The festive season is upon us once more, which means one thing: it’s time to put up the tree, hang up those twinkly lights and find yourself a traditional Christmas market to explore with your loved ones!
But which markets are the ones to hit? Well, I’ve done some exploring for you and these are my top recommendations.
Stratford-upon-Avon, 8th – 11th December
One of my favourite Christmas markets to get you in the mood for festive cheer happens during December in Stratford-upon-Avon.
This delightful market takes up the entire main street, with vendors dishing out delicious hot chocolate, adorable handmade Christmas ornaments and gifts, with local carol singers serenading you as you take in the spectacular Christmas lights.
However, this Christmas market also comes with a fabulous twist from the 8th – 11th of December: the Christmas Market becomes Victorian!
With around 300 stalls, vendors dressed in traditional Victorian costumes, an old fashioned fun fair including a carousel, and exciting and festive performances taking place on Rother Street.
This Christmas Market is one not to be missed, a truly joyous experience whether you’re 8 or 80!
Birmingham, 3rd November – 23rd December
Each year Birmingham plays host to the Frankfurt Christmas Market. A traditional German Christmas experience right here in the UK.
In fact, this market is so huge it happens to be the largest authentic German market outside of Germany itself! With a vast number of scrumptious stalls selling traditional German foods such as pretzels, schnitzels, bratwursts, and roasted almonds!
And a delightful variety of stalls selling traditional German drinks such as their famous weissbeer (wheat beer), gluhwein (mulled wine) and hot chocolate!
Enjoy the magical performances on Victoria Square while you browse the gift stalls selling intricate glass baubles, beautiful toys, hand crafted leather works and more!
This German extravaganza is perfect for any and all foodies out there looking for something a bit different this christmas! Fröhliche Weihnachten to all!
Edinburgh, 25th November – 3rd January
Edinburgh Christmas Market has become truly iconic, transforming the entire city centre into a winter wonderland! Wander through the rustic streets of Edinburgh tasting incredible festive goods and produce from local sellers. Enjoy the eclectic mix of Bavarian snacks, mixed with traditional Scottish delicacies.
Browse the Christmas chalets stocked with hand made crafts and gifts perfect for your loved ones, before treating yourself with a steaming hot chocolate as you ride the Forth 1 Big Wheel, showing off the mesmerising views of the Edinburgh skyline and the markets below.
Don’t forget to visit the covered ice rink on George Street, not to mention Santa Land in West Princess Street Gardens. Try not to get too lost in the Christmas Tree Maze, before taking your little ones to hear Santa’s Stories. Edinburgh at Christmas is truly a magical experience, one you should not miss!
Cardiff, 10th November – 23rd December
Cardiff Christmas market has been running for over 30 years and unlike other Christmas markets, this fun filled Christmas experience is authentically Welsh in every sense of the word.
In an attempt to help support local artists and creatives, these market stalls offer handcrafted gifts and treats sold and made by Welsh vendors.
Beautiful art pieces by up and coming local artists, glass work, ceramics, handmade quilts, textiles and intricately carved candles. You can even take the opportunity to chat to the artists directly and maybe commission your own unique work of art!
After browsing the stalls why not sample some traditional Welsh Christmas foods, such as Welsh cakes, cawl, bara brith and more! Maybe if you’re lucky you’ll catch some beautiful Welsh carols being sung by a local choir!
A truly sweet and scrumptious experience for all the senses!
Nadolig Llawen pawb!
London, 18th November – 2nd January
It’s safe to say that London’s Hyde Park Winter Wonderland is one of the most iconic Christmas events of the year. It’s truly a spectacle that everyone should experience once in their life, and this is why.
Roller coasters and rides invite thrill seekers from all over, while fairground games scatter the giant park encouraging all kinds of Christmas fun!
Pay a visit to the wide variety of stalls selling delicious Christmas themed food and drinks, along with themed bars boasting real and warm fires, a Bavarian village filled with German delicacies, and the ‘Bar Ice’ where you drink from a glass made of, you guessed it, pure ice.
Speaking of ice, a giant ice rink surrounding the Victorian bandstand provides the perfect opportunity for skaters to have fun, while the sky glitters above you illuminated with over 100,000 lights!
This Winter Wonderland really has the WOW factor, and is the perfect festive experience to bring a smile to even the most stubborn grinch’s face!