Best Christmas Markets in the UK

Christmas is one of the most amazing times of the year, and visiting superb Christmas markets in the UK is a great way to experience the country. You’ll go from stall to stall and enjoy mulled wine, delicious chocolate, many festive treats and find numerous Christmas decorations.

For the festive season, come along and do some Christmas shopping in some of the best Christmas markets in the UK. Winter wonderland, here we come!

Christmas Markets in the UK

The story of the Christmas markets in the UK is rather fascinating. Traditionally, a Christmas market is associated with the celebration of Christmas during the four weeks of Advent. These street markets originated in Germany and are now held almost everywhere in Europe.

Christmas markets date back to medieval Germany, but they sure made a way to the UK. It is said that Lincoln brought the first Christmas market to the UK. The market grew bigger and bigger, adding new attractions and new vendors.

It started with just 11 stalls in 1982 and nowadays is home to over 300 stalls full of goodies, a festive atmosphere and a glittering Christmas tree. However, others argue that Christmas markets were always part of the UK tradition until Oliver Cromwell banned the celebration of Christmas.

Revived and much loved across the UK, the celebration of Christmas is now very much alive and can be experienced in many cities and towns all around the country. Christmas markets in the UK bring all sort of goods from French, German and Italian traders. For festive fun, let’s plan your next Christmas markets visits.

Presents Christmas Tree


The Manchester Christmas market is one of the best in the UK. The main market is right in front of the town hall, where many come together to enjoy the street food and drinks. It’s conveniently in the city centre so you can easily get to it.

The Manchester Christmas markets have over 300 beautiful stalls full of food, drinks and crafted goods. There is a market trail available which winds through the city, tempting you and your loved ones with an array of delicious items and beautifully handmade gifts.

Manchester’s markets are famous for traditional bratwurst, as well as other European cuisines including Hungarian goulash, Spanish paella or a good old-fashioned hog roast. All you need is your festive spirit and you’re in for a lot of fun.

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Beautiful industrial city of Manchester


Edinburgh is one of the most beautiful cities in the UK, so seeing it under the Christmas lights is a dream come true. The Edinburgh Christmas market is divided into two: one on George Street which offers a unique and festive shopping experience and the East Princes Street Gardens market which hosts a lot of bespoke and traditional items. You can get into the Christmas spirit and enjoy the fair of crafters, artists, and gift shops. Don’t forget to indulge in all those incredible winter foods and lots of hot chocolate to warm up your spirit.

The Edinburgh Christmas market is incredibly popular, so make sure to book your accommodation well in advance.

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Streets of Edinburgh


They say there is no place like London, and right they are. London is a spectacular city full of life, and nothing beats its Christmasy atmosphere during the winter holidays. London, unlike most cities in the UK, offers its visitors and residents 11 market spots to pick from, all running during different times between October until January. London can get pretty crowded before Christmas, so we strongly recommend creating a London travel itinerary as soon as possible.

Royal Kingston Christmas Fair is a month-long event that starts from mid-November up to Christmas Day in December.

Hyper Japan is a market which focuses on traditional Japanese artists and food items. If you love Japan as much as I do, then you will want to check it out. Just note, many people dress up for this event, so you might want to bring your Japanese costume with you. It takes place at the Olympia mid-November.

Don’t forget about the Spirit of Christmas Fair at the Olympia from the end of October until the beginning of November. This is the ideal Chrismat market for early shoppers who want to get everything done as fast as possible. Here you’ll find an array of amazing items to buy, including craft gins, traditional biscuits and many beautiful gifts for our family and friends.

You might want to consider the Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park between end of November until the beginning of January.

Christmas at Kew Gardens is always such a pleasant surprise: See the Gardens light up for an unforgettable after-dark festive trail of lights. It also lasts from November until after the New Years.

There is also a market in Kingston, on Elisabeth Street, at the St. Katharine Docks, at Leicester Square, and of course, around the Tower Bridge. There’s a lot of food and drink to be enjoyed all around London, that definitely comes with all the festive cheer you’ll need.

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The big ben during twilight in London


There are so many reasons you should visit Bath, an incredibly quaint and well-preserved city. The Bath Christmas market is around the main square, close to the cathedral.

See over 200 twinkling chalets spread out across the picturesque Georgian streets of Bath selling handmade and local Christmas gifts.

The Bath Christmas market doesn’t last as long as others, only from the end of November until the beginning of December.

Bath can get pretty busy during the Christmas markets period, so we recommend booking your accommodation well in advance. An option is to stay in Bristol and take the train into Bath. The train ride is only 10 minutes. Alternatively, you can cycle the Bristol-Bath bike path for a truly magical adventure.

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Best Places in The UK Bath


The Liverpool Christmas markets are located at St Johns Gardens, William Brown Street and North Entrance of St Georges Hall.

Enjoy the traditional festive cabins, dressed in the best garlands and twinkly lights. This market is usually help from mid November till mid December. Make sure to hit the food stalls for lots of treats and walk around the beautiful city centre of Liverpool full of cheer and pretty lights.

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Liverpool city


Oxford, the city of dreaming spire, will be filled with festive joy and magical lights during its Christmas markets located in the historic Broad Street.

