This year Christmas markets across the UK are back with a bang, and following months of restrictions, they’re bigger and better than ever. Is there a more festive way to spend a cold winter evening than surrounded by good food, mulled wine, and Christmassy tidbits? I don’t think so.
With city streets adorned with twinkling lights, carousels, and winter cabins selling mugs of steaming hot cocoa — Christmas markets are a surefire way to soak up some festive joy. Not only can you stock up on presents to buy for friends and family, but it’s also an excellent place to create some cute content for the ‘gram. Think of all the snow-covered chalets and the reindeer lights!
From cute cabins along London’s Southbank to stalls right outside Winchester Cathedral, there are markets up and down the UK that would make the perfect backdrop for a festive IG post. It’s time to dig out your best cosy Christmas jumper (the cheesier the better), warm gloves, and boots, and venture out the house.
There are also plenty of places to find stocking fillers for friends and family in these markets but if you’re thinking of slightly more substantial gifts for your loved ones make sure to check out our
decadent Christmas gift guide or even our collection of the best gifts for the TV lover in your life.
In the meantime, keep reading to find out about the UK’s most Instagrammable markets and where to find them.
1 Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market Orietta Gaspari/iStock Unreleased/Getty Images November 4 to December 23
The Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market is a little slice of Christmas market heaven. As the largest authentic German market outside Germany and Austria, you can immerse yourself in the real thing without paying for a flight. There’s no shortage of things to do including taking a ride on the huge carousel wheel, sampling countless cuisines, and browsing stalls full of sweet trinkets.
2 Edinburgh Christmas Market Orietta Gaspari/iStock Unreleased/Getty Images November 20 to January 4
After walking around the cobblestone lanes of Old Town, Edinburgh, head over to Princes Street. There you’ll find the gorgeous Edinburgh Christmas Market lighting up the main road. There’s local food, drinks and crafts, as well as the Forth 1 Big Wheel and an alpine ice rink. If that’s not enough, it’s all against the backdrop of Edinburgh Castle.
3 Manchester Christmas Market Alberto Manuel Urosa Toledano/Moment Unreleased/Getty Images November 12 to January 3
The Christmas markets and winter gardens in the centre of Manchester are bigger than ever this year. The traditional Christmas market runs across six city centre areas: St Ann’s Square, Exchange Square, New Cathedral Street, King Street, Market Street, and Cathedral Gardens until December 22. You can find global food, ice-skating, beers, wines, and of course, a giant Santa. This year, you can also experience the winter-themed Piccadilly Gardens, which has been transformed into a hub of Christmassy bars.
4 Winchester Cathedral’s Christmas Market November 19 to December 22
Winchester Cathedral’s Christmas Market is best known for its photo-worthy unique location. Attracting over 400,000 visitors per year, the authentic wooden chalets are located in the Cathedral’s historic Inner Close. Providing a bustling and gorgeous atmosphere, you can have your fill of Christmas spirit and come back for more. Found at the centre of Winchester, it’s the quintessential British Christmas experience.
5 Glasgow Christmas Market Orietta Gaspari/iStock Unreleased/Getty Images November 21 to December 23
With the cancellation of the St George Christmas market, all festivities have moved to St Enoch Square this year in Glasgow. You’ll find more than 50 chalets selling bratwurst sausages, crepes, and their speciality decadent hot chocolate. If you’re after something different this Christmas, give the market’s exotic selection of ostrich, wild boar and crocodile burgers a try. It’s the ideal way to explore the streets of Glasgow this winter.
6 Hyde Park Winter Wonderland November 19 to January 3
Hyde Park Winter Wonderland is the go-to Christmas Market in London this season. Full of amusement rides, mulled wine, gorgeous lights and buzzing atmosphere — it’s not one to miss. There’s an activity for everyone, whether you love ice-skating, a thrill ride, tasting new cuisines, or need the perfect location to take your latest Insta pics. Make sure