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The Top 16 Best UK Markets to Visit During Christmas

#1 The Frankfurt Market in Birmingham

Frankfurt Market

Birmingham is known for hosting one of the largest and longest German Christmas Markets outside of Germany. Frankfurt traders break out all the stops when it comes to bringing the real German gemutlichkeit to Britain during the holidays. Lasting for over a month, the market spreads across Birmingham and even incorporates an ice skating rink as well as a ferris wheel. The Frankfurt Market takes place from November 17th to December 29th, 10am to 9pm daily, in Victoria Square, New Street, and Centenary Square.

(learn more about The Frankfurt Market in Birmingham)

#2 Manchester's Holiday Madness

Manchesters Holiday Madness

More than nine million people visit Manchester’s grandiose Christmas market celebrations annually. This November to December event features over three hundred vendors within a French Christmas Market, Arts & Crafts Market and Family Market design complete with twinkling lights, music, and tons of holiday spirit. A map of the market can be found on the Christmas Market website. Manchester’s Holiday Madness is held from November 10th to December 21st in Albert Square, King Street, Market Street, Brazennose Street, Exchange Street, New Cathedral Street, St. Anne's Square, Cathedral Gardens, and Corn Exchange.

#3 Edinburgh’s Holiday Shopping in the UK Festival Central

Edinburghs Holiday Shopping

Edinburgh prides itself on extravagant celebrations. No detail is ever left uncovered from its summer of arts festivals to its winter of holiday festivals. During Christmas time, there are two large Christmas markets within Edinburgh, the European Market and the Scottish Market. Each offer locals and visitors alike, a stellar choice of one of a kind, handcrafted gifts as well as tasty food and drink. These festivals last from November through early January. The European Market (Nov. 19th - Jan.7th) is located along the East Princes Street Gardens to the Scott Monument. The Scottish Market (Nov. 26th - Dec. 24th) is located on West George Street.

#4 Leed’s Christkindle Market

Leeds Christkindle Market

The Leed’s shopping scene is noteworthy on its own, but when you factor in the annual Christmas Market it is unbeatable. With forty German vendors, the Leed’s Christkindle Market fills Millennium Square from November 11th through December 28th. Each Vendor offers genuine German goods and delights including goulash, schnitzels, gingerbread, soups, gluhwein, and bratwurst. In 2016 the market added an open-air performance area with live entertainment daily and family friendly Sunday morning Santa’s Breakfast.

#5 Lincoln’s Original Christmas Market

Lincolns Original Christmas Market

The German tradition of annual Christmas Markets began in Lincoln thirty three years ago. Presently, hundreds of thousands of shoppers flock to Lincoln's medieval Castle Hill for four days full of fun filled shopping. What began with eleven vendors is now home to three hundred and fifty stalls. This bijoux cathedral city is practically bursting at the seems from Dec. 1st - Dec. 4th.

(learn more about The Lincoln’s Original Christmas Market)

#6 London’s Celebratory Christmas Market

Londons Christmas Market

The Southbank Centre Winter Festival is one of London’s best Christmas Markets to visit. From mid November (11th) to early January (8th), countless German vendors line up along the London riverbank to add to the cities winter festivities. Not to mention, the River Thames sparkling lights that reflect off the river and onto the Christmas Market make it especially aesthetically pleasing.

#7 Bath’s Historic Center Christmas Market

Baths Christmas Market

Bath’s Christmas Market is a total British affair with 85% of its 170 vendors coming from Bath itself or the surrounding area. Additionally, 89% of the market’s good are handcrafted from local Bath makers, producers, and artisans. Located next to the Bath Abbey and Roman Baths, the eighteen day Christmas Market lasts from November 24th through December 11th and stays open late for those last minute shoppers. At Bath’s Christmas market one can find original German clothing, glassware, artwork, candles and even free wifi. The market’s atmosphere of Christmas lights, pine needles, and mulled wine aroma is enough to put any shopper in the Christmas spirit.

#8 Bristol’s German Market

Bristol Christmas Market

Bristol’s Christmas Market features 45 wooden vendor chalets selling everything from food and drinks to original German crafted goods. One can find a plethora of Christmas decor at Bristols’ Christmas Market including nativity scenes, baskets, wooden goods, soaps, amber jewelry and much much more. When visiting make sure to check out the Market’s Giant Advent Calendar, Pyramid-style Nativity scene, German Beer Garden, and taste the German traditional market goods like crepes, gluhwein, bratwurst, cakes, chocolates, and apple rings. Bristol’s German Market is located in Bristol’s Shopping Quarter from Nov. 1st through Dec. 24th.