Listen to enthralling carols, shop for colourful decorations and share a mulled wine with your loved ones. It’s time to come together and join the festivities for a truly magical experience.

The Oxford Christmas market is typically held in December only. The Oxford Christmas market is one of the most beautiful markets in the UK. Enjoy the twinkling lights and buy traditional Christmas gifts for your loved ones.

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Oxford Streets


Come to Bristol in December and celebrate Christmas in the Shopping Quarter.

Sometimes, there are events at the Cribbs Causeway mall, where families can attend concerts or ice skate in front of a dreamy castle at the magical ice kingdom.

Bristol has several German stalls which sell traditional mulled wine and delicious sausages. There are also plenty of vegetarian options all around the market. For those with a sweet tooth, Bristol Christmas market won’t disappoint as it usually hosts various traders who sell marshmallows, mince pies, chocolates, and truffles.

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Party on a boat


York is one of the prettiest cities I’ve seen and should definitely be on your list of places to visit in the UK. The York Christmas market is home to over 100 traditional chalets with pretty fairy lights and magical colours. The market runs from mid November until Christmas.

This is one of the most popular Christmas markets in the UK full of drink stalls and festive food. Bring your Christmas cheer and have a great time.

York was founded by the ancient Romans and it’s home to a huge Gothic cathedral with beautiful stained glass. The city walls are perhaps the most impressive, set around a recreational Victorian street. York is one of the most picturesque cities in the UK, and a true joy to visit during winter.

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The Shambles in York England


Want an enthralling Christmas market in a charming UK city? Head to Chester, of course, where shoppers can have a lovely time meandering around 70 traditional wooden chalets in the heart of the city.

There is always a large Christmas tree, an abundance of gifts and crafts from regional and international traders. It’s the perfect christmas market for seasonal food and a magical Christmas experience.

Chester Christmas Market runs from mid November until Christmas Eve.

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Best Places in The UK Chester


Nottingham’s Christmas market is called Nottingham Winter Wonderland. And this market is like no other: it offers its visitors an ice bar, a fun ice rink, plenty of food, drinks, and entertainment.

Winter Wonderland Nottingham is the No.1 Christmas attraction in the City and is extremely popular. You can book your tickets in advance for various attractions. Don’t forget to check the Helter Skelter bar, which is situated on Long Row, selling mulled wine, spiced cider and other hot drinks to keep you aglow.

Market Square festive stalls, Ice Rink and Bars will be open from mid November until late December. The main Christmas Market runs from mid November until Christmas Eve.

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nottingham centre


The Cardiff Christmas Market will return to the pedestrian streets of Cardiff City Centre in St John Street, Working Street, Hills Street, Trinity Street and the Hayes.

Be ready to experience an eclectic mix of traditional products, exciting gifts and handmade crafts.

There are a plethora of hotels, hostels and B&B’s within walking distance of the heart of Cardiff, from luxury hotels and spas, quaint B&B’s, to budget stays. During the Christmas market, the streets of Cardiff usually transform with a cornucopia of Christmassy characters, music, lights, and entertainment. Besides, there’s plenty of great food and drink all around the city centre.

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Cardiff Bay


Delicious food and family entertainment this Christmas? It’s time to seek some festival in the lively city of Brighton.

Brighton is vibrant, colourful and creative year-round, so what can be more interesting than spending quality time between the winter fair and Brighton’s famed pier? Brighton is the place to be if you seek locally made gifts, crafts, and food.

And since you are planning a holiday to Brighton, don’t forget to check out some of its most famous selfie spots including the Brighton Beach, The Lanes, the Stanmer Park, its Marina and the Beach Huts.

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This year, Millennium Square will be transformed into a scenic winter village. The Leeds Christmas market features a variety of authentic wooden chalet stalls, cosy indoor retreats and a cute carousel.

There will be plenty of things to do with daily activities and entertainment for all family fun. Head over to the Ski Hutte to experience a cool bar in an alpine chalet, or go to the Kuh stall if you want an intimate and cosy atmosphere.

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Leeds canal centre


Want to enjoy a range of Irish beers in Belfast? Take the Belfast pub trail or simply meander around the Belfast City Hall to celebrate the popular Belfast Christmas Market.

The Belfast Christmas market is located right in the heart of the city. The market features some amazing refreshment areas with a traditional Irish bar where you can listen to live music.

The Belfast Christmas market is held from mid November until close to Christmas Eve. Ready to party the Irish way?

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Beautiful building in Belfast

Are you ready for some of the best Christmas markets in the UK? You now know which one to pick and where to go to enjoy the magic of Christmas with your loved ones. Don’t forget to leave a comment in the section below to let us know where you’ll be going this winter. Have fun, and we wish you a jolly, festive season.

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Cory from You Could Travel entering Senso-ji in Tokyo, Japan

Cory Varga – Cory is a published travel writer and award-winning photographer. She travels full time with her husband and is passionate about creating in-depth travel guides. Cory published her first book on Japanese customs and manners because she’s obsessed with everything Japan. She has visited hundreds of destinations and has lived in 7 different countries. Cory is multilingual and an alumna from The University of Manchester.


One response to “Best Christmas Markets in the UK”

  1. Birmingham should be on this list too 😀 It’s the biggest in the UK

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