The Christmas music has started creeping in on the radio and in shops, the colourful lights are being put up in city centres across the country – it’s officially that time of year again! Instead of overspending on festive set menus in restaurants, why not take a trip to the Christmas markets? This year, (almost) all we want for Christmas is a German sausage in one hand and a hot apple cider in the other.
No matter where in the UK you live, there will definitely be some fun and festive markets nearby, but if you’re looking to venture a little further afield this year, our top 5 UK Christmas markets have you covered. We narrowed it down to our five favourites – in no particular order, of course…
Manchester Christmas Markets
The Manchester Christmas markets are well-known in the North West, and for good reason – it’s home to one of the biggest and most extravagant markets in the UK during the Christmas period. From bratwurst to beer and baubles to bobble hats, there’s something for everyone at Manchester’s seasonal wonderland. Attracting millions of visitors each year, and with the giant Santa overlooking the stalls in Albert Square, there’s nothing about the Mancunian markets you won’t love.
Manchester Christmas Markets are running from 10th November until 21st December 2016.
Edinburgh Christmas Markets
Edinburgh is arguably one of the most beautiful cities in the UK to visit during the festive season. Famous for the Hogmanay Festival on New Year’s Eve, tourists flock to the Scottish capital throughout December to be a part of the magical Christmassy atmosphere. The Scottish Christmas Market sells a huge variety of locally produced food and drink, as well as an enormous range of presents to treat your loved ones to. Baked haggis, anyone?
The Scottish Market is running from 26th November until 24th December 2016.
Birmingham Christmas Markets
The famous Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market attracts visitors from all over the Midlands every year, as well as the rest of the UK, simply due to all that’s on offer. Christmas decorations? Check. Gifts for yours friends and family? Double check. Not to mention live music to enjoy whilst you feast on pretzels, schnitzels, glühwein and weissbeer! This market has been running for more than 15 years and is the main focus of Birmingham’s Christmas events.
The Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market is running from 17th November until 29th December 2016 (excluding Christmas Day).
Leeds Christmas Markets
Leeds’ Christmas markets, also known as Christkindelmarkt, is one of the most beautiful and traditional Christmas markets in the UK. From the classic wooden market stalls to the carousel rides and festive greenery, the markets are the ideal setting for the perfect Christmassy Instagram snap! Families, couples and friends flock to Christkindelmarkt every year in their hundreds of thousands to make the most of the handmade Christmas cards, traditional German delicacies, handcrafted toys and a whole host of other seasonal products.
The Leeds Christkindelmarkt is running from 11th November until 18th December 2016.
London Christmas Markets
When it comes to Christmas markets, you are spoiled for choice if you live in London. However, our favourite in the capital happens to be Southbank Winter Market, which is part of the annual Southbank Centre Winter Festival. If you’re a foodie, this market is definitely the one for you – countless stalls selling stollen, gingerbread, goulash, bratwurst and gluhwein will definitely get you feeling in the Christmas spirit! The stunning setting right next to the Thames is what makes this market stand out from the rest – just don’t forget your scarf and gloves!
The Southbank Winter Market is running from 20th November until 24th December 2016.
Disclaimer: The Christmas Market dates are accurate as of Nov. 2016, but are subject to change. Please check before you go!