To help you make the most of the festive period, we’ve put together a selection of some of the best Christmas markets the UK has to offer in the lead up to the big day. From the historic sights of Edinburgh to the rural quaintness of Cirencester and the Dickensian delights of Gloucester, they each offer the perfect opportunity for sourcing those unique last-minute gifts, tasting the festive delights of homemade mince pies and fragrant mulled wine, or even paying a well-deserved visit to Father Christmas. A great way to experience big cities, charming towns and perhaps even the opportunity to don your ice-skates, supporting artisan sellers and singing the odd Christmas carol will no doubt fill you with festive cheer too!
Harrogate, 30th November – 3rd December
The final date for this year’s Country Living Christmas Fairs, Harrogate welcomes a whole host of exhibitors and like-minded shoppers for a truly festive occasion. Flying the flag for British design, you’ll find delicious artisan foods and unique gifts, soft cashmere jumpers and woollen accessories, Christmas decorations and ornaments to decorate your home, together with everything you could need for a homemade Christmas with a wonderful selection of crafts.
Rowallane Garden, 9th-10th December
A perfect festive day out for the whole family – have a ride aboard the vintage carousel, sample the deliciously seasonal food and drink, and sing along to your favourite Christmas carols. If little ones fancy themselves a bit of a Star Baker, Rowallane Garden is holding free ‘decorate your own gingerbread man’ classes in their café from 12th-24th December (12noon-2:30pm) too!
23rd November – 10th December
Set amongst the historic Roman Baths and beautiful Abbey, this popular Christmas market includes more than 200 stalls all wonderfully showcasing the true spirit of the town’s local arts and crafts. From homeware to ceramics, toys to clothes, and delicious food and drink stalls, a visit here will help to get you in the festive spirit before the big day arrives.
East Princes Street Gardens, 18th November- 6th January
Taking place in the heart of Scotland’s historic capital, this traditional Christmas market is filled with bespoke Christmas gift ideas and is open from 10am to 10pm – the perfect destination for some late night shopping!
Enchanted Christmas Market, 27th November – 24th December
Running all the way up to Christmas Eve, this Victorian Christmas market is set amidst the historical quays and will be sure to spark a little yuletide spirit! With an open-air ice rink, a host of decorated chalets selling seasonal gifts, live choirs and brass bands, together with a traditional Ferris wheel, the whole family will enjoy this most festive of Dickensian Christmas markets.
20th November – 22nd December
Renowned as one of the largest Christmas markets in the south of England, it is nestled within the beautiful setting of the town’s historic cathedral. Boasting more than 100 stalls filled with traditional wooden toys, artwork and handmade jewellery, it also includes a sumptuous selection of German-inspired food and drink. To really help get you in the festive spirit, there’s an open-air ice rink too – just remember to dress up warm!
16th November – 17th December
Held in the stunning grounds of Devon’s Cathedral Green, this is the perfect Christmas market for foodies! Indulge in a delicious selection of artisan treats – from Belgian chocolates to crepes, roast hog to speciality cheeses and baklava.
16th – 17th December
The beautiful rural town of Cirencester – nestled away in the heart of The Cotswolds – offers wonderfully festive experiences throughout December. Alongside its traditional Christmas Market, there is a Christmas Gift Market taking place from 11th-15th December too. Organised by Cotswold Markets, the traditional style market stalls sell a range of bespoke gifts and ideas, perfectly capturing the timeless tradition of Christmas whilst offering the perfect gift idea for someone special.
Frankfurt Christmas Market, 16th November – 24th December
With traditional gifts, live music and a selection of tempting food and drink stalls, the centre of Birmingham is always filled with festive spirit following the arrival of the German Christmas Market. Said to be the largest German market held outside both Austria and Germany, it includes a range of German delicacies to try too, from pretzels to bratwursts, schnitzels to weissbier, and warming hot chocolate for those chilly evenings!
The Christmas Market, Weekends throughout December
With live music, a Victorian carousel, bespoke gifts and reindeer to meet, Leeds Castle has been beautifully decorated for Christmas with twinkling lights, fragrant pine trees and homemade wreaths – a sure way to encourage festive spirit and yuletide cheer before Christmas Day!
Whichever you decide to pop along to, we’re sure you’ll leave with a warm and festive glow inside!