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Over the last few decades, Christmas markets have officially become “a thing” in the UK. Influenced by the traditional German Christmas markets, today you’ll find one in just about every major British city during November and December. Often, these pop up in historic city centre streets and parks, creating Christmas card-worthy settings for gift shopping, gluhwein sipping and festive meet-ups. Talented local designers and makers come out in force, piling up stalls with their thoughtfully made wares.

Here are seven of the best UK Christmas markets where you can get your fix of cosy yuletide fun in 2023.

by Kavita Ashton

Bath Christmas Market

The Georgian city of Bath never looks prettier than when the award-winning Christmas market is in town. 170 twinkling chalets open up in the UNESCO World Heritage City streets, while the city’s iconic honey-coloured monuments get a festive glow-up from a nightly illumination trail. This is the place to search out gifts from some of the South West’s finest crafters, designers and producers. Handmade jewellery, cheese, knitwear, wine, candles – you’ll find it all here.

2023 dates: 23 November – 10 December
Entrance fee: free

Click here for more info about the Christmas market in Bath!

Bath Christmas Market

© Visit Bath

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, London

From a glittering Harrods to Somerset House’s picturesque ice rink, the festive vibes are strong across the capital at this time of year, but nowhere more so than in Hyde Park. A full-on festive extravaganza takes over, transforming the leafy green Royal park into a Winter Wonderland.

This year the Christmas market takes on an exciting new look with a Scandinavian theme. The market will feature brightly coloured Danish-style chalets, artisanal crafts, and ‘hygge’ bars creating the ultimate immersive winter shopping experience.

Given the enormous size of the site, it’s a much grander affair than your standard market, which means more to do too. Take your pick from circus shows, ice skating, fair rides, ‘Santaland’, a Bavarian village and an apres ski-themed bar.

2023 dates: 17 November – 1 January
Entrance fee: £5 standard, £7.50 peak times. Click here for tickets!

Click here fore more info about Hyde Park Winter Wonderland in London!

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland - best UK Christmas markets

© 2022 PWR Events, an International Management Group (UK) Limited company

Manchester Christmas Market

2023 marks the 25th anniversary of Manchester’s much-loved Christmas market, one of the biggest in the UK. The market is spread over nine city-centre locations, each offering a different flavour of festive cheer, eclectic stalls and excellent food from local traders. If you get caught in a typically British rain shower, we recommend slipping into the Scandi-style tipi in Picadilly Gardens, to dry out with log fires and hot gluhwein.

2023 opening dates: 10 November – 21 December
Entrance fee: Free

Click here for more info about the Christmas market in Manchester!

Edinburgh Christmas Market

Edinburgh is famous for its New Year’s Eve Hogmanay celebrations, but the city’s seven-week long Christmas market makes it worthy of a festive trip right through the holiday season. The main market in East Princes Street Garden is full of handmade gifts and warming winter treats from local and international producers.

The experience is all the more magical thanks to the magnificent backdrop of Edinburgh Castle. For the best views, take a ride on the largest ferris wheel in Scotland – the city and Christmas lights look pretty spectacular from 46 metres high.

2023 opening dates: 17 November – 6 January
Entrance fee: Free

Click here to learn more about the Christmas market in Edinburgh!

Edinburg Christmas Market - best UK Christmas markets

Birmingham’s Frankfurt Christmas Market

Every year, Birmingham hosts the largest German Christmas market outside Germany and Austria. With that in mind, it’s unbeatable for satisfying all your cravings for traditional German market fare with oodles of bratwurst, brezels, roasted nuts and Berliner-filled doughnuts to devour. There’s an epic selection of handcrafted gifts and decorations to match too, plus live music amping up the festive atmosphere.

2023 opening dates: 2 November – 24 December
Entrance fee: Free

Click here for more info about the German Christmas market in Birmingham!

Cardiff Christmas Market

Celebrate a “Nadolig Llawen” at Cardiff Christmas Market. The Welsh capital’s annual festive market was established 30 years ago to support local artists and craftspeople. The mission remains the same today, making it one of the best for picking up unique handmade gifts, from soaps and ceramics to jewellery and glassware. A rotating programme means you can meet different makers on different dates, with plenty of tempting seasonal food and drink to lure you back too.

2023 opening dates: 9 November – 23 December
Entrance fee: Free

Click here for more info about the Christmas market in Cardiff!

St Nicholas Fair, York

The medieval city of York’s charm is dialled up to the max at Christmas time. Local traders set up shop in alpine chalets along Parliament Street and St Sampson’s Square, while a vintage carousel spins on King’s Square. The atmospheric shopping experience continues over in world-famous cobbled street the Shambles and its adjoining market. Make sure you stop in at the food court here for some top-notch global street food.

2023 opening dates: 16 November – 22 December
Entrance fee: Free

Click here for more info about the Christmas market in York!

Kavita Ashton is a freelance writer based in South West England covering stories about travel, sustainability and culture. As former content editor for the Visit West tourism board, she loves telling people where to go (in the nicest way possible!). She currently works with Equality in Tourism to make the industry more equitable.

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