Photo KnowInsiders
Top 10 Best Christmas Markets To Visit In The UK. Photo KnowInsiders

One of the biggest events in the UK cultural calendar is back as the eagerly awaited Christmas markets gear up for a festive return across the country. All around the UK during November and December, you’ll find squares, town halls and castles transformed into magical scenes as the markets begin. Here are the best ones to head to this winter.

Top 10 Best Christmas Markets To Visit In The UK

1.Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market

2. Cardiff Xmas Market

3. Blenheim Palace Market

4. Southampton Market

5. Winchester Market

6. Hyde Park Winter Wonderland

7. Nottingham, England Market

8. Oxford, England Market

9. Manchester Christmas Market

10. Bristol Christmas Market

List of top 10 best Xmas markets in the UK

1. Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market

Photo Manchester evening News
Photo Manchester evening News

When November 4-December 22

Best for bratwurst and glühwein

The Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market in Victoria Square is the biggest German market outside Germany and Austria — and it’s just as buzzing. Enjoy glühwein, German beer, bratwurst and pretzels while listening to live bands and carol singers. One of the market’s unmissable sights — and sounds — is the singing Christmas Moose (called Chris Moose, naturally), who serenades passers-by from his usual spot in front of the Council House in the heart of the city.

2. Cardiff Xmas Market

When November 11-December 23

Best for independent local sellers

The capital of Wales goes all out for their Christmas market, with five streets across the city centre filled with over 200 twinkling wooden stalls. The Cardiff Christmas Market aims to support local artists and creators, and you’ll find their finest works here.

Browse for handcrafted scarves, blankets, homewares, bags, glasswork, wooden carvings, jewellery, candles, chocolates and more. You’re sure to find the perfect gift for everyone, and you’ll also get to enjoy the street entertainment and live music as you shop to your heart’s content.

3. Blenheim Palace Market

When November 19-December 19

Best for lavish settings

The splendid home of the Duke of Marlborough is transformed into a Christmas fantasy as dozens of wooden chalets spread around the Great Court. Once you’ve sampled the craft vodka, local cheeses and picked out a few gifts, take a stroll along the magical Illuminated Trail, which follows a path through the incredible palace gardens. For something more sedate, but equally as festive, step inside Winston Churchill’s birthplace to see The Nutcracker story recreated in the State Rooms.

Our tip While tickets to enter the Christmas market are free, you’ll have to book them in advance. Tickets for The Nutcracker cost £29.50 (adults) and £19.50 (children).

READ MORE: Most Beautiful Places In The World To Visit During Christmas

4. Southampton Market

When November 18-December 23

Best for sustainable stocking fillers

Brits can’t seem to get enough of German Christmas markets, and Southampton obliges with its German-style festival that takes over the Above Bar pedestrian zone and Bargate Street. Bratwurst and waffles — along with German beer and mulled wine — make an agreeable accompaniment to the live music from open-air bars and a roving Bavarian musician. It’s the place for a green Christmas, with plenty of chance to pick up ornaments made from recycled materials and by eco-friendly methods. There are rumours that the market’s flying Santa might make a return visit.

5. Winchester Market

Photo Winter Cathedral Christmas Market
Photo Winter Cathedral Christmas Market

When November 19-December 22

Best for filling up with festive food

Winchester Christmas Market is voted in 2018 as second best Christmas market in the UK by and one of the top eight Christmas markets in Europe by New York Post. Winchester Christmas Markets are lively and bustling attracting visitors all over the world. Traders from near and far flood to sell their unique products in Winchester’s 100 attractive wooden chalets.

One of the unique thing about Winchester Christmas Market is that it is set within the grounds of Winchester Cathedral, which provides a perfect backdrop to the season. Adorable decorations, plenty of food choices, artistically hand-crafted products, Winchester Christmas Market is certainly one of the best Christmas Market in UK.

The easiest way to reach Winchester is by train ride from London. There are more than 75 daily services that run between London and Winchester during the weekdays. And the journey takes 1 hour and 30 minutes. If you are driving, the best option is to use one of the two main park and ride facilities located on the east side – Barfield Park & Ride and St.Catherines Park & Ride.

READ MORE: Top Christmas songs: Lyrics of 'We Wish You a Merry Christmas'

6. Hyde Park Winter Wonderland

Photo VisitLondon
Photo VisitLondon

When: 19 November to 3 January

London’s biggest festive event has much more on offer than just a Christmas market, with an array of attractions and activities to keep all ages entertained.

Alongside street food stalls, a Bavarian village and Thor’s Tipi Bar, it is home to the UK’s largest outdoor ice rink, ice sculpting workshops, a Magical Ice Kingdom, Zippos Christmas circus, fairground rides and Santa Land.

