December is here, Christmas Carols are playing in the shops and Christmas markets are in full swing. So, it’s finally time to start celebrating properly! If you are looking for a great, easy Christmas activity that will have something for everyone, you can head off to one of the Christmas markets littered across the UK. Most of them are free to go to as well! We have a smorgasbord of markets to choose from, so grab your coats, get a mug full of mulled wine and get snapping those insta-worthy photos!

The Best 13 Christmas Markets in The UK in 2019

London’s Winter Wonderland

Dates: 21st of November until the 5th of January

Of course, the capital has got to put on a show, and it certainly doesn’t disappoint! Winter Wonderland in the heart of Hyde Park is London’s biggest and most popular Christmas Market that welcomes around three million visitors every year. But don’t let the crowds put you off! There are over 350 acres so whether you want to stroll around breathing in the tasty smells of fresh hot chocolate and bavarian sausages, or maybe you would enjoy the gorgeous light displays of the evening with a mug full of appleberry mulled wine.

There are over 100 attractions to choose from, including ticketed events that you can pre-book to fully immerse yourself in the Christmas spirit. So from Ice Skating and Ice sculpting classes, to comedy workshops and a giant ferris wheel; there is something for everyone to enjoy. The easiest way to find this festive haven is by taking the tube or the bus to Victoria, Marble Arch or Hyde Park Corner. What are you waiting for? Grab your mates and your skates and get on down to the most festive place in London.

Of course London has multitudes of Christmas markets to enjoy, and while Winter Wonderland is probably the most famous, you can also check out the Southbank Winter Festival, Leicester Square Christmas Market, Ally Pally Christmas Carnival and of course the handfuls of others dotted around the city. 

The Frankfurt Christmas Market, Birmingham

Dates: 7th of November until the 23rd of December

Your friends might be jetting off to Cologne or Hamburg to experience some genuine German Christmas Markets, but you don’t have to be jealous! Birmingham has the largest authentic German Christmas Market outside of Germany and Austria! So don’t worry if you’ve got the holiday blues this year, step into the markets in Birmingham and you might as well be in Frankfurt. Just a 5-minute walk from Birmingham New Street Station, the markets on Victoria Square are a great place to celebrate the festive season and enjoy the live music amongst friends and family.

If you’re a big fan off pretzels, schnitzels, roasted nuts, lebkuchen or bratwursts, this is definitely the one for you! With over 80 different stalls filled with German delights, it is the hub for handcrafted jewellery, carved wooden gifts, original and unique Christmas decorations, different beers and Gluhweins. There are even an ice skating rink and a ferris wheel that you can ride and enjoy the markets from a height!

See, you don’t need to buy an expensive flight to Bavaria to culturally experience the festive season, just get yourself to the Frankfurt Christmas Markets in Birmingham!

Newcastle’s Christmas Markets

Dates: 16th of November until the 24th of December (food and drink stalls are open until the 31st of December)

We’ve got a lot of love for the Toon here at Poptop, it’s our Home, our UK Headquarters and of course, it’s got great Christmas markets! Wander around the main centre of the city and enjoy the yuletide festivities that stretch over 3 main streets. You can buy gorgeous gifts, sample delicious food from all over the world; and drink yummy mulled wines and ciders at over 70 market stalls!

This is the biggest Christmas Market that Newcastle has ever seen, and of course, the festive fun doesn’t stop there. The attractions include a 30m toboggan slide, a traditional carousel, a beautiful Helter Skelter bar. There is even a whole host of entertainment, musicians, singers and bands to really get those Christmas Carols going. (There is also talk of a giant Christmas Karaoke evening, so we are keeping our fingers crossed!).

In the heart of Newcastle city centre, the markets stretch from Grey’s Monument and along Northumberland Street. The best way to reach it would be to get the metro to Haymarket or Monument or catch one of the many busses into the city centre. If you do get yourself to the Toon in order to kick off the holiday season with the Geordies, make sure you wrap up warm and get yourself one of the luxury hot chocolates ‘cause it’s cold up ‘ere!

Princes Street Gardens’ Markets, Edinburgh

Dates: 16th of November until the 4th of January

You can’t miss these festivities! If you are looking for the epitome of Scottish Christmas, look no further than the capital’s Christmas celebrations that spread across the whole city. This year, the main section of Christmas Markets is taking place in the sparkling East Princes Street Gardens, in the very centre of the city. If you’re coming by train, jump off at Edinburgh Waverley and you won’t be able to miss the twinkling Christmas lights and the delicious aroma of the Bratwurst sausages sizzling! Of course, the tram and bus links will also get you to the Markets from all over, so don’t worry about transport!

