Best Christmas markets to visit in the UK (2023)

Once the weather's turned colder, there’s nothing better than wandering round Christmas stalls and warming ourselves up with mulled wine and churros with melted chocolate. And there’s always something for everyone at Christmas markets, like decoration and present stalls, activities such as ice skating, and plenty of food and drink.

We’ve included the top Christmas markets in the UK and given them 'best for' ratings. So, if you’re looking for amazing food, for example, or the best ice-skating rink, you'll soon know where to go.

We’ve also taken into account Forbes Advisor’s most Christmassy destination categories: Christmas shopping opportunity, spend on Christmas lights and decorations, Christmas market reviews, and the likelihood of a white Christmas.

So without further ado, here’s how to have a simply wonderful Christmas market time this winter.

Best Christmas markets at a glance:

  • Birmingham’s Frankfurt Christmas market, best for traditional German food
  • Edinburgh Christmas market, best for a white Christmas
  • Nottingham Winter Wonderland, best for date night
  • London Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, best for ice skating
  • Manchester Christmas markets, best for variety
  • Bath Christmas market, best for stepping back in time
  • Newcastle Christmas market, best for atmosphere
  • Padstow Christmas Festival, best for food
  • Belfast Continental Christmas market, best for the whole family
  • Lincoln Christmas market, best for size

The best Christmas markets in the UK

Birmingham’s Frankfurt Christmas market

Best Christmas markets to visit in the UK (1)

Best for: traditional German food

Birmingham Christmas market dates: 3rd November 2022 to 23rd December 2022

If you can’t get to Germany or Austria this winter, Birmingham’s Frankfurt Christmas market is the next best thing: it’s the largest authentic German Christmas market outside of Germany and Austria. It has stalls of delicious food such as pretzels, schnitzels, bratwursts and roasted almonds, which can be washed down with a pint of Glühwein.

Fancy making your own Glühwein? Check out this BBC Good Food Glühwein recipe

Find out more about Birmingham’s Frankfurt Christmas market at The BFCM

Edinburgh Christmas market

Best Christmas markets to visit in the UK (2)

Best for: a white Christmas

Edinburgh Christmas market dates: 19th November 2022 to 3rd January 2023

Edinburgh Christmas market is back this year and it’s bigger than ever. This winter, the market will span the traditional locations in Princes Street Gardens and The Mound, as well as to new parts of the city centre. Expect arts and crafts as well as food and drink stalls with homegrown Scottish produce, and we’re hopeful the northern city will deliver us a white Christmas.

Read what people have said about Edinburgh Christmas Market on Tripadvisor

Nottingham Winter Wonderland

Best Christmas markets to visit in the UK (3)
(Video) The BEST Christmas destination in the UK | UNILAD Adventure

Best for: date night

Nottingham Christmas market dates: 15th November 2022 to 31st December 2022

When Goose Fair is over and you need something to fill the void (if you know, you know), head into the centre of town for Nottingham’s Winter Wonderland. Located on Old Market Square, this Christmas market has everything from fairground rides to cosy bars, and delicious food to Christmas decoration stalls.

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Read what people have said about Nottingham Winter Wonderland on Tripadvisor

London Hyde Park Winter Wonderland

Best Christmas markets to visit in the UK (4)

Best for: ice skating

London Christmas market dates: 18th November 2022 to 2nd January 2023

Happy Xmas (summer is over)! When the photos start rolling in on social media from couples and groups of friends at Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, you know Christmas is around the corner.

This huge Christmas market boasts an ice-skating rink, an ice kingdom, a giant wheel amongst other rides, an ice slide, an ice sculpting workshop, and plenty of food and drink stalls.

Buy London Hyde Park Winter Wonderland tickets from £5 at See Tickets

London is home to plenty of exciting things to do this Christmas. Be sure to check out the best West End shows and best London experience gifts.

Manchester Christmas markets

Best Christmas markets to visit in the UK (5)

Best for: variety

Manchester Christmas market dates: 12th November 2022 to 22nd December 2022

The Manchester Christmas markets span almost the entirety of Manchester city centre, from Victoria to Deansgate, and it includes The Winter Gardens in Piccadilly Gardens. But if you’ve been to Manchester, you’ll know that the city is walkable, and with a German hotdog and mulled wine in hand, you’ll have plenty of fuel to see the whole city.

(Video) Top 10 Best Christmas Markets in the UK 2017

The Christmas markets run from the 12th November to 22nd December, however The Winter Gardens stay open a little later, until the 3rd January 2023. There’s plenty of bars, food stalls and craft sellers, plus a stage with live music and DJs.

