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It’s finally the time of year where Christmas markets are opening all around the UK. It’s hard to argue that there are some front runners that you absolutely have to visit. If you are lucky enough to be a stone’s throw away from any of them, you can go whenever you want, during weekends or even after work. If you’re a little further away, we think travelling to one for a weekend break is a great Christmas shopping experience idea.
Below is a map of where our favourite markets are located.
Our Top 7 Christmas Market Picks
1. Edinburgh (18th November to 7th January )
2. Glasgow (10th November to 22nd December)
3. Newcastle (19th November to 11th December )
4. Manchester (10th November to 20th December )
5. Birmingham (17th November to 29th December )
6. Bath (24th November to 11th December )
7. London Southbank (11th November to 25th January)
Edinburgh Christmas Markets
If you fancy a Scottish escape, the Edinburgh Christmas markets is a great idea for a shopping trip that will get you in the festive mood. The European Christmas Markets sell everything from delicious snacks, crafts and beautiful home decor. Not only is it a fantastic shopping experience, but Edinburgh also has a funfair for visitors. This is fantastic news if you have little ones. Book yourself a ticket to the Christmas tree maze, ice skating, the Helter Skelter and more. There is no doubt that this market is a great pick for families during the festive season. We can’t think of a better way to start it than going to these markets for treats and endless fun.
For more information about Edinburgh’s Christmas Markets, visit here.
Glasgow Christmas Markets
St Enoch Square and George Square are the places to be for the Christmas Markets. If you love nothing more than sipping on mulled wine and treating yourself to a few nibbles, you need to visit. This market is unique. It includes stalls from all over the world, including Italy, Spain, Germany and more. You can try delicacies from all over Europe that might end up being a new favourite. Have a walk around and treat yourself to some hot chocolate or wine to warm up. If you want to view something a little different, you should definitely visit the beautiful Gluhwein House.
For more information about Glasgow’s Christmas Markets, visit here.
Newcastle Christmas Markets
If you fancy a trip up North, the Newcastle Christmas Markets are full of activities to enjoy. The Alnwick Christmas Market is the perfect. Protected from the cold weather, these indoor stalls are a great alternative if you want to escape any bad weather. With stalls selling interior decor, sweets and more, there are so many beautiful gifts you can find. Make sure you note down 1st December in your diary. On that day only, Newcastle will host the historic Grainger Night Market. Grab yourself a snack and enjoy the iconic market that will make you feel as if you’ve stepped back in time.
For more information about Newcastle’s Christmas Markets, visit here.
Manchester Christmas Markets
Manchester is known for a Northern city that is capturing the excitement that once only belonged to London. Manchester’s Christmas Markets are award winning and one of the largest in Europe. You won’t cover all the markets in one night, which is why it’s worth visiting for a weekend. The most well-known location is Albert’s Square where the unmissable Santa sits on top of the Town Hall. Manchester’s markets have grown and added new locations to the list that in total, have over 350 stalls. If you’re ever stuck on what to get someone special, these markets are bound to have something that ticks all the boxes. With special beer and wine stalls, you can sit down in sheltered huts and enjoy getting into the festive spirit with friends. Make sure you try the famous hog roast and chocolate covered strawberries. If you love getting wrapped up and warm during this season, you’ll adore the stalls full of spa-themed items. Treat yourself to a selection of soaps, bath salts, candles and more to take home with you for winter day full of relaxation.
For more information about Manchester’s Christmas Markets, visit here.
Birmingham Christmas Markets
Unlike many of the Christmas markets on our list, Birmingham’s stays open an extra three days after Christmas (but it will be closed on 25th December). This means that you can take a post-Christmas trip to Birmingham to soak up the season before it ends. This market celebrates the Birmingham/Frankfurt partnership agreement and this year, it’s their big 50th. Consisting of 140 stalls, this market is the perfect choice for an afternoon stroll. We recommend trying Frankfurt’s famous delicacies such as sausages and applewine. We also recommend buying some of the unique cheeses. Save them for your Christmas day dessert, teamed with chutneys and a selection of wine that you won’t get your mittens on anywhere else.
For more information about Birmingham’s Christmas Markets, visit here.
Bath Christmas Markets
For a market that has the ultimate charm, we think Bath is probably the best one. Located near the ancient baths, the Christmas markets really transform Bath into a winter wonderland. It is also very different from other UK Christmas markets. More than 80% of the stalls are run by the people of Bath. This means the money you spend will help local businesses in this gorgeous city. The highlights of this market are definitely the home-made stalls. Full of beautiful items such as lanterns, decorations and jewellery, they make the perfect, unique gifts. Buy some for a friend, or treat yourself so you can make your home look incredibly festive this year.
For more information about Bath’s Christmas Markets, visit here.
London Southbank Centre Markets
If you’re someone who won’t settle for anything but the UK’s capital city, then you’re spoilt for choice in London. The one we recommend is the Southbank Centre’s Christmas Markets that has a beautiful view. Filled with Artisan produce, there’s so much you can choose from. This market is on for the longest, ending on 25th January 2017. We have to say, we think this is great because it gives people all over the UK enough time to travel down and visit after the hustle and bustle of Christmas. Southbank also brings some well-known brands to their markets. Visit Rekorderlig’s Winter Lodge where you can try all the delicious fruit ciders. Or if you’re a type to get up and have a bit of fun, the Bump Roller Disco is guaranteed to provide tonnes of fun for family and friends. Combine these markets with retail shopping and you’ll have the best festive weekend you could wish for.