Seven of the best Christmas markets in the UK

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland in London for Christmas near our luxury UK hotels

Christmas is fast approaching, meaning that from the end of November, towns and cities across the UK will be getting into the festive spirit. One of the highlights of UK travel at this time of year is the Christmas markets, which often include stalls selling gifts, artworks, food and drink as well as live entertainment, ice rinks and funfairs. Whether they seek to recreate a traditional German market or have more of a focus on local traders, you can’t help but come away feeling festive. Here’s some of the best around the UK you can discover while staying at our luxury UK hotels.

London – November to January

London is home to a variety of Christmas happenings, meaning you can head to a variety of festive events during your trip. The Southbank Centre Christmas Market, running from November 30th to January 3rd, is a more traditional choice, with its wooden chalet stalls, while the Hyde Park Winter Wonderland (November 18th to January 2nd) is a flurry of festive fun, with its circus, ice rink and big wheel.

Salisbury – November 24th to December 18th

Salisbury is one of the prettiest cities in the UK, and will be holding a magical Christmas market at Guildhall Square. As well as the stalls, there will be a life-sized snow-globe, a Santa’s Grotto, choir performances and a Christmas lantern parade.

Birmingham – November 17th to December 29th

Birmingham’s Frankfurt Christmas Market is the largest of its kind outside of Germany and Austria; a bustling festive village packed with atmosphere. There’s all kinds of German delights to enjoy, from mulled wine to beer and bratwurst, before the food stalls extend on onto Chamberlain Square and its Christmas Craft Fair.

Exeter – November 19th to December 18th

Located on the green outside Exeter’s historic cathedral is this charming Christmas market, perfect to visit during a stay in Devon. On offer are a variety of hand-crafted gifts, as well as a variety of delicious foods including crepes, Belgian chocolates, specialty cheeses, baklava and hog roast.

Bath – November 24th to December 11th

Bath’s Christmas market is one of the UK’s largest and has built up an excellent reputation over the years. More than 170 stalls line the city’s streets by the iconic Roman baths and abbey, with many showcasing the talents of local artists and producers. Alongside the wide choice of food and drink stalls are stalls selling ceramics, clothing, homeware and toys. The nearby Royal Victoria Park is also home to an ice rink and a glow-in-the-dark crazy golf course for the winter.

Edinburgh – November 19th to January 7th

Edinburgh is world-famous for its New Year Hogmanay celebrations, but it’s also a great city to visit during the rest of the winter. The traditional European Christmas market runs right through until January 7th, while the Scottish market (until December 24th) specialises in local food and drinks.

Brighton – November 26th to December 11th

Brighton’s reputation as an art city is extended through the festive season, where across November and December local artists will be opening their homes and studios to the public in a special event you won’t find anywhere else in the UK. Among the works on offer will be jewellery, paintings, upcycled goods, sculptures and knitwear, while some artists will also be getting the public further involved with classes and workshops.

Image: Garry Knight, Guy Evans, available under Creative Commons 2.0

Andrew is a firm believer that travelling like a local inevitably leads to the best off-the-beaten-path finds which truly make a destination remarkably more memorable. From traditional Indian festivals in humid Hyderabad to fresh seafood pasta by the Sorrentine Peninsula, he appreciates variety when travelling. He hasn't been everywhere, but it’s on the list.