Tis the season for traditional markets, so we’ve put together our favourite Christmas markets in the UK to get you in the festive spirit.
St Nicholas Fayre, York
York has many food and drink markets throughout the year, but for one long weekend each year it turns a number of its old streets into a ‘Winter Wonderland’, with traders in costumes selling all sorts of festive items – and often crafting them at their stalls so you can see the process in action. From the simple decorative items to fine jewellery you won’t find in the shops, it has a great mix to attract all kinds of shoppers. Throw in mulled wine, sloe gin, mince pies and marshmallow-topped hot chocolate to keep out the cold, as well as carol singers to set the mood, and you’ve got a wonderful Christmas experience at this Christmas market in the UK.
Open: 14th November- 22nd December
Places to Stay: YHA York
Manchester Christmas Market
Every year the Manchester Christmas Market seems to get bigger, sprawling onto a new street or a new square – it’s now one of the biggest Christmas markets in the UK. Handmade traditional arts and crafts are everywhere, but this really is a festival for foodies. Christmas dishes from all around the world are on offer, from Dutch pancakes and Hungarian goulash, and with it being in the city centre, there’s no reason you can’t pop off to the local shops or a watering hole, then head back in to try something else to tickle those tastebuds.
Open: 8th November- 5th January
Places to Stay : YHA Manchester
Belgravia Christmas Sunday
One day each December, the classical architecture of Elizabeth Street and Eccleston Yards in London’s Belgravia take Christmas back in time. For an authentic Dickensian experience of a London Christmas, stalls with crafts and toys line the streets, with costumed traders serving mulled wine and mince pies, as brass bands and school choirs get you in the festive spirit. Street entertainers will be on hand to keep the kids entertained, and many of the local shops get in the Christmas spirit, offering special offers and gift ideas to festive shoppers. It’s clear why it is known as one of the best Christmas markets in the UK.
Open: 1st December
Places to stay: Any London YHA
Bath Christmas Market
Bath’s Christmas Market really is a must-see of all the Christmas markets in the UK. Despite the city being a small one, the Christmas Market is one of the biggest in the country, with over 150 stalls setting up around the stunning Bath Abbey. In the day it’s a bustle of shoppers taking advantage of the bargains available on original Christmas gifts, but the market stays open until 8pm so you can shop after dark. This is when the market really feels special, with the lights coming from the stalls and the illuminated abbey in the background, and the smells of festive food and drink on the crisp air.
Open: 28th November- 15th December
Places to Stay: YHA Bath
Santa’s grottos and glittering light shows, this is Christmas in all its ritzy, glitzy glory at some of the best winter wonderlands in the UK.