13 of Britain's Best Christmas markets to visit in 2023
Make Christmas magical this year with our free guide to Britain's Best Christmas Markets 🎁 🎄
Photo Credit - Tourismus + Congress GmbH Frankfurt
1. Birmingham Christmas Market
Dates - 2 November - 24th December
Location - Victoria Square & New Street
The Birmingham Christmas Market, renowned as the largest authentic German market outside Germany and Austria, transforms the heart of Birmingham into a festive wonderland each year. Brimming with over 80 stalls, it sprawls from Victoria Square down to the main shopping area. A fragrant aroma of mulled wine, roasted nuts, and traditional German sausages fills the air, luring visitors to the rustic wooden huts. Handcrafted toys, ornaments, and intricate decorations present a delightful array of choices for those searching for the perfect gift. The atmosphere is further enriched by the sound of carolers and live music, bringing traditional and contemporary festive tunes to the ears of joyful shoppers. At the center, an ornate carousel spins, its colorful lights casting a magical glow, especially as night descends.
2. Edinburgh Christmas Market
Dates - 17th November -
Location - East Princes Street Gardens
Discover the magic of Edinburgh's Christmas Market while sipping on a festive cup of mulled Irn Bru. Meander through ornate stalls offering handcrafted gifts and delectable street food. For a touch of enchantment, take a whirl at Santa Land's fairground or have a memorable encounter with Santa in his grotto. If you seek a break from the yuletide cheer, ascend to Arthur’s Seat for a panoramic view, relish a meal at a local restaurant, or embark on a historical journey through the iconic Edinburgh Castle.
3. Southbank Christmas Market
Location - Southbank, London
Southbank Christmas Market beckons with its rows of quaint wooden chalets, all aglow with twinkling fairy lights, offering unique gifts and artisanal decorations. Set against the enchanting backdrop of the Thames, the market resonates with joyous festive performances and the melodious voices of carol singers. For an elevated view of the city's dazzling Christmas illuminations, consider a mesmerizing ride on the London Eye.
4. York Christmas Market
Dates - 16th November to 22nd December
Location - Parliament Square and St Sampson’s Square, York
Dubbed the St Nicholas Fair, York Christmas Market illuminates the city with 70 alpine chalets adorned in twinkling fairy lights. These chalets showcase artisanal gifts and local delicacies. Treat your taste buds to authentic Swiss cuisine at The Winter Hütte, pairing it with a warming glass of gluhwein or spiced cider. Beyond the market, take a journey through time by walking along the medieval city walls, meandering through The Shambles, or marveling at the grandeur of York Minster.
5. Manchester Christmas Market
Dates - 10th November - 21st Devember
Location - Albert Square, Manchester M2 5DB
This year, the city center will radiate festive cheer with over 220 stalls spread across nine key locations, marking the 24th anniversary of the beloved Manchester Christmas Markets. Since their inception in 1998, these markets have drawn locals and visitors alike, eager for the season's delights. Iconic ski chalet stalls will dominate sites including the transformed Winter Gardens at Piccadilly, Market Street, Cathedral Gardens, Exchange Street, New Cathedral Street, St Ann's Square, Exchange Square, The Corn Exchange, and King Street. Enhancing the city's festive ambiance, the enchanting Manchester Christmas lights trail returns, casting a festive glow with its immersive giant baubles, the iconic Manchester bee, and the watchful gaze of Santa Claus, overseeing the festive proceedings from his prime spot in front of the Central Library on St Peter's Square.
Photo Credit - Shakespeare Birthplace Trust
6. Stratford-upon-Avon Victorian Christmas Market
Dates - 7th - 10th Dec
Location - Waterside, Bridge Street, Henley Street, High Street and Meer Street
The eagerly-awaited Stratford-upon-Avon Victorian Christmas Market returns, promising an even grander festive spectacle. Stratford's historic avenues will once again morph into a yuletide haven, ensuring an unforgettable holiday experience for all. Dive into history among 300+ stalls, where traders in Victorian garb offer a medley of seasonal treasures, turning shopping into a mesmerizing temporal journey. Feast on festive delicacies, from roasted chestnuts to the traditional mulled wine and cider, evoking the true spirit of Christmas. Celebrated as the 'Best Large Specialty Market' at the Great British Market Awards, this event is undeniably a festive highlight. Join the festivities on Waterside, Bridge Street, Henley Street, High Street, and Meer Street.