‘Tis (almost) the season! So, let’s get festive with the ten best Christmas markets in the U.K. you need to visit this year.
Originating in Germany in the late-Middle Ages, Christmas Markets have since spread throughout Europe and further afield, becoming a festive staple across the world.
Who doesn’t love browsing the beautifully decorated stalls displaying various products from foods to clothes, soaps to ornaments? The aroma of chocolate fills the air, frost nips your fingers, and it truly feels like Santa is on the way.
The U.K. is one country that boasts plenty of great Christmas markets that will be sure to get you feeling festive. So, whether you’re in England, Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland, here are the best Christmas markets in the U.K.
Top facts from The World Bucket List about the best Christmas markets in the U.K.
- Have your calendar ready: Christmas markets in the U.K. will usually open from around late November and close just prior to Christmas Day. So, keep the month of December free!
- As you will see throughout this article, the Christmas markets in the U.K. are influenced by the traditional German Christkindlmarkt.
- The Christmas markets will offer a variety of products, from handmade crafts and clothing to a range of local cuisine.
- A lot of Christmas markets will boost their festive feel with live music and entertainment on show.
- The U.K.’s most famous, populated, and historic towns and cities host the best Christmas markets, such as in London, Manchester, York, Bath, and Edinburgh.
10. Cardiff’s Winter Wonderland, Cardiff – for Christmas in Wales
Kicking off our list of the best Christmas markets in the U.K. is Cardiff’s Winter Wonderland.
Lining the pedestrian streets of the Welsh capital, this festive market is filled with lights, traditional stalls selling food and crafts, and much more.
9. St Nicholas Christmas Fair, York – one of the U.K.’s most historic cities
York is one English city that truly thrives during the festive season. Boasting alpine-style chalet stalls selling handmade gifts and tasty treats, this market is a true holiday delight.
Set in one of the U.K.’s most historic cities, the St Nicholas Christmas Fair is truly the icing on top of the cake (or star on top of the Christmas tree)!
Address: 7 St Sampsons Square, York YO1 8QT
8. Winchester Cathedral Christmas Market, Winchester – complete with an ice rink
Attracting over 350,000 visitors, you can make the most of the wooden chalet stalls and the covered ice rink.
Address: 9 The Cl, Winchester SO23 9LS
7. Leeds Christkindelmarkt, Leeds – a traditional German market
Situated in Leeds’ Millenium Square, the German-inspired Christkindelmarket hosts lots of stalls with German food and drinks, as well as craft stalls and a traditional Carousel.
Try out all the traditional German cuisine, including gluhwein, bratwursts, schnitzels, and more.
Address: Millennium Square, Leeds LS2 3AD
6. Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market, Birmingham – the largest authentic German Christmas market
Birmingham is known as one of the best places to live in the UK. Something else it’s known for though is the Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market. It’s known as the ‘largest authentic German Christmas market outside of Germany or Austria’.
So, if you want to get a feel for the real deal, then head to Birmingham to soak up the festive atmosphere.
Address: Birmingham B1 1BD
5. Manchester Christmas Market, Manchester – one of the best Christmas markets in the U.K.
First opened in 1998, Manchester Christmas Market welcomes thousands of visitors to the city centre year after year.
Home to over 300 stalls, there is a wide array of gifts, crafts, food, toys, clothes, soaps, and more. Soak up the festive atmosphere, delicious aromas, and Christmas cheer in one of the U.K.’s most historic cities, not far off the best Christmas markets in Rome.
Address: Albert Square, Manchester M2 5DB
4. Belfast Christmas Market, Belfast – you can’t miss the Dutch pancakes
The grounds of Belfast City Hall come to life from late November with the arrival of festive stalls and vendors from all across the world.
Offering a vast array of cuisines, local businesses, and craft stalls, there is plenty to see and do here. There is also a wide range of hotels in Belfast city centre, right next to the markets, so you won’t have to travel far.
Address: Belfast City Hall, Donegall Square N, Belfast BT1 5GS
3. Bath Christmas Market, Bath – a historic city
Located in the city centre, Bath Christmas Market boasts over 130 chalet stalls lining the city’s quaint cobbled streets.
This is a truly immersive experience that winds its way through Bath’s historic streets. Plus, the iconic Bath architecture provides the perfect backdrop to this festive charade.
Address: Abbey Churchyard, Bath BA1 1LY
2. Edinburgh Christmas Market, Edinburgh – a festive paradise
Located in Princes Street Gardens at the heart of Edinburgh, the Edinburgh Christmas Market is a bucket-list-worthy experience for sure.
With all the incredible food stalls, beer tents, fairground rides and more, there aren’t many places better to get into the festive spirit than the Scottish capital.
Address: Princes St, Edinburgh EH2 2HG
1. Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, London – a must add to the festive bucket list
Topping our list of the best Christmas markets in the U.K., as one of the best Christmas events in London, is Hyde Park Winter Wonderland in London.
This fantastic festive display offers fairground rides, performances, and an ice rink, alongside all the traditional food and craft stalls that you can find at the typical Christmas market.
Address: Hyde Park, London W2 2UH
Your questions answered about the best Christmas markets in the U.K.
If you still have some questions about the best Christmas markets in the U.K., not to worry! In this section, we have put together some of the most frequently asked questions to us and from online about this topic to help.
Which UK city has the biggest Christmas market?
Manchester and Birmingham would be the UK cities with the biggest Christmas markets.
Which city has the best Christmas market?
For the UK, we have proclaimed London as the city with the best Christmas market. However, elsewhere some of the best are the Dresden Christmas Market, Vienna Christmas Market, Strasbourg Christmas Market, and Prague Christmas Market.
What is the biggest Christmas market?
Going by visitor numbers, the largest Christmas market is that of Vienna, Austria.
Where is the oldest Christmas market in the UK?
The Lincoln Christmas Market was the first established in the UK, appearing back in 1992.