If you’re looking for some high fashion socks and knitwear; wood-fired salmon or raclette cheese; hand-painted wooden baubles or glass jewellery; this is definitely the place to check out. And, there are plenty of stalls selling mulled wine to keep your hands and your tummies warm, ‘cause it’s cold up in Scotland! (Public Service Announcement: unfortunately the rumours of Mulled Irn Bru are fake news, so please don’t get your hopes up as we did!)

If you’re taking little ones along with you, there are heaps of victorian style fairground rides to choose from, a glittering Christmas maze, a miniature train to ride on as well as Santa’s grotto, so there is definitely plenty for the whole family. If you’re looking for a tasty winter warmer on your walk home after a long day, the markets are the place to stop by; they’re open late every night until 10 pm.

Oh and if you’re lucky enough to have an EH postcode, you get 20% off the rides, events and ticketed activities!

Christmas Markets, Manchester

Dates: 8th of November until the 22nd of December 

Considered by some to be the biggest and best Christmas markets in the UK, the markets are celebrating their 20th year this November. There are more than 300 stalls, chalets and stands that stretch all over the city centre; there is plenty of choices and you will certainly be able to find some unique gifts and a tasty array of food. There are plenty of different stalls to buy your foody favourites from, with one of the most interesting being Chicken nuggets served in an ice cream cone from Yard & Coop. Don’t knock it ‘til you try it! Of course, there are also the regular Christmas classics, winter warmers and festive favourites, so if you’re wanting to try something new or stick to the classics, there will be a multitude to pick from.

Make sure you carve out enough time to visit, because the markets are spread across 10 different sites, each with its own individual theme, and you don’t want to miss out on any of them! It’s super easy to travel around Manchester city centre, the Markets are close to Victoria and Deansgate train stations and there is a ‘hop on, hop off’ bus service that you can use to travel around the different sites.

York Christmas Festival

Dates: 14th of November until the 22nd of December

York is already a very historic and inviting city, so add the festive cheer and you have got yourself a Christmas explosion! The heart of Yorkshire, this city definitely shows it! With high-quality local produce and crafts, you can find something that not only is the perfect Christmas present, but also something that celebrates Yorkshire.

York is already a very historic and inviting city, so add the festive cheer and you have got yourself a Christmas explosion! The heart of Yorkshire, this city definitely shows it! With high-quality local produce and crafts, you can find something that not only is the perfect Christmas present, but also something that celebrates Yorkshire.

The Shambles is one of the most popular shopping areas, so be sure to check it out. The central shopping area is about a 15-minute walk from York’s main train station and the public transport bus system can take you around the city very easily. Whether you want to take a leisurely stroll around Kings Square or soak in the festive feeling at St Nicholas’; you’ll be sure to come out of it with a smile on your face.

Whether you try one of their famous Yorkshire Pudding Wrap or buy a mulled wine from one of the many different stalls, we are sure that you will enjoy these classic Christmas markets in one of the UK’s most historic cities.

Cardiff Christmas Market

Dates: 14th of November until the 23rd of December 

Cardiff’s Christmas Celebration boasts to be one of the most varied in the UK, with a great mix of new and returning businesses and has been running for over 20 years, so of course, they have it down to a T now! The markets are held in the Pedestrian shopping area in the very heart of Cardiff so you can’t miss them, just a 10-minute walk from Cardiff Central Station or Queen Street Station. There are many foody stalls for you to find some Welsh favourites, European traditional foods and some boozy winter warmers.

This celebration of local and regional talent has craftsmen from all over the country signing up to sell their handmade goods. From ceramic bowls and coloured glass trinkets to metalwork Christmas decorations and beeswax lotions, you can find that special someone the perfect gift for them to open on the 25th!

Christmas Market in Belfast

Dates: 16th of November until the 22nd of December 

For the 15th year in a row, the City Hall is home to Belfast’s Christmas Markets which has over 30 different international traders to browse through. You’ll be able to take a trip through Europe with their French crepes, Dutch pancakes, German bratwurst and Belgian chocolates. The iconic Belfast City Hall illuminates the market stalls as a gorgeous backdrop to the market stalls, so there is no chance of missing it! It’s just a 10-15 minute walk from either Layton Place or Grate Victoria train stations, and with it being in the heart of the city there are plenty of bus links from outside the area.

If you’re looking for a toasty tipple or yuletide drink to help you with your shopping there are lots of options including hot chocolates, gluhweins, mulled cider and fancy artisan coffees. 

George and St Enoch Square Christmas Markets, Glasgow

Dates: 9th of November until the 29th of December 

This year, Glasgow’s Christmas markets have returned to George Square and St Enoch Square, and they’re bigger and better than ever! If you’re looking for a gastronomic treat to indulge your senses there are over 50 chalets, stands and market stalls selling a large range of delicious foods, from crispy rotisserie duck to chocolate-filled crepes and waffles.