Thinking of booking an overnight stay in Manchester this winter? Check out deals at Wowcher

Bath Christmas market

Best Christmas markets to visit in the UK (6)

Best for: stepping back in time

Bath Christmas market dates: 24th November 2022 to 11th December 2022

It’s the fairytale of Bath this winter as the city celebrates its 20th year of hosting a Christmas market. Bath is known for its beautiful Abbey, stunning architecture and old-worldly feel, and during Christmas, you’ll truly feel transported back in time.

Find out more about Bath Christmas market at Bath Christmas Market

Newcastle Christmas market

Best Christmas markets to visit in the UK (7)

Best for: atmosphere

Newcastle Christmas market dates: 2nd December 2022 to 24th December 2022

Newcastle Christmas market is fantastic for the whole family: it brings together local vendors and breweries with the farmer’s market, and there’s a Santa’s Grotto where Santa Claus will make a very special appearance after travelling all the way from the North Pole.

Buy Santa’s Grotto tickets from £13.37 at Eventbrite

Padstow Christmas Festival

Best Christmas markets to visit in the UK (8)

Best for: food

Padstow Christmas market dates: 1st December 2022 to 4th December 2022

This Padstow Christmas Festival may just be on for a few days, but it sure does pack a lot in. Expect celebrity guests like Rick Stein, Paul Ainsworth and Nathan Outlaw, cooking demonstrations, a fantastic food market, and a brilliant firework display.

(Video) 7 BEST THINGS ABOUT CHRISTMAS IN LONDON | Christmas Markets | Christmas Lights | Festive Decorations

Find out more about Padstow Christmas Festival at Padstow Christmas Festival

Belfast Continental Christmas market

Best Christmas markets to visit in the UK (9)

Best for: the whole family

Belfast Christmas market dates: 19th November 2022 to 22nd December 2022

Located at Donegall Square in Belfast, this continental Christmas market has something for everyone (and we mean everyone). The food court is home to cuisines from 32 nationalities from around the world, so expect everything from crêpes and pancakes to ostrich, wild boar and crocodile burgers.

There’s also plenty to keep the kids entertained, like a vintage helter-skelter, a Santa train, an Olaf ride and more.

Fancy making your own crêpes? Here’s how to make crêpes with BBC Good Food

If you’re travelling to the Northern Irish city, why not make a few days of it? Book an overnight stay from £89 at Wowcher

Lincoln Christmas market

Best Christmas markets to visit in the UK (10)

Best for: size

Lincoln Christmas market dates: 1st December 2022 to 4th December 2022

Now Lincoln isn’t exactly known for being a huge city, but its Christmas market is pretty ginormous. What started off as an 11 stall event now spans over 150 stalls full of food, drink, crafts, decorations, and more.

Find out more about Lincoln Christmas market at Lincoln Christmas Market

How to travel to Christmas markets on a budget

Now that you've picked the Christmas market of your winter wonderland dreams from the list above, you'll need to figure out how to get there. Driving is always an option, but with the current cost of petrol and potential traffic jams, taking public transport could be the simplest way to get to your destination.

Here's how to travel the UK on a budget.

How to get cheap train tickets

Unlike Chris Rea, we have no desire to sit in traffic. So we’re taking public transport to a Christmas market this year, primarily trains.

Train operators offer timetables 12 weeks in advance, so 12 weeks before your Christmas market trip is the best time to book tickets.

(Video) Top 5 Christmas Markets In The World | UNILAD Adventure

Railcards are a fantastic way to save money on train tickets; they help you save up to ⅓ of the cost, with an average saving of £142 per year. There are Railcards for lots of different people, from the 16-25 Railcard and Senior Railcard, to Two Together Railcard and Disabled Persons Railcard.

Buy a one-year Railcard for £30 at Railcard

Buy train tickets at Trainline

How to get cheap coach tickets

Travelling by coach is one of the team’s favourite ways to get around the UK. It’s cheap, there’s a toilet, and hardly anyone travels by coach (probably because it does add time to your journey in comparison to taking the train) so you usually have two seats to yourself.

In our experience, Megabus is the cheapest coach company to use, especially if you’re booking tickets last minute. Megabus travels between over 90 intercity destinations across the UK, and there’s the option to reserve your seat, too, just like on a train.

Buy coach tickets at Megabus

Christmas market breaks

If you’re travelling from city to city for a Christmas market, you may want to consider an overnight stay. Plus, if you haven’t visited that city before, it’s a great way to pack in some sightseeing.

Wowcher and Airbnb are great places to look for overnight stays in your chosen city. Wowcher usually offers an overnight stay at a top four star hotel, plus breakfast, whereas with Airbnb, you can choose what kind of home you'd like for the night.

Check out Christmas market breaks at Wowcher

Book an overnight stay at Airbnb

If you’re planning on venturing further afield, for example to somewhere in Europe, and EasyJet offer Christmas market packages, too.

