Mince pies, mistletoe and mulled wine - is there a better way to spend an evening?
Christmas is just around the corner (sorry, but it’s true), and there’s no better way to get into the festive spirit than to head to a Christmas market. We’ve rounded up 12 of the best from all over the country.
Manchester Christmas Markets
This year is set to see Manchester’s biggest and best ever Christmas market ever, featuring traders from all over Europe and even an appearance from Father Christmas himself. A new addition for the Christmas market 2015 is The Mill bar and beer house, which is no doubt going to be an evening hot-spot for market goers. The festivities spread from Albert Square, Exchange Square and Market Street to the Corn Exchange and beyond.
November 12th – December 22nd
Birmingham Christmas Market
The Frankfurt Christmas Market 2015 in Birmingham city centre is the biggest German market outside of the country itself. With hundreds of stalls in Victoria and Chamberlain square selling filled pretzels, Berlin doughnuts, traditional bier handmade Christmas decorations, you won’t leave empty handed – or with an empty stomach.
November 12th – December 22nd
Edinburgh Christmas Market
Edinburgh has not one, but three Christmas markets for 2015, with enough entertainment to keep the whole family occupied all day. There’s Santa Land for the wee bairns, with face painting and Christmas crafts, A European market boasting ‘gastronomic surprises’ (no, we don’t know what they are…) and a Scottish market, featuring the best local seafood, Scottish brewed beer and traditional jewellery. Head from The Mound along Princes Street Gardens Terrace and around the Scott Monument.
November 20th – January 4th
Etsy Made Local
We're all guilty of an extended Etsy browse around Christmas, as the site is packed full of cute handmade gifts and perfect stocking fillers. This Christmas, Etsy is setting up shop in cities across the UK for Etsy Made Local, where you can shop your favourite sellers in the flesh. Cities include London, Brighton, Birmingham, Glasgow, Cardiff, Cambridge, Bristol, Leeds and more.
December 4th - December 6th
Bath Christmas Market
Bath hosts one of the UK’s prettiest Christmas markets, with 170 chalets lining the streets around the Roman Baths and Bath Abbey. Most of the stalls are run by local business owners, meaning you can pick up handmade wooden toys, artisan candles and local cheese before you head to the Apres Ski Bar for a muled wine.
November 26th – December 13th
Exeter Christmas Market
Festive food, Christmas decorations and handmade gifts – Exeter Christmas Market is always a festive highlight, hosted on the Cathedral Green. With local, European and stalls from around the South West, more than 50 traders will offer roast hog, baklava, speciality cheeses as well as Gluhwein and other traditional Christmas tipples.
November 19th – December 19th
If you’re looking for high-quality Christmas gifts that you won’t find on the high street, Winchester Christmas Market has everything you need. There are jewelers, painters, glass makers, and textile artists, and you can stock up on bratwurst, mince pies and stolen to keep you going.
November 19th – December 22nd
York Christmas Market
The St Nicholas Market is back again for 2015, with a maze of Victorian crafts and gifts available in the Medieval market. Yep, there will be chestnuts roasting on some kind of fire, as well as carol singers. This isn’t the only market in the city centre either – check out Made In Yorkshire or Castle Howard, too.
November 19th – December 23rd
Belfast Christmas Market
Belfast City Hall plays host to this traditional Christmas market, with stalls from Germany, Spain, France and Italy, as well as local Irish traders. Foodies will be in heaven, stocking up on nougat, Belgian chocolates, French tarts and exotic meats like alligator and kangaroo, which you can wash down at the market’s two bars.
November 14th – December 20th
Catch it while you can! Lincoln’s Christmas market might only be on for three days, but it has been named the best UK Christmas market in the UK. Expect over 250 stalls around Norman Castle, with plenty of entertainment: we’re talking a ukulele band, dance acts and a ferris wheel as well as all the craft and food stalls.
December 3rd – December 6th
Leeds Christmas Market
The German Christkindelmarkt is back for its 14th year, turning Millennium Square into a winter village of over 40 chalet huts topped wth twinkling lights. There's a carousel and handcrafted toys for the kids, as well as speciality Stollen and the Alp Chalet Bavarian restaurant and bar for the adults.
November 13th – December 20th
Southbank Christmas Market
This is one of the most popular UK Christmas markets, set next to the London eye and stretching down into craft stalls, a cider ski lodge, and plenty of places to eat and drink. If 2014 is anything to go by, the Southbank Christmas market will be serving some of the best cheese toasties around (trust us on this one).