7. Nottingham, England

Photo Nottingham Post
Photo Nottingham Post

From 15th November to 31st December 2021

Christmas returns to Nottingham with the largest event in the East Midlands! Best of all entry to Nottingham Winter Wonderland is FREE!! Featuring your favourite rides, bars and shopping spots from previous years, this is the perfect place to soak in the Christmas spirit.

While away the hours browsing over 70 traditional, Bavarian-style stalls, searching for the perfect gift as well as sampling the delicious homemade and artisan cheeses, chutneys and chocolates on offer. This year’s Christmas market has been expanded, with something for everyone including plants, mead, jewellery, scents, fashion, retro style, Eco art, Lego art, Fair-trade, Continental food, local homemade stew and home accessories to offer the discerning visitor.

Opening dates: From 15th November to 31st December 2021.

8. Oxford, England

From 9th December to 19th December 2021

Set in the heart of the city, this Germanic shindig specialises in handmade gifts and local arts and crafts. You'll also be welcomed by local musicians (brass bands feature prominently, if that's your bag) and choirs singing Christmas carols. The festivities take place on Broad Street opposite Balliol and Trinity College, meaning you can embark on a spot of sightseeing once you've got the stockings sorted.

9. Manchester Christmas Market

Photo aboutManchester
Photo aboutManchester

When: 12 November to 22 December

Manchester city centre will transform into a festive hub this winter with several markets on offer to explore, making it one of the biggest Christmas events in the north.

Gift, crafts, jewellery and toy stalls will feature along the market trail, alongside a variety of international food and drinks.

The city’s markets are famed for traditional bratwurst, but visitors can also indulge in the like of Hungarian goulash, Spanish paella and a hearty hog roast, as well as vegetarian options and tempting sweet treats.

Manchester’s Christmas Market is arguably the most popular online, garnering the most online interest in the last year with over 114k Google searches, surpassing the ever-popular Winter Wonderland in London’s Hyde Park, which saw just 82k searches in comparison (total Google searches October 2020-September 2021) and only scored 5.82 overall – placing it 12th out of the 30 markets analysed.

According to the study, Manchester Christmas Market ranked highly across all eight factors analysed – including having 300 stalls, and running for one of the longest periods of almost six weeks.

Here is the list of Manchester Christmas markets:

Christmas Market - Cathedral Gardens

Christmas Market - Market Street

Christmas Market - Exchange Square

Christmas Market - Corn Exchange

Arts and Crafts Market - Exchange Street

Christmas Market - New Cathedral Street

French Christmas Market - King Street

German Christmas Market - St Ann's Square

World Christmas Market - Brazennose Street

10. Bristol Christmas Market

Top 10 Best Christmas Markets To Visit In The UK
Photo Bristol Xmas Market

When: 5 November to 23 December

Based in the heart of Bristol city centre, this festive event will welcome a host of traders selling seasonal fare, crafts and gifts this winter.

As well as more than 50 market stalls, visitors will have a chance to meet Santa and his reindeer in December, while live music and entertainment will also be on hand.

Tips for visiting Christmas Markets in UK

TAKE CASH: Most of the Christmas Markets Stalls are run by small traders and businessmen. It is best to withdraw some cash well in advance so that you can purchase food or souvenirs, or go on rides without having to run in search of ATMs.

LEAVE YOUR CAR IN HOME: Christmas Markets in UK are predominantly located in the city centres, or in the epicentre of a famous tourist attraction, where it is easier to take bus or train. Taking car is a lot of hassle, because car parks usually overflow and you have to endless drive in search of an appropriate car parking. Plus, you can drink as many beers and mulled wine, since you don’t have to drive.

WEAR WARM CLOTHES: This may seem like a no brainer, but a lot of times, I rushed back home because I felt too cold to stand outside for too long! Its December, and you are going to be outdoors. No amount of Gluhwein and sweet crepes are going to keep you warm. Dress for winter weather and wear layers. A warm coat, thick fleece jumper, scarf, winter hat, gloves, comfortable socks and shoes / boots.

CARRY A RUCKSACK: Carry a bag or rucksack to carry all the souvenirs and gifts that you purchase in the Christmas Markets.

CARRY SOME SNACKS AND WATER: If you are visiting a Christmas Market over the weekend, it gets super crowded. It is a good idea to carry minimal amount of snacks and water bottle.

PRE-BOOK ANY RIDES: Christmas Markets are synonymous with rides and Ferris wheels. Most of the markets have the online option to pre-book the ride in advance, to avoid standing in a long queue.

DO NOT TAKE A DOUBLE BUGGY: If you have twins, take a single stroller or baby carriers, but never take a double buggy, especially if you are planning to visit the Christmas markets during the weekend. It gets super crowded, and often too difficult to manoeuvre through the crowds.

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