There is something undeniably magical about Christmas markets and their festive atmospheres, not to mention all the treats you can find while sipping on a warm mulled wine.
It even makes the prospect of Christmas shopping a little more appealing and is an ideal excuse for a mini-break. There are many famed Christmas markets throughout Europe, but there are some closer to home too!
Here are some of the most popular UK Christmas markets planned for 2023:
- Bath Christmas Market
- Edinburgh Christmas Market
- Manchester Christmas Market
- Blenheim Palace Christmas Market
- London Southbank Christmas Market
Bath Christmas Market
23 November 2023 – 10 December 2023
With over 150 twinkling chalets lining the city’s iconic Georgian streets, and the backdrop of a magnificent 16th-century abbey, it is easy to see why Bath’s Christmas market has picked up awards.
Famed for its extensive variety of locally made goods and live entertainment, you can be sure to get into the Christmas spirit with an afternoon spent here.
Bath market is free to visit, and the perfect place to pick up some amazing handcrafted presents and Christmas snacks!
Edinburgh Christmas Market
17 November 2023 – 6 January 2024
The Scottish capital is famed for its celebrations. The bustling Winter Festival takes place in the heart of the city, with the stunning Edinburgh Castle the highlight of the skyline.
The East Princes Street Gardens Christmas Market offers a wonderful season of entertainment and events. Expect a buzzing atmosphere as well as 70+ stalls selling a mix of homemade Christmas gifts and mouth-watering food. You’ll also be able to find a ferris wheel and ice skating rink as well as other amusements.
Manchester Christmas Market
10 November 2023 – 21 December 2023
Since its debut in 1999, Manchester’s Christmas market scene has undergone something of a snowball effect. It’s grown from a single site at St Ann’s Square to many markets now stretching their way right across the city.
The main hub can be found at Piccadilly Gardens. But the market zones reach Exchange Square, St Ann’s Square, King Street, Cathedral Gardens, and Market Street.
Check out the huge festive ice rink in Cathedral Gardens, or enjoy Christmas treats from one of the many food and drink stalls across Manchester. We’ve heard great things about the famous Porky Pig’s Yorkshire pudding wraps – a warm wrap filled with carvery meat, vegetables, stuffing, and gravy!
With 225 stalls, you won’t be short of options for Christmas gifts and treats! We recommend spending the whole day here to take in all the festivities.
Blenheim Palace Christmas Market
17 November 2023 – 17 December 2023
For a stylish handmade experience, head to Blenheim Palace in the historic market town of Woodstock in Oxfordshire. Around 70 traders will be housed in alpine chalets within the grounds of the Palace.
Here, designers and craft makers will be showcasing their high-quality contemporary creations in an idyllic Christmas setting. Perfect for picking up some unusual stocking fillers or special one-off commissions.
Entry to the market is free, but you’ll need tickets for the after-dark illuminated trail for the ultimate magical Christmas experience.
London Southbank Christmas Market
28 October 2023 – 7 January 2024
London has many Christmas markets, but Southbank’s riverside Winter Festival is one of our favourites.
Stroll along the Thames while browsing the goodies for sale, stopping off for something to eat or drink in one of the winter-themed popup bars and restaurants.
It is particularly good for edible gifts from around the globe – not to mention the excellent programme of festive shows and entertainment!
The popular Jimmy’s Winter Lodge igloos are open from 2 November – 31 December, where you can cosy up with a warm mulled wine within your very own private glass dome! There’s a minimum spend of £300, but each globe fits up to 10 people, so they are perfect for a family gathering!
If you’re planning on a staycation this winter, don’t forget to protect it with UK travel insurance if you have two or more nights of pre-paid accommodation. That way you’ll be covered for mishaps or cancellations.
Want some UK travel inspiration? Have read our guide to beautiful places to visit in the UK.