With traditional Christmas Markets beginning to pop up all over the country, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! The markets are a great place to get in the festive mood with mulled wine, glittery lights, hand crafted goods and other trinkets to enjoy. Here are our top 5 picks this year:
1. Winter Wonderland – Hyde Park, London
21 November – 5 January
Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park is perhaps the most well known Christmas market in the UK. It’s free to enter, and there is something to be found for everyone in the family. With over 100 rides and attractions on offer, it is sure to provide great entertainment in the lead up to Christmas. Among the attractions, you’ll find the UK’s largest open air ice rink and tallest transportable observation wheel. It also has plenty of bars and food stalls available for the non-thrill seekers in the family who would prefer to spectate with a mug of hot cocoa. If you’re going this year, be sure to check out one of the all-new, cutting-edge shows Paddington on Ice or Zippos Christmas Circus.
2. Southbank Winter Festival – Southbank Centre London
8 November – 5 January
Also in London is the Southbank Winter Festival so if you don’t fancy Winter Wonderland, this is another great option. This is a highly popular Winter Market with a great range of family friendly shows and seasonal winter fun to be had along the River Thames. You will find unique and quirky items for sale in the sparkly wooden chalets, as well as spiced wine, cider and baked goods to warm up on a cold winter day.
3. Bath Christmas Market – Abbey Churchyard, Bath
28 November – 15 December
Set in the picturesque Georgian Streets surrounding Bath’s World Heritage Site, this market is perhaps the most romantic and magical of the markets. Bath’s Christmas Market is the perfect place to do a spot of shopping with gorgeous handmade gifts, jewellery, candles and decorations on offer. It is proudly eco-friendly with 99% of all products last year either locally handmade in Britain or abroad with Fairtrade certification. Be sure to check out the ice rink and glow-in-the-dark crazy golf in nearby Royal Victoria Park.
4. Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Markets – Victoria Square, Birmingham
7 November – 23 December
If you’re looking for an authentic German Christmas Market, then Birmingham is the place to be! Birmingham is the largest authentic German Christmas market outside of Germany or Austria. Think waffles, mulled wine, bratwurst, schnitzels and weissbeer, and you’re there! There’s also a program of great live music running in the bandstand, including carol singers and traditional bands. This adds to the festive German spirit.
5. York’s St Nicholas Christmas Fair – Parliament Street, York
14 November – 22 December
York puts on an award-winning festive market with medieval charm. The Made in Yorkshire Yuletide Village offers local Yorkshire products and gifts. There is plenty of festive fun to be had at the fair, including an old fashioned helter skelter, and delicious wintry treats like roasted chestnuts and hot chocolate. The fair also offers traditional carved wooden decorations for those looking for something a bit special.
These are just five of our top picks, but don’t take our word for it! Be sure to have a look and see if your local town or village are holding Christmas markets. It’s the perfect way to get into the holiday spirit!