Tomorrow is somehow the start of November (we know, where on earth has the year gone?), which can only mean one thing…the festive season is upon us. It’s time to wave goodbye to pumpkins and fake blood and get excited for all things Christmas, because the most wonderful time of the year is just around the corner and we can almost hear the carol singers and smell the mulled wine!
So what better way to get into the festive spirit, than to eat, drink and shop your way around a German Christmas market! With Christmas stalls galore all selling unique Christmas gifts perfect for every family member and not to mention the wealth of food pop-ups and mulled wine stands to ensure you keep warm during all your Christmas shopping, German markets have everything and more to offer to ensure you get into the festive spirit this season and all with a beautiful backdrop of lights and cheesy Christmas music to ensure even the most cynical of all spread a little festive cheer this Christmas!
You'll be pleased to know that there's no flight to Germany needed, as the UK has some of the best Christmas markets around! With hundreds to choose from across the UK, there's a Christmas market for everybody to attend, no matter where you live. Christmas is only 8 weeks away after all and with the most organised out there already buying Christmas presents, there’s never been a better time to block out a few Christmas market weekends in that diary of yours.
From the streets of Bath, Manchester and Nottingham and beyond, to the banks of the Thames, we've done the leg work for you and have shortlisted the UK's best Christmas markets, so now all you need to do is to dig out your warmest winter gear and decide on one of the top 10 Christmas markets you’re going to attend this year!
1. LONDON: HYDE PARK WINTER WONDERLAND
17th November - 1st January
Hyde Park's infamous Winter Wonderland returns in November for another year of its Winter extravaganza, which is home to a Magical Ice Kingdom, an ice rink, a giant observation wheel,an ice bar, Bavarian beer houses, a fairground and a Christmas Circus, as well as the traditional German Christmas market stalls to top it all off! There truly is something for everyone at Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland, so don’t let the crowds put you off, wrap up warm and head to London this Christmas, to experience the UK’s largest festive extravaganza!
2. NOTTINGHAM: WINTER WONDERLAND
17th November - 31st December
Set in the heart of Nottingham in Old Market Square, Nottingham's Victorian-themed Winter Wonderland boasts two winter-themed bars, a traditional carousel, an ice rink, live music and German market stalls full of festive delights from roasted chestnuts to delicious mulled wine. Once you've filled those stomachs of yours, then head down Albert Street and Smithy Row, where you'll find gift and craft stalls galore.
3. MANCHESTER: CHRISTMAS MARKET
10th November - 21st December
One of the UK’s longest running festive markets, the award-winning Manchester Christmas Market is not one to be missed! Based in Albert Square in the heart of the city, Manchester's Christmas market is one of the largest Christmas markets in England, with over 300 Christmas market stalls to explore, where you can find tonnes of international festive goodies to tuck into from all corners of the globe, as well as traditional English treats. Head to the North this Christmas and get lost in this Christmas wonderland.
4. LIVERPOOL: CHRISTMAS MARKET
17th November - 7th January
Liverpool’s Christmas market is not to be missed this year, as alongside the 50 traditional German market stalls offering the best of crafts and festive food and drink, Liverpool is bringing a super sized triple-lane ice slide, a giant ferris wheel and a huge ice rink, to the waterfront this year, making this Liverpool’s biggest Christmas extravaganza yet! You do not want to miss out!
5. LEEDS: CHRISTKINDELMARKT
10th November - 17th December
For a little piece of Germany in the North, then head to Christkindelmarkt, a German Christmas market set in the heart of Leeds offering German delicacies, craft stalls, live music and the popular Alp Chalet - designed to create an apres-ski inspired atmosphere, where you can tuck into German beer and a menu of Bavarian-inspired traditional food. Leeds Christmas Market is one of the most authentic German Christmas markets in the UK, so don’t miss out if you’re in the North!
6. CARDIFF: CHRISTMAS MARKET
9th November - 23rd December
If you prefer a more arty approach to the traditional Christmas markets, then Cardiff’s Christmas market is the one for you! With an incredible range of arts and crafts available, Cardiff is the spot if you’re after some unique gifts to pop under the Christmas tree this year. Located in the heart of the city centre, Cardiff’s Christmas Market boasts over 200 stalls, so be sure to make a visit this Christmas!
7. BIRMINGHAM: FRANKFURT CHRISTMAS MARKET
16th November - 24th December
The biggest German Christmas market outside of mainland Europe, Birmingham's Frankfurt Christmas Market has become one of the most iconic UK Christmas markets. Situated in the heart of the city centre, the event brings together a whole host of different markets, with hundreds of stalls offering everything from quirky gifts to delicious German delicacies, such as Bavarian beers, schnitzels, bratwursts and pretzels. For all you lastminute.com ladies out there, then the beauty of this Christmas market, is that it's open right up until Christmas Eve, so make the Frankfurt Christmas Market your pit-stop to do some last minute Christmas shopping!
8. YORK: YULETIDE VILLAGE CHRISTMAS MARKET
16th November - 22nd December
York’s St Nicholas Fair sees streets lined with traditional German Christmas market wooden chalets and twinkling lights, offering crafts and gifts from across Yorkshire and beyond, as well as an impressive selection of local food and drink produce. Head to York this Christmas for a Christmas extravaganza of carol singers, mulled wine, roasted chestnuts and bustling stalls, and if you get tired of shopping, then head to the ice trail and get your skates on for the Winter Wonderland ice rink.
9. BATH: CHRISTMAS MARKET
23rd November - 31st December
Get lost amongst the Roman Baths and the Abbey this year and head to Bath’s award-winning Christmas market located in the picturesque streets of this historic city. Boasting more than 170 traditional Christmas market stalls and chalets, Bath’s market has all the unique handmade goods from local suppliers to ensure you nail Christmas shopping for the family this year. Treat yourself to some mulled wine and shop to your heart’s content, or make a weekend of it and stick around in Bath and explore the Roman Baths this Christmas.
10. LONDON: SOUTHBANK CENTRE WINTER MARKET
10th November - 4th January
The Southbank Centre Winter Festival returns again this year for an array of festive shows and performances, as well as the annual Wintertime Christmas market, so take a stroll along the Thamesthrough the wooden chalet market filled with festive food and drink and get in the festive spirit this Christmas with the London Eye and Big Ben as a backdrop.
So there we have it! Those are our top 10 Christmas markets in the UK this year, so wrap up warm, eat your body weight in bratwurst, treat your family to some unique Christmas presents, warm yourselves up with a cup of mulled wine and get in the festive spirit this month. We guarantee you’ll be dancing around the living room singing along to Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want For Christmas’ in no time…even if it is only November!