Shop Christmas market breaks at

Shop Christmas market breaks at EasyJet

Before Christmas comes Halloween and to get you in the spooky mood, we have the best Halloween events across the UK and the best Halloween projector.


Which is the best Christmas market to go to in the UK? ›

Birmingham's Frankfurt Christmas market, best for traditional German food. Edinburgh Christmas market, best for a white Christmas. Nottingham Winter Wonderland, best for date night. London Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, best for ice skating.

Where is the most Christmassy place in the UK? ›

The UK's most & least festive cities
RankTown/CityAnnual searches for Christmas trees
11 more rows

Where is the most popular Christmas market? ›

11 of the Most Magical Christmas Markets in the World
  • Winter Village at Bryant Park, NYC, USA. ...
  • Munich, Germany. ...
  • Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen. ...
  • Great Dickens Christmas Fair, San Francisco, USA. ...
  • Stuttgart, Germany. ...
  • Christkindlesmarkt, Nuremburg, Germany. ...
  • Brussels Winter Wonders, Belgium.
11 Nov 2019

Will there be German Christmas markets in 2022? ›

Many of the bigger Christmas markets start the Friday before the first Sunday of Advent – that is, on Friday 25 November in 2022. Some towns and cities open their markets as early as the Monday before the first Advent Sunday, that is 21 November 2022.

Which is better Birmingham or Manchester Christmas market? ›

It beat competition from the likes of Birmingham, Nottingham and Edinburgh to be ranked top. According to the new research, Manchester Christmas Markets was the most-searched for festive event on Google - with over 60,000 searches a month and 8,000 mentions on Instagram.

What is the most Christmassy town in England? ›

Top 20 most Christmassy locations
RankingUK town or city'Christmas Rating' (max 100)
16 more rows
24 Nov 2021

Which UK city has best Christmas lights? ›

From Regent Street, to Covent Garden, and to the top of The Shard - London has the best Christmas lights around.

Is there a Christmas village in the UK? ›

This year, we have scoured the country for the prettiest winter villages. We have chosen 10 picturesque villages in the Peak District, North Yorkshire, Dorset and the Cotswolds, all with one thing in common; they are the perfect places to visit this Christmas.

Is Leeds having a Christmas market 2022? ›

From 4th November to 17th December 2022

Now in its 20th year, the annual festive event will feature a mix of traditionally decorated wooden chalet stalls selling seasonal gifts, ornaments, toy decorations and German delicacies including gluhwein, bratwurst sausages, schnitzels and much more.

Which is the best German Christmas market to visit? ›

With a history that dates back almost 600 years ago, Dresden Christmas Market, also known as Striezelmarkt, is the oldest and certainly one of the best Christmas fairs in Germany. It takes place each year at the end of November in the city's baroque Old Town, with the imposing Church of Our Lady as its backdrop.

Which is the biggest Christmas market? ›

Vienna Christmas World, Austria

Though there are 12 Christmas markets in Vienna, the largest and most popular one is Vienna's Christmas World. It's held in the large Rathausplatz square, facing Vienna City Hall.

What Christmas markets are on this year UK? ›

Christmas markets in England 2022
  • Birmingham Christmas Market 2022. Victoria Square, Birmingham. ...
  • Leeds' Winter Favourites 2022. ...
  • Hyde Park Winter Wonderland 2022. ...
  • Southbank Winter Festival 2022. ...
  • Manchester Christmas Markets 2022. ...
  • Winchester Christmas Market 2022. ...
  • Lincoln Christmas Market 2022. ...
  • York Christmas Market 2022.

Does Cambridge have a Christmas market 2022? ›

Join us at the Cambridge Science Park Christmas Market on Thursday 1 December between 11:30 and 14:00.

Is there a Christmas market at Blenheim Palace? ›

Artisan Christmas Market returns to Blenheim Palace with biggest ever collection of stall holders for 2022. Blenheim Palace's Great Court will be once again transformed into a spectacular Christmas Market from 18 November to 18 December this year.

What is the best city for shopping UK? ›

The Best Cities for Shopping in the UK
  • London. Shopping in London doesn't need too much introduction. ...
  • Manchester. With a plethora of fantastic shops, boutiques and markets, shopping in Manchester will keep you shopping until you're dropping. ...
  • Birmingham. ...
  • Leeds. ...
  • Edinburgh. ...
  • Brighton. ...
  • Glasgow.
24 Jun 2022

Where is the most beautiful Christmas? ›

Know about the best places in the world to go for Christmas celebration in a beautiful way.
  • Bethlehem, West Bank. ...
  • Lapland, Finland. ...
  • New York City, USA. ...
  • The Vatican, Italy. ...
  • Bondi Beach, Australia. ...
  • Munich, Germany. ...
  • Dublin, Ireland. ...
  • Vienna, Austria.
10 Dec 2021

Where is the most Christmassy place in the world? ›

Rovaniemi - Lapland, Finland

Rovaniemi in Lapland, Finland, may be the best place on earth to celebrate Christmas. Located just north of the Arctic Circle, Finns argue that it makes a much likelier home for Santa than even the North Pole.

What date do the Christmas lights go on in London 2022? ›

Carnaby and Covent Garden are illuminated on Tuesday November 8, Regent Street and St James's are illuminated on Wednesday November 9, and the rest of London's displays will follow suit by mid-November. See our full festive guide to Christmas in London.

Where is the Festival of lights UK? ›

The Festival of Light at Longleat - Visit Bristol.

Is Cardiff Christmas market good? ›

Cardiff christmas market is superb this year! If you haven't been yet, come and see all the beautiful products made by people we've supported at our stall in #CardiffChristmasMarket, opposite Burgerking. I bought some handmade marshmallow at the Cardiff Christmas market. And it is THE BEST THING I HAVE EVER EATEN!!

Where does it snow at Christmas in UK? ›

In the United Kingdom the most likely place to see snowfall on a Christmas Day is in North and North Eastern Scotland, in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire or the Highlands.

How long is Lapland UK experience? ›

LaplandUK is an original adaption of the Father Christmas story and the secret world of Elves brought to life through a 4-hour immersive experience of unprecedented scale and quality.

Is Winchester Christmas Market big? ›

Winchester Cathedral Christmas Market

A fixture in the city since 2006, this market sees over 400,000 visitors attend every year. This year there will be over 100 chalet huts selling everything from Christmas decorations to candles to handmade jewellery.

Are Birmingham Christmas markets Good? ›

Birmingham's 2022 Christmas market is one of the biggest and best in the UK. The markets are an annual event in the city's calendar usually launching six to seven weeks prior to Christmas.

Is Leeds having a Christmas Market 2022? ›

From 4th November to 17th December 2022

Now in its 20th year, the annual festive event will feature a mix of traditionally decorated wooden chalet stalls selling seasonal gifts, ornaments, toy decorations and German delicacies including gluhwein, bratwurst sausages, schnitzels and much more.

Which Christmas Market is best in London? ›

Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park is the biggest and most famous of all the Christmas markets in London. Originally opening in 2006, Winter Wonderland has grown to feature the UK's largest outdoor ice-skating rink, a giant Ferris Wheel, a magical ice kingdom, several foods, and merchandise stalls, and more.

Is Winchester Christmas market any good? ›

Winchester Christmas Market is located right next to Winchester Cathedral. It's beautifully decorated, has a great atmosphere with lots of delicious places to eat, drink and over 100 wooden chalets selling all manner of beautiful goods. What is this?

Do you need a ticket for Winchester Christmas market? ›

Friday – Saturday 10.00am – 8.00pm. Admission to the Christmas Market is free.

What date is Salisbury Christmas Market? ›

The city's retailers will have festive shopping covered and every Sunday from November 27 until December 18 there will be festive markets in market place.

Do you need tickets for Birmingham Christmas market? ›

Do I need a ticket for the Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market? Good news – you won't need a ticket to enter the market, but you will need some ID if you want to purchase alcohol at the event. Acceptable forms of ID are deemed to be either a photographic driving licence or a passport.

What dates are the Christmas markets in Liverpool? ›

Things are about to get festive as Liverpool's Christmas market prepares to reopen for the 2022 season. It's official: Liverpool Christmas Market will return this year from November 19 and we can't wait to get in the festive spirit!

What date does the Birmingham German market start? ›

The market will open on Thursday 3 November 2022, bringing with it the festive aroma of hot gluhwein, schnitzel and spicy sausage, which will fill New Street and Victoria Square for seven weeks until 23 December, opening at10am to 9pm daily - except on Remembrance Sunday, 13 November when it will open from 1pm to 9pm.

What date is Harrogate Christmas Market 2022? ›

According to Visit Harrogate you can experience the joy of Christmas in the heart of Yorkshire this December. Harrogate town centre will be hosting a new festive market between 2nd and 11th December 2022 featuring an eclectic mix of local traders and traditional European Christmas stalls.

Is the German market coming to Leeds 2022? ›

The news has just been released by the BBC. It has been announced this afternoon that the Leeds German Christmas Markets have been cancelled for another year.

Does Skipton have a Christmas market? ›

This award winning Christmas Market is packed with festive stalls and entertainment.

Is Hyde Park Winter Wonderland free? ›

Winter Wonderland tickets

Entry to Winter Wonderland is free during off-peak times, but entry at peak times and access to some activities require a paid-for ticket.

Is Leicester Square Christmas market Free? ›

Price Free Entry-.


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