The city certainly isn’t short on Christmas cheer, with many bars lining the markets selling warm hot chocolates (with a little something extra if that’s what you’re looking for!), mulled wines and ciders to keep that wintry chill away while you look for the perfect secret Santa gifts. There certainly isn’t a shortage of Christmas gifts ideas, you can find fine artisanal cheeses and preserves, handcrafted wooden toys and star-shaped light shades to make any home extra special this holiday season.

Oh, and the famous glittering 15m tall Christmas tree is back, so if you’re looking for that next Instagram backdrop or a family photo to put on all of your Christmas Cards, you’ve come to the right place!

Christkindlmarkt Leeds

Dates: 8th of November until the 21st of December 

Leeds German Christkindelmarkt brings a bit of Bavaria to the North of England. Perhaps Birmingham might be too far away, don’t worry! Leeds has another German Christmas Market experience that is bound to get you feeling festive. Millennium Square in Leeds is transformed into a little village of wooden chalets that look as though they have come directly from a snowglobe. Numerous bus routes travel through the centre and the train station is just a short 10-minute walk away.

If you are looking for a cosy retreat from the winter’s cold, you can snuggle up in the Kuh Stall or Ski Hutte with a stein of warm Gluhwein and some sweet roasted nuts. There is plenty of entertainment, live music, children’s craft workshops, and the famous Alp Chalet restaurant are just a few favourites. Not to mention the multitude of stalls selling seasonal gifts, German Сhristmas decorations and authentic Bavarian treats. Oh, and you can even have breakfast with the big man Santa himself!

Christmas in Chester

Dates: 16th of November until the 22nd of December 

Chester’s Christmas markets surround a tall, sparkling tree in the town centre and they come with a less commercial, more nostalgic idea of Christmas. If you’re looking for the perfect mince pie and a tasty winter warmer to go along with it, get yourself to Chester. The markets are located in the Town Hall Square opposite the iconic Chester Cathedral, which holds carol services on the 8th and the 15th of December. The markets are a 15-minute walk from Chester train station and there are plenty of buses that travel through the centre that you can catch to get to the markets.

It’s hard not to feel festive while walking around the 70 different stands of locally produced foods and drinks and browsing through the handmade gifts and stocking fillers. 

Bath Christmas Markets

Dates: 28th of November until the 15th of December 

The Markets in Bath might only be on for a short and sweet 18-days but that doesn’t stop them from being voted one of the most popular Christmas shopping events in the county. There are more than 150 chalets littered around the quaint Georgian streets of Bath, making it the perfect place to get some of your Christmas shopping done! It is said that over 70% of the stallholders are local to the Bath area and over 60% of all of the goods you can buy are handcrafted in the UK!

If you are looking for that personalised Christmas tree decorations for aunty Sue or a handmade train set for little Peter, then you are on to a winner here! Bath Spa train station is just a short walk away or there are coach services and Park and Ride options that you can also look into.

For the first time ever, the markets also have different experiences for you to try out! Have you ever wanted to try your hand at glass blowing your own baubles? Or perhaps you still need a wreath and you would like to craft your own? Just make sure you book online first!

So, if you are looking for something quintessentially British or perhaps you are wanting to support some local crafts businesses, we are sure that one of the high-quality gifts will fit right under your Christmas tree.

Nottingham’s Winter Wonderland

Dates: 15th of November until the 31st of December 

Nottingham is exploding with Christmas festivities! If you are looking for a great day out with lots of different activities, check out Nottingham’s Winter Wonderland. There are ice skating, multiple bars and food stands, a Toboggan Slide and lots more different rides! There are over 70 different market stalls selling everything from churros, chocolates and chutneys to trinkets, miniature trees and traditional treats! It was voted Vogues #1 Christmas Market in the UK and it certainly doesn’t disappoint! You can travel the world through your tastebuds with foods from all over the globe and you can do so while listening to live music every day in one of the bars.

If you’re feeling frosty, you can check out the Ice Bar, which is the largest of its kind in the UK! The drinks are certainly kept cold, as they are served in glasses made of ice and you can admire the gorgeous ice carvings, sculptures and designs. There is also the glass Altitude Rooftop bar with panoramic views of the Christmas markets, and the Sur La Piste serving cool beer right from the Czech Republic!

Located on Market Square, there are many trams that will take you directly to the markets from all over the city and there is parking at each of the stops if you are wanting to drive into the city. If there is something that catches your eye, just make sure you book online to avoid disappointment! 

So, you’ve got the lowdown on the top Christmas markets in the UK! Your ice skates are on, your tummy is filled with mulled wine and your Christmas shopping lists are getting ticked off.

But what about the big celebration you are organising? Have you got a Christmas party to plan? Are you looking for some more inspiration for your New Years Eve gathering? Look no further than on our website.

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