It’s that time of year where we’re all getting excited for the big day: we’ve cooked flat Christmas dinners and done Secret Santa, now we’re drinking mulled wine and running around trying to find the perfect gifts for everyone. One of the best parts of Christmas is undoubtedly the Christmas markets. If you’re looking for a great place to spend some time getting really in the Christmas spirit, here’s a list of our top five Christmas markets where you’ll find great food and drink, the best handmade Christmas gift ideas, activities, attractions and more!

  1. London

London’s Winter Wonderland will have you so excited for Christmas even on the approach to the decorated entrance arch. This really is a ‘wonderland’, housing everything you could want on a Christmas-themed evening. There are circuses, the biggest outdoor ice rink in the UK, a children’s area with Santa’s grotto, fairground rides, a huge wheel, and several themed bars, including an ice bar where drinks are even served in ice receptacles! Whether you’re looking for a family day out, a romantic date walking around the food and craft stalls listening to your favourite Christmas songs, or a fun-filled thrilling evening of rides and beer, this is definitely one of the best places to get in the Christmas spirit. Runs until 3rd January 2016.

Winter Wonderland

  1. Birmingham

One of the biggest, this is sure to get you in the Christmas spirit. Not only do you have the variety of German Bratwursts, pretzels and chocolate crepes on offer, but there’s something for everyone, with traditional Christmas decorations and winter-wear on sale alongside hearty German beers. You’ll also be able to enjoy traditional Christmas carols being sung as well as festive sounds from the iconic Christmas Moose! If you fancy a ride, why not hop on the carousel? Runs until 22nd December 2015.


  1. Edinburgh

With multiple markets available for you to enjoy, there’s undoubtedly something for everyone. The Scottish Market offers lots of different kinds of Scottish meats in addition to chocolatey deserts and treats. You can also do a bit of Christmas shopping here, with the stalls selling various crafts such as jewellery and handmade pieces. At the children’s market, you can find a range of Christmassy activities to amuse the little ones in addition to plenty of gift stalls. Runs until 1st January 2016.


  1. Nottingham

Obviously. This genuinely is a great Christmas market, with craft stalls, stalls selling a variety of themed food and scrumptious deserts, an atmospheric ice rink situated in front of the town hall and a large bar area. They serve Christmas drinks such as mulled wine and warm toffee apple cider to warm you on those cold December nights, and you can rest assured there is also a good Christmas playlist. If you fancy a bit of food, options range widely from beef to venison, from mushy peas and chips to ostrich burgers, and then from chocolate-covered strawberries to churros and muffins. Runs until 3rd January 2016.


  1. Manchester

The Christmas markets in Manchester are spread over ten locations, so you’ll definitely have plenty of options! In total, you’ll find nearly 350 stalls in the guise of typical Christmas chalets selling festive gifts, food, drink and lots more including clothes and jewellery. Again, there’s something for everyone whether you’re looking for Christmas gifts for family and friends, wanting a good traditional Bratwurst or just looking for a nice atmospheric night out in a festive setting. Runs until 21st December 2015.


Jill Forsdick

Featured image: Rachel Docherty via Flickr. Embedded images: Mack Male, Bob Hall, Tom Austin, DncnH & Andy Hay via Flickr.

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