7 Christmas Markets In The UK That Are Worth Visiting

The UK has many Christmas markets, each offering unique experiences and traditions. Whether visiting for the first time or returning for Christmas, these markets allow you to enjoy the sights and sounds of the festive season.

The first market to be established in England was St Nicholas Market in Newcastle upon Tyne. Today, there are more than 100 Christmas markets across the country, from Edinburgh to Brighton. Each market offers shoppers a chance to find unique gifts, sample local foods, and get into the festive spirit. Here is our pick of the best!

Kids looking at candy and pastry on Christmas market
Children window shopping on traditional Christmas markets on a snowy winter day.

Here’s our pick of the best.

  • Bath Christmas Market
  • Manchester Christmas Market
  • Exeter Cathedral Christmas Market
  • London Christmas Market’s
  • Frankfurt Christmas Market, Birmingham
  • Winchester Cathedral Christmas Market
  • Brighton Christmas Festival, Sussex

Bath Christmas Market

Step back in time and discover the wonderful world of Christmas in Bath. It’s where the scent of Christmas dances through the air, traditional artisan makers line the streets, and festive cheer lies on every corner. At Bath Christmas Market, you are bound to make memories that last a lifetime, or so their website says.

Festive fun between Thursday, 24th November and Sunday, 11th December.

Manchester Christmas Market

With over 220 stalls across nine sites throughout the city centre, this year’s Christmas Markets are set to bring some much-needed festive cheer to the city’s streets and squares in the run-up to Christmas.  

Twenty-four years after the first-ever Manchester Christmas Market in 1998, the markets continue to attract visitors to the city in their thousands to fill up on the fantastic festive treats on offer. 

Christmas market Albert Square, Manchester, England.

For those who look forward to a seasonal skate, Skate Manchester’s family-friendly covered ice rink will once again take up its usual spot in Cathedral Gardens, where skaters can skate around a beautiful Christmas tree and enjoy twinkling lights, the smell of gingerbread, and Christmas songs on repeat. 

Manchester’s world-famous Christmas Markets are now open until Thursday, 22nd December.

Exeter Christmas Market

Make it a day out to remember at Exeter Cathedral Christmas Market. You’ll discover something for everyone, with over a hundred twinkling festive chalets, local gifts and produce, themed bars, global street food, seasonal entertainment and free entry into the incredible Exeter Cathedral.

Get into the festive spirit between 18 November to 18 December 2022 on Cathedral Green, Exeter.

Young Friends Posing For Selfie At Christmas Market
Young Friends Posing For Selfie At Christmas Market

London Christmas Market’s

There are so many Christmas Markets in London; it’s hard to choose just one! They offer something different, so check out the best London Christmas markets in 2022. If you’re looking for more ways to get into the festive spirit, then we’ve rounded up the most Christmassy markets you can attend this Christmas. With Covent Garden being our personal favourite.

London, UK - November 05, 2019: christmas decoration on ceiling with shops at borough Market in London
  • Southbank Centre Winter Market
  • Covent Garden Christmas markets
  • Leicester Square Christmas market
  • King’s Cross Christmas markets
  • Christmas by the River at London Bridge City
  • Borough Market at Christmas
  • Winter Wonderland Christmas market

Frankfurt Christmas Market, Birmingham

Located in the city centre of Birmingham, England, the Frankfurt Christmas market offers shoppers a chance to shop at stalls selling everything from handmade gifts to local produce. Visitors will find more than 200 stands across the park, each offering something different.

Christmas market in Birmingham city centre during the night

The market has been running since 2010, becoming one of the most popular attractions in the area. Visitors come from far and wide each year to enjoy the festive atmosphere and sample some of the best seasonal treats. There are plenty of things to see and do at the market, such as live music performances, craft workshops, and children’s activities.

The market is open from Thursday, 3rd November, to Friday, 23rd December 2022

Winchester Cathedral Christmas Market

It’s not hard to see why Winchester Cathedral Christmas Market is one of the best in Europe.

Winchester Cathedral’s Christmas Market is renowned for its buzzing atmosphere, stunning location (the Cathedral backdrop is fantastic) and handpicked high-quality exhibitors, which attracts visitors worldwide.

The wooden chalets are inspired by traditional German Christmas Markets and combined with the festive lighting, the sound of Christmas carols and the aroma of mulled wine and cinnamon drifting in the air. It truly is a fantastic experience. It is one of my favourite Christmas markets, and I’m a sucker for all the food stalls!

Winchester Cathedral Christmas Market 18th November – 22nd December 2022.

Revellers at Christmas market outside Winchester Cathedral, Hampshire, UK

Brighton Christmas Festival, Sussex

Located between St. Peter’s Church and Valley Gardens, Brighton Christmas Market is just a stone’s throw from The Brighton Lanes, the cultural quarter, the Royal Pavilion, and the vibrant shopping streets of the city centre.

german sausages on the grill at the Evening Christmas market

I also believe it is a recent attraction to Brighton or updated to be a larger event. It is free to enter the traditional Christmas Market. It is a city-wide event, so there are many unique attractions for you to visit and some fantastic shows to see; there’s nowhere better to celebrate Christmas with family and friends.

Running for five weeks, from the 18th of November to the 24th of December.

There you have our 7 Christmas Markets In The UK that are worth visiting; there are plenty more that I could mention; a few honourable mentions include Chichester Christmas Market, Gunwharf Quays Christmas Village and our local Petersfield Christmas Festival. There are many Christmas fairs, school fetes, Christmas markets, and other Christmas festivities to enjoy this year.

Please let me know in the comments below, if you attend any Christmas markets and what your favourite is.

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  1. Jenny Marston says:

    Fab post! I went to the Birmingham Christmas market this year and honestly, I wasn’t THAT impressed by it. My Mum said she went one year and it was amazing and the following year it was rubbish, so maybe it just depends on what the overall climate is like on any given year. I was really hoping to get to Bath this Christmas for a little break and would definitely have visited the Christmas market but sadly that didn’t happen. Maybe next year!

    1. alittlebitsocial2 says:

      Thank you, Jenny; I’ve heard many mixed reviews about Birmingham and Manchester, especially this year. As you say, it’s a bit hit or miss. I’d love to do Bath, it looks amazing, especially with the backdrop of the city.

  2. Oh wow all the Christmas markets sound amazing to visit! I also love that they are on the larger side with a good number of stalls, food, and activities as the ones in Denmark are on the smaller side.

    1. alittlebitsocial2 says:

      Due to covid, this is the first year the Christmas markets are back to normal, which means full capacity and stalls etc. So it has been a treat. I’ve heard great things about the ones in Denmark too.

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