UK Christmas markets for you to visit

Posted on: 19 December 2012 by Gareth Hargreaves

The best places in the UK where you can experience an authentic European Christmas market.

Christmas Markets 2012Disappointed you can’t visit one of Europe’s top Christmas Markets this year? If the credit crunch means you won’t be flying abroad for a taste of the festive season, do not worry – we’ve come up with the best Christmas Markets around the UK, which offer a continental theme and an authentic experience of the great markets of Europe.

Christmas Markets in the UK were very popular until Oliver Cromwell banned the celebration of Christmas. The markets died out instantly but during the Victorian era, there were traditional markets selling festive products and foodstuffs in the run-up to Christmas, they were just never known as Christmas Markets.

UK Christmas Markets often have continental themes bringing over French, German or Italian traders. As well as finding some unique presents, you'll be able to listen to carols, roast some chestnuts and sample some delicious mulled wine. Have a look of our pick of the best below.

winter wonderlandWinter Wonderland, Hyde Park, London

Once again Hyde Park has been transformed into a super alpine fair. This event has grown and grown over the years and can now occupy a full day out ... and then some more!

You really get into the Christmas spirit walking round the Angels Christmas Market with its cornucopia of winter culinary delights, handicrafts and unique gift ideas. There are more than 100 stalls offering everything from designer bags to winter clothing and arts and crafts.

Winter Wonderland is open to all with free admission. The event also boasts a whole host of other attractions to make your day special - with ice skating, Zippo's Circus, a giant ferris wheel and the biggest fun fair the site has hosted.

There is so much to enjoy, from traditional merry go rounds to state-of-the-art thrill rides.

Winter Wonderland is an excellent day out, bringing together the best of British with some super continental flavours to make a fantastic seasonal treat for all the family.

For more details of opening times and prices for paid attractions visit Winter Wonderland.   


Birmingham Christmas marketBirmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market & Craft Fair

Celebrating its 11th anniversary, the market has become hugely popular with both residents and visitors to the city. Combined with the city’s own Christmas Craft Fair of local traders, it brings together more than 180 stalls to browse and enjoy.

Open daily from 15 November to 22 December, 10am-9pm, it is the largest authentic German market outside of Germany and Austria and is among the most popular Christmas markets in the UK.

Enjoy the feel of a small village within the heart of the bustling city centre, with picturesque wooden chalets offering traditional handcrafted gifts, including jewellery, wooden toys, dolls and candles.

The flavours of Christmas are also there to savour with Glühwein (German mulled wine), German beers, traditional sausages, meats, sweets, marzipans, breads and pastries all prepared fresh and ready to enjoy.

For more information visit Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market.

South Bank Christmas marketChristmas Market at Southbank Centre

Enjoy a day out on London's South Bank at the delightful traditional Christmas market. The alpine ambience will see sixty pine chalets lining Queen's Walk offering a range of Christmas gifts such as amber & silver jewellery, hand crafted toys, fragile glass ornaments for your Christmas tree, hand tatted laces, tin toys, candles in all shapes and sizes, hand-made ceramics or creative metal design. 

Younger visitors can enjoy fairground rides such as the vintage carousel, while parents can relax with a glass of “Glühwein” (German Mulled Wine) while listening to traditional Christmas music and watching their little ones enjoying a ride on the merry-go-round. 

For more details see Southbank centre christmas market

CanterburyCanterbury Christmas market

The historic city of Canterbury hosts an intimate and friendly Christmas Market in Whitefriars Square.

Visitors can enjoy the festive atmosphere of the yule-tide market, whilst relaxing with a glass of “Glühwein” (German Mulled Wine) and listening to traditional Christmas music. The typical German Sausage “Bratwurst” does not need an introduction or perhaps you decide to eat a delicious Waffleto enjoy the "sweet" side of life..

Additional information about Canterbury you can find looking at the following websites:


Winchester Christmas Market

Winchester has hosted a Christmas market since 2006 and has become recognised as one of the best in Europe, renowned for its unique location, high quality exhibitors and bustling atmosphere. 

The  market is modelled on traditional German Christmas markets and attracts more than 350,000 visitors each year. Rows of  wooden chalets are situated in the Cathedral’s historic Inner Close surrounding an open-air real ice rink. Each chalet brings interesting, high quality and unique products many of which can’t be bought on the high street.

You'll be spoilt for choice when it comes to food and drink at the Christmas Market. You’ll find chalets selling festive favourites such as, mulled wine, bratwurst, mince pies and stollen. Alternatively, our Cathedral Refectory and ice rink café provide a warm and comfortable setting with plenty of seating and great menus.

For more info see Winchester Christmas market

Nottingham Winter Wonderland, Smithy Row

22 November to 6 January 2013, 9am-6pm

Nottingham's Old Market Square and Smithy Row has once again been transformed into a magical Christmas card scene this festive season.

Until Sunday January 6 2013, the city will come alive with festive delights including delicious festive food and drink, a grand 60ft Christmas tree and the popular craft and gift market.

The Nottingham Winter Wonderland will open from 10am until 10pm all week (although some individual stalls may close earlier) and the Christmas Market will open from 10am until 5pm, with a later opening of 6.30pm on Wednesdays..

For more info visit Nottingham Winter Wonderland

Are you visiting a Christmas Market this festive season? If so, which one? Can you recommend a market for other readers to visit?

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