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You Have to Visit these Christmas Markets in the UK if You’re There This December

Sipping on mulled wine while walking through market chalets is a winter wonderland not to be missed

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By House & Garden | December 5, 2023 | Travel Leisure

From Edinburgh to Bath, these are the best Christmas markets to visit in 2023, perfect for unusual presents and absorbing the atmosphere with some mulled wine

Few things can get you into the Christmas spirit like a fully immersive Christmas market, and in the UK we're spoilt for choice. Where better to pick up unusual, handmade gifts and make merry with friends, family and loved ones over some festive food and drink? Here's a round-up of the Christmas markets we're most looking forward to visiting in the UK. Road trip!

Edinburgh Christmas market

Where: East Princes Street Gardens, Parliament Square and Castle Street

When: From 24th November 2023 to 6th January 2024


Edinburgh’s main street is always bustling, but during the festive period it comes alive even more as Princes Street Gardens are inhabited by rows of wooden huts and funfair rides. Sip on a mulled wine, fly through the crisp winter air on mechanic swings or simply enjoy seeing Princes Street festooned with twinkling lights - it’s magical. It's one of the biggest and longest running you can visit. Expect traditional Christmas Markets and classic funfair rides. Over on the West Princes Street Gardens, there's Santa Land – a Christmas pop up for kids that has Santa's grotto (and Santa Paws for pooches) and a Christmas Tree Maze.

Expect traditional Christmas Markets and classic funfair rides. Image via Pexels.

Manchester Christmas market

Where: Albert Square

When: 10 November - 21 December


Manchester will be filled with festive pockets of Christmas markets for the season and the main hub of activity will be at Albert Square, where gluhwein will flow in abundance from the wooden huts. Catherine Square will host the family fun, with a skating rink and ice village, which will be themed around mythical beasts and royal regalia. The market will be filled with traditional stalls selling everything from scented candles to decorated cakes, wooden ornaments and other delightful trinkets.

Bath Christmas market

Where: Various streets throughout the centre

When: 23 November - 10 December


Over 150 twinkling chalets will return to Bath this winter after a hiatus in 2021. Sip on mulled wine as you meander through the golden Somerset city's cobblestone streets, this year's market is spread throughout. From 10am everyday, there'll be homeware, handmade jewellery and plenty of festive food available as choirs and dance troupes perform.

Charleston Designer and Maker Fair, Lewes

When: 25-26 November, 10am-4pm

Where: Charleston, Lewes, East Sussex, BN8 6LL


Price: £5 in advance, £6 on the door

No pressure on the artists and craftspeople lucky enough to exhibit their work at Charleston, the famed one-time home of the Bloomsbury Group’s Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant. Among them are 30 local designers showcasing everything from hand-thrown pottery and children’s clothes to jewellery and woven throws, as well as expert makers who will be running wreath making masterclasses for anyone who fancies themselves the next Bell or Grant. Don't come hungry, there'll be Italian-inspired festive treats to fuel your retail therapy to the tune of Tiramisu hot chocolate and candied fruit cannoli. You can also book a festive wreath-making workshop over the weekend with florist Sarah Whiting of Nettlewood Flower using locally-grown flowers and sustainable methods of floristry.

Great Dixter Late Night Shopping & Wreath-making Workshops, Rye

When: Workshops: 1, 2, 5, 8 & 9 Dec

Where: Great Dixter House and Gardens, Rye, TN31 6PH


Price: Free entry, £65 for the workshop

Escape the London throng and unearth some gems from rural makers for the garden lover in your life at Great Dixter's late night shopping events. Or spend an wintry weekend day perfecting your wreath making skills inside the medieval Great Hall at Great Dixter, using sustainable materials harvested on site.

Birmingham ‘Frankfurt’ Christmas market

Where: Victoria Square and New Street

When: 2 November - 24 December


While many of the UK’s Christmas markets are in the image of the German model, Birmingham goes one step further and brings Frankfurt to its centre by naming it Frankfurt Christmas Market Birmingham. The German market brings with it a multitude of fairy light strings, which cover the whole space in a warming glow. From 10am - 9pm daily, the market will be abuzz with traders and locals, as well as people who travel far and wide for one of the UK’s best Christmas markets.

Sip on mulled wine as you meander through the UK’s cobblestone streets. Image via Pexels.

York Christmas market

Where: Parliament Street

When: 16 November - 23 December


York’s Christmas market, St Nicholas Fair, has previously won the award for ‘Best Large Speciality Market’ at the Great British Market Awards, which goes to prove its popularity. Parliament Street is filled with festive foods, strings of dried fruit decorations and local traders selling lovely gifts, while Kings Square is transformed into a winter funfair, complete with an old fashioned Helter Skelter. Fuel up on local Yorkshire fare and you’re good to go.

Southbank Winter Festival (London)

Where: Southbank

When: 3 November 2022 – 8 January 2023 (dates tbc)


Few locations can rival the appeal of London’s winter market, which is set along the Thames. Once the sun sets, the lights from the market’s many Alpine chalets add to the lights on London’s buildings against an inky winter sky and it is truly magical. As always, there is gluhwein galore, hot apple cider and covered fire pits to warm up with after a spot of shopping – whether for yourself or others.

Chatsworth Christmas market

Where: Lodge Hill

When: 4 November -26 November


Aside from Chatsworth House's much anticipated Christmas makeover each year, the Derbyshire estate also has a delightful (and very popular) festive market each year. Set against the backdrop of the historic house, expect all the trimmings of a traditional German-style market, including mulled cider, handmade trinkets and festive food. Once you've finished exploring there's also the estate's own shops including the Orangery in the garden and the stables shop in the stables courtyard – with lots of lovely stocking fillers and home gifts.

As well as the chalets of products, there is a food court and British Crafts Village, where locally produced artisan pieces are sold. Image via Pexels.

Winchester Christmas market

Where: Winchester Cathedral, The Close Winchester SO23 9LS

When: 17 November - 21 December


Traders travel from far and wide to take up residence in one of Winchester’s Christmas market stalls, set against the backdrop of the gothic cathedral (the longest in Europe). As well as the chalets of products, there is a food court and British Crafts Village, where locally produced artisan pieces are sold. It’s well worth a visit.

Liverpool Christmas Market

Where: St Johns Gardens; William Brown Street; the North Entrance of Georges Hall.

When: 19 November - 24 December


Local artisan food and drink, cute and creative crafts and magical fairground rides are all on offer in Liverpool's annual Christmas Market which takes over St John's Gardens. This is a fantastic day (or evening) out for the family, with little wooden huts dotted around to sit and eat some of the delicious and inventive food sold in the countless stalls.

Christmas at Blenheim Palace

Where: St Johns Gardens; William Brown Street; the North Entrance of Georges Hall.

When: 17 November - 17 December


Held in the Great Court, you'll discover treasurable gifts and enjoy some sweet indulgence as you browse wooden chalets filled with a wide range of arts, crafts and tempting treats for foodies. You'll also find ceramics, textiles, homewares and jewellery makers selling their wares. It's all part of a larger programme of events at the Palace which includes The Story of Sleeping Beauty which sees Palace rooms transformed by the retelling of the classic fairytale. This year there is also a magical after dark, illuminated trail through the grounds.