#9 Bury St.Edmunds Cathedral Christmas Fayre

Bury St. Edmunds Cathedral Christmas Fayre

The Bury St. Edmunds Christmas Fayre consists of five different Christmas Markets set up in front of the St.Edmundsbury Cathedral from Nov. 24th through Nov. 27th. This Black Friday treat packs in more than 300 vendors over its four day span and brings in thousands upon thousands of visitors annually. The market aesthetics are extremely please visually with sparkle and festive flair around every corner. Shopping the St.Edmunds Christmas Fayre is a real treat with lots of goodies to eat and purchase while viewing various street entertainers along East Anglian’s historic center.

#10 Historic Cotswolds Town Cheltenham Christmas

Historic Cotswolds Town Cheltenham Christmas

2017 marks the Cheltenham Christmas Market’s 15th year in business selling high quality goods to the people of Cotswolds. This market offers shoppers a wide arrange of felt bags, wolly hats, costume jewelry, freshwater pearls, handcrafted Christmas decor, wooden toys, fair trade knitwear, award-winning wines, ostrich burgers, pashminas, and so much more. Located at the Cotswolds Promenade, the Cheltenham Christmas Market takes place from Nov. 24 through Dec. 17th.

#11 Chester’s Medieval Rows Festive Market

Chesters Festive Market

Chester is a town located in Northwest England that looks as if it was created just to hold Christmas Markets. The town is made up of countless half-timbered medieval buildings built in ancient ‘rows’ home to bi-level shops. Over 70 vendors fill the city’s streets each and every year offering handcrafted gifts, clothing, jewelry, and food/drink from its local artisans, makers, and producers. Chester’s Festive Market is open seven days a week from Nov. 18th to Dec. 18th and hosts later shopping hours on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.

#12 Chichester’s Ancient Market Cross

Chichesters Market Cross

Chichester is one of England’s most Southeastern cities and each year it invites over 50 vendors to fill its streets for nine fun filled festive days in December. The market is held from Dec. 3rd through the 11th and is located on Chichester market cross in the pedestrian shopping area. Make sure to check out the market’s hand crafted pressies.

#13 Exeter Cathedral Green Market

Exeter Cathedral Green Market

The Exeter Christmas Market in Devon is a fairly new holiday market considering it was established in 2012. This small market invites around 50 vendors to grace its streets each year including local producers, craftspeople, and artisans. One can find everything from Belgian choccies to Bavarian Beer and roasted hog delicacies at this market. In 2014, the Exeter Cathedral Green Christmas Market notably won the National Association of British Market Authorities award for Best Specialty Market. Presently, the award winning market takes place from Nov. 17th through Dec. 18th and is located at the Exeter Cathedral Green.

#14 Salisbury’s Tudor Christmas Market

Salisburys Tudor Christmas Market

From late November (24th) through mid December (18th), one can find the five year old Salisbury Christmas Market located in Guildhall Square with over 70 tudor-style chalet vendors featuring genuine British arts and crafts. Each vendor at the Salisbury Christmas Market is hand picked, so shoppers can rest assured that the markets quality of goods, food, and drink is above par. Be sure to check out the local choirs and music groups that entertain the market crowds daily.

#15 Winchester’s Cathedral Close

Winchester Christmas Market

With over 100 vendors crowding Winchester’s streets, you are sure to find all kinds of festive goodies at the Cathedral Close. Plus, for entertainment, the market hosts a skating rink that truly adds to the holiday cheer. The market takes place from Nov. 18th through Dec. 20th within the Inner Cathedral Close of Winchester Cathedral.

#16 York Minster’s Holiday Spirit

The York St. Nicholas Fair

York is most popularly known for being home to Northern Europe’s largest Gothic Cathedral and plethora of Medieval architecture. Thus, it is a no brainer as to why the city practically throws up holiday spirit during Christmas time as the city is basically built for Christmas decor. Several Christmas markets pop up all over town along with carol concerts and angel festivals as well as York’s major holiday event, the St. Nicholas Fair. The St. Nicholas fair takes place in numerous locations around the walkable city including Parliament Street, St. Sampson’s Square, and The Judge’s Lodging. You can find all of York’s holiday spirit from November 17th through December 23rd.