The smell of bratwurst hangs in the air as you sip a mug of hot mulled wine. Food, gifts and entertainment aplenty from around Europe sits in festive wooden huts for you to browse at your pleasure. It can only be the Christmas markets. So where do you find the best UK Christmas markets?
Here are the best 10 UK Christmas markets in our opinion, when they start and some other details about them for 2016.
- Bristol Christmas Market 2016
Often over-shadowed by near-neighbours Bath, the city of Bristol is expanding their Christmas market for 2016 with more than a mile of European chalets offering a host of gifts, food and drink. This year also sees the addition of a new Jägerbarn bar and beer garden.
When: 11th November until 24th December
- Edinburgh Christmas Market 2016
Located near the winter ice rink and with a kid’s market nearby at Santa Land, Edinburgh’s Christmas markets are undoubtedly one of the best in the UK, and the longest-running. It returns to the familiar position on East Princess Street Gardens for 2016 and features both a European area offering the usual array of multicultural gifts, as well as a Scottish area with locally sourced food and drink and handmade gifts.
When: 18th November until 8th January
- Manchester Christmas Market 2016
The city of Manchester is possibly one of the UK’s finest Christmas markets and brings huge numbers of visitors in to the city. There are around 300 wooden chalets housing stores with gifts, food and drink from many cultures and countries, and it’s spread across the city. Don’t miss this one.
When: 10th November until 20th December
- York Christmas Market 2016
When it comes to charm, the historic city of York has it in buckets. Set against the backdrop of York Minster, the York markets will feature gifts and produce from around Europe, as well as some local Yorkshire produce and gifts.
When: 17th November until 23rd December
- Belfast Christmas Market 2016
If you’ve never visited Belfast’s Christmas Market, then 2016 may be the year for you to do so. The country is celebrating the culmination of its Year of Food and Drink, and to celebrate has added an additional 20 stalls to an already sprawling marketplace.
Located in the gardens of the iconic City Hall, Belfast’s continental market promises to be one of the best.
When: 19th November until 22nd December
- Bath Christmas Market 2016
Bath is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and its market takes place at the very heart of this ornate and historic city. With more than 170 traditional wooden chalets spread round he streets, it’s as compact as it is large. The market is predominantly made up of local businesses with handmade crafts, gifts and locally sourced food and drink. With the stunning cathedral and famous Roman Baths a stone’s throw away, Bath should be on your list to visit.
- Chester Christmas Market 2016
Another one of England’s historic cities, Chester’s Christmas Markets have improved and grown substantially in recent years. With lots of local food and drink from Cheshire and North Wales, as well as some traditional European stalls, it’s a charming market to visit in the run-up to the festive season.
When:18th November until 18th December
- Birmingham Christmas Market 2016
England’s second city is a must-see at Christmas, as the very heart of the place is transformed in to a winter wonderland. It’s enormous Christmas market is now the biggest outside of Germany and is incredibly popular with visitors. It’s an extraordinary place to visit, but try if you can to go in early December and avoid weekends – it gets incredibly busy.
When:17th November until 29th December
- Lincoln Christmas Market 2016
The city of Lincoln is often not on people’s radar when it comes to Christmas, but it really should be. The Lincoln Christmas Market is incredibly impressive and boasts more than 200 individual market stalls, rivalling many of the UK’s in size. There is also a 48-page souvenir guide available for just £1 which tells you everything you need to know about the event. However, it’s one of the shortest Christmas markets running for only a few days each year.
When: 1st December until 4th December
- Southampton Christmas Market 2016
For those in the southern parts of the UK, Southampton offers a unique Christmas experience. Their market is part of their Christmas Festival and features a flying Santa in a sleigh. No, really. Additionally, the market stalls are all designed by skilled set designers, meaning they may be the most stunning to look at!
When: 12th November until 23rd December