Destinations

10 Best Christmas Markets in the United Kingdom

Visit these markets for Glühwein, bratwurst and a healthy dose of Christmas cheer.
IMAGE COURTESY OF FRANKFURT CHRISTMAS MARKET LTD.
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No other country does Christmas like the United Kingdom. Below, see the top 10 Christmas markets around the U.K.

Pear Tree Café's Christmas Market, Battersea Park

Wander through London's Battersea Park to Pear Tree Café's winter terrace to find a charming Christmas Market with picturesque lake views. While carolers sing, roam the stalls, at which 50 vendors are offering artisan food and drink products and luxury gifts. Sample Pear Tree Café's festive menu or visit the raclette stand and head to the marshmallow firepit for some s'mores. Meanwhile, the personalized hamper service allows market-goers to build the perfect gift for their loved ones. 1 to 2 December and 8 to 9 December.

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Padstow Christmas Market Festival

The Cornish fishing town's annual market and Christmas festival is the ultimate destination for foodies. Hosted by the chefs Paul Ainsworth, Rick Stein and Nathan Outlaw, it has a market selling delicious artisanal treats from vendors such as Wild Food Kitchen and Cracking Nuts, as well as a variety of food forums and demonstrations from top chefs. Those looking to stay the night should check into Ainsworth's boutique hotel, Padstow Townhouse for a memorable gastronomic experience. 6 to 8 December.

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Bath Christmas Market

This Christmas, the streets of Bath have been strung with decorations made from recycled single-use plastic, such as empty bottles and plastic bags. The eco-conscious event offers a range of activities and entertainment; at Queen Square families can enjoy street food, festive storytelling, arts and crafts workshops, glass-blowing demonstrations and face painting. Meanwhile, across 160 chalets, local producers offer warming winter food and drinks. 22 November to 9 December.

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Edinburgh Christmas Markets

The markets are back at the Scottish capital for a glorious six-week season at the Princes Street Gardens. Enjoy traditional fairground rides and attractions such as carousels, a helter-skelter and a Big Wheel. Get lost in the Christmas-tree maze or go ice skating at the rink in St Andrew Square. If you're feeling peckish, head to the stalls in East Princes Street Gardens for a wealth of festive food and drink options. 16 November to 5 January.

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York Christmas Festival

Cozy chalets festooned with lights line the streets of the historic city as York launches its longest Christmas Festival program to date, featuring ice-skating, Santa sightings and more. Step into a Scandinavian winter at Thor's Tipi, where you can enjoy a delicious barbecue and festive drinks around a roaring fire. Tick off your Christmas-shopping list at the St. Nicholas Fair, which has more than 150 stalls selling crafts and local Yorkshire produce. Finally, discover the magic of a traditional candle-lit carol service in the majestic York Minster. 15 November to 23 December.

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Manchester Christmas Markets

This year's markets offer a mouth-watering array of international food, drinks and yuletide crafts. Enjoy traditional bratwurst or a hog roast while sipping hot chocolate or a festive cup of mulled wine. For those wanting something a little different try Hungarian goulash, Spanish paella or one of the many vegetarian options on offer. More than 300 stalls and chalets wind across the city center towards the illuminated Albert Square, selling everything from fine jewelry to handmade Belgian kitchenware. 9 November to 22 December.

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Belfast Christmas Market

The City Hall hosts a yuletide market offering a feast of international cuisine, including Belgian chocolates, baklava, and specialty cheeses. Visit Lavery's Irish Bar for a warming drink and live music, or take the children to visit Santa in his grotto and support a local charity. Afterward, ride on the vintage carousel and take a turn on the helter-skelter for some traditional fairground fun. 17 November to 22 December.

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The Christmas Markets, Cheltenham

The Cotswolds town has transformed its Promenade with Christmas lights and wooden chalets wreathed in festive garlands. More than 40 stalls offer a wide range of gifts, crafts, food and drink. Sip a glass of Glühwein and try a bratwurst as you browse the markets and take in the festive atmosphere at the Regency spa town. 22 November to 15 December.

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The Christmas Market at Blenheim Palace


The Great Court of this superb stately home will be packed with wooden chalets selling a unique range of gifts and delicious treats. Visitors can explore the seasonally decorated staterooms and take in a Cinderella-themed festive fairy-tale experience. Meanwhile, in the formal gardens the Illuminated Christmas Lights Trail shines brighter than ever; wander along the paths and take in twinkling stars and a shining canopy of seasonal flowers. 23 November to 16 December. 

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Frankfurt Christmas Market, Birmingham


This is the largest authentic German Christmas market outside of Germany or Austria and is well worth a visit. With pretzels, schnitzels, bratwursts and more on offer, there's something to tempt everyone's taste-buds. Sample some Stollen and sip on a glass of Glühwein while you explore the craft stalls in Victoria Square. Glass baubles, traditional toys and hand-crafted jewelry make excellent Christmas gifts. 15 November to 23 December.

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This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.co.uk.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.

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