Just a few weeks to go to Christmas, folks, and the countdown is on! I must admit, I absolutely hate the cold and dark nights in the UK at this time of year. But I do love the excitement and festivities in the run up to Christmas. Here are 7 amazingly festive UK Christmas markets that you should try to visit…
7 Amazingly Festive UK Christmas Markets
St Nicholas Christmas Market York
In my favourite Northern historical cities of York, wooden huts pop up around Parliament street selling crafts and gifts. Alongside the wooden hut stalls, you are likely to find food and drinks vans including the Mulled Wine Van! (Read more about the York Christmas Market). York is accessible from London in 2 hours, and also just an hour and a half away from Manchester Picadilly by train.
Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market
Birmingham is a city of my youth – we lived just 30 minutes away by train (in Wolverhampton) and the city provided us with some fantastic shopping experiences and nights out. The Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market is the largest German market in Europe outside of Germany itself. Enjoy Gluhwein or Weissbeer to compliments the schnitzel or pretzels. Don’t forget to take your cup back if you want your deposit back (£3.00) – unless, of course, you want to keep it as a souvenir! The German market in Birmingham is on until 24th December this year.
Bath Christmas Market
The historical Southern University city of Bath is famous for it’s Christmas market that sprawls amongst the Georgian architecture. Feast your eyes on the festive goodies, handmade crafts and beautiful buildings. Bath is approximately 40 minutes away from the city of Bristol in Southern England. It is accessible by car and train (Bath Spa railway station).
Edinburgh Christmas Markets
Festivities in the beautiful Scottish capital of Edinburgh fail to disappoint! This year, the Christmas Market returns to East Princes Street Gardens (18th Nov – January 6th) for a whole host of bespoke and traditional Christmas items!
The traditional Christmas Market spreads to George Street from 17th November – 24th December 2017. Wrap up warm – it’s slightly on the chilly side up there! I recommend a full weekend in Edinburgh (see 48 hours in Edinburgh).
Manchester Christmas Markets
My university city of Manchester sees the Manchester Christmas Market spread out front of St Annes square. But that’s not all – there are Christmas markets in 10 locations across the city, including Albert Square (European Market), King Street (French Market), Exchange Square and Market street. There is also an Ice Rink in Cathedral Gardens! There is a £2.50 mug charge with your first drink. You can then return the mug after your last drink and get back your deposit, or take it home as a souvenir.
Liverpool Christmas Market
My current home town of Liverpool (also home of the Beatles!) opens its Christmas Market in front of St George’s Hall. Facing Lime Street Station are over 40 Liverpool Christmas Market stalls selling clothes, gifts and crafts from across four continents. New this year is the brand new Windmill Bar offering traditional food and drinks including hot chocolate, mulled wine and bratwurst.
Belfast Christmas Market
It might be the only Irish city I have mentioned so far, but Belfast has one of the best UK Christmas Markets. For the 13th year in a row, the Christmas Market has returned to the grounds of city hall, boasting a traditional Irish Bar and Santa’s Grotto! If you post a letter to Santa by Tuesday 19th December, you will apparently receive a letter back from him! The Belfast Christmas Market is also famous for its international culinary delights including French Tarts, Belgian Chocolates and the more obscure dishes such as Wild Boar, Aligator and Kangeroo! The Belfast Christmas Market closes at 6pm on 23rd December this year.
You might also be interested in reading about 10 European City Breaks for Christmas, York Christmas Market and my Top UK Christmas Shopping Destinations.
UK Christmas Markets – Don’t forget your Travel Insurance!
Don’t Forget Your Travel Insurance
Travel insurance is so important as it will help you with emergencies and unexpected costs on your trip. Make sure that you declare any pre-existing health conditions so that you are covered for those. Check your cover for accidents and medical care and also lost baggage or getting things stolen. Remember to report as soon as something goes wrong on your trip because some travel insurance companies require you to report something that you want to claim for within 24 hours. Read the fine print carefully when you sign up. I always recommend World Nomads. You can get a free quote here: