Exchange Square - Cathedral Gardens. Almost three hundred and fifty Chalets selling local and European goods of every kind; too many to list. As you would imagine the international food and drink available is impressive to say the least. As for entertainment neither the kids our adults are ever disappointed.

Open: 9th November to 22nd December. Hours: Everyday 10:00 – 21:00

Manchester Christmas Market

Newcastle-Upon-Tyne Christmas Market

Taking place in Grey’s Monument, Grey Street and Grainger Street the market will take on both a local and international Christmas theme. There will be plenty of jewellery, pottery, accessories on sale along with decorations and trinkets. On the food front you will have the choice of locally produced cakes, jams, handmade chocolates to go beside street foods from Europe. When you get thirsty try one of the many beers produced by local microbreweries.

Open: 16th November to 16th December (Provisional Dates Only). Hours: Unknown

Nottingham Winter Wonderland

The Christmas Market is part of the Winter Wonderland event taking place in Market Square. There shall be over seventy stalls offering scents, fashion, retro style, eco art plus much more. If you get hungry then you have the choice of continental foods and/or local homemade cuisine including home-made stew. There is a wealth of entertainment on offer with children’s rides, ice rink, toboggan slide, helter skelter and if you get thirsty try a drink in the ice bar. There is also a carefully selected live entertainment programme for you to enjoy

Open: 15th November to 24th December (Closed Christmas Day). Hours: Monday to Wednesday 10:00 – 18:00. Thursday to Saturday 10:00 – 20:00. Sunday 11:00 – 18:00

Nottingham Winter Wonderland

Oxford Christmas Market

Residing in historic Broad Street in the heart of the city. Traditional Christmas Market offer yuletide gifts and decorations along with plenty of eat and drink options.

Open: 5th December to 21st December. Hours: Sunday to Wednesday 10:00 – 18:30. Thursday to Saturday 10:00 – 20:00

Portsmouth Christmas Market

A new Christmas Market which shall be located in the city centre on Commercial Road. Wooden Cabins will be selling a mixture of gifts and a varied selection of international cuisine.

Open: 16th November to 29th December. Hours: Everyday 10:00 – 19:00

Rochester Christmas Market

Rochester Castle Gardens plays host to the market. A variety of stalls with unique gifts and stocking fillers is on offer. The Bavarian Food Village is on hand to quell hunger pangs and live street performers will keep you entertained. The weekend of the 7th/8th December sees the Dickensian Festival hit town with parades, street entertainment, carol concerts etc.

Open: Weekends Only plus Friday 6th December.

30th November. Hours: 10:00 – 18:00

1st December. Hours: 10:00 – 18:00

6th December . Hours: 12:00 – 20:00

7th December. Hours: 10:00 – 19:00

8th December. Hours: 10:00 – 19:00

13th December. Hours: 12:00 – 20:00

14th December. Hours: 10:00 – 18:00

15th December. Hours: 10:00 – 18:00

Southampton Christmas Market

To be found at Above Bar Pedestrian Precinct with around forty Vendors selling from wooden Chalets. A traditional German Christmas Market with hand-made gifts, toys, decorations. Food is again traditional German fayre. Watch out for Flying Santa who visits daily. There shall also be various live entertained performances throughout the day.

Opening: 14th November to 23rd December. Hours: Everyday 10:00 – 20:00

Winchester Cathedral Christmas Market

Located within the Cathedrals’ Inner and Outer Close boasting over one hundred Chalet Stalls with a strong emphasis towards British and artisan traders. Christmas gifts, decorations and festive foods can be found in abundance. The market attracts over three hundred and fifty thousand visitors each year with part of the attraction being the magnificent ice-rink.

Open: 21st November to 22nd December. Hours: Sunday to Wednesday 10:00 – 18:30. Thursday to Saturday 10:00 – 20:00

York Christmas Festival (St Nicholas Fair)

The market can be found at Parliament Street, St Sampson’s Square, The Judge’s Lodging and Coppergate. This is a very large event attracting over one million visitors. Over one hundred Chalet Stalls featuring an array of Christmas goodies and delicious foods and of course don’t miss the fair.

Opening: 14th November to 22nd December. Hours: Sunday – Wednesday 10:00 – 18:00. Thursday – Saturday 10:00 – 20:00.

Hopefully we have stirred your interest and you’ll take the opportunity to visit one of these festive events. Visit our Partner Page and select some of the Hotel/Travel Deal Finders to discover B&B’s, Hotels or other Holiday Accommodation near to your chosen market. Alternatively some of our Tour Company Partners offer ready-made Christmas Break Packages. Again using our Partner Page check out the following: Broadway Travel, Jet2holidays, Just Go Holidays, lastminute, Leger Holidays, National Holidays, Shearings Holidays, Teletext Holidays and UK Breakaways for some great deals. Check out our Web for Deals for every type of Short Break or Holiday.

Merry Christmas!

York Christmas Market