Winter Wonderland: The UK's Best Christmas Markets Uncovered
Photo © David Dixon
You don't need to go abroad to enjoy some great Christmas markets this festive season. Last month we shared some of the top Christmas markets to visit in Europe and this month it is time to focus on the amazing markets taking place near you in the UK. What are you waiting for? Wrap up warm and get out there.
Manchester is a great place to head for to get into the Christmas spirit and the city hosts several Christmas markets. For German gingerbread, biscuits and wooden toys, the German market in St Ann's Square is perfect, while the arts and crafts market on Exchange Street is the perfect place to find last-minute gifts. The world market on Brazennose Street sells a range of handmade leather goods and jewellery, or head for the French-themed market on King Street for some Christmas cheese, meat and other delicacies.
Exeter Christmas market, which is only in its second year, is held on the Cathedral Green grounds. Local stall holders showcase a variety of delicious food, such as hog roast, crepes, cheeses and Belgian chocolates, and a range of hand-crafted gifts and ornaments. It is worth visiting for the beautiful setting in the historic grounds alone.
Scotland's capital holds festive markets that run into the new year, attracting visitors from across the globe. The Scottish market sells locally-sourced food and drink and is the perfect place to pick up some Edinburgh gin or locally-produced smoked salmon. The traditional German market runs until 4th January and sells amazing hand-crafted German wooden ornaments and children's toys. All this is set against a backdrop of children's rides and amusements, with a big wheel offering stunning views over the city. Don't forget to relax and enjoy a mug of mulled wine while you browse the stalls.
Hyde Park's Winter Wonderland is probably the best-known attraction in London at Christmas, with its observation wheel, circus and outdoor ice rink alongside the Christmas market. Alternatively, head for the traditional market at the Southbank Centre, which runs until 4th January, to pick up hand-crafted decorations, toys and delicious food from around the globe.
The Christkindelmarkt in Leeds is held in Millennium Square and is the place to visit if German food is your thing. Goulash, pretzels and bratwurst sausages can all be washed down with some gluhwein (mulled wine), while there is a carousel for the children. There are plenty of Christmas markets worth visiting in the UK and these are our top five picks for the season. Which will you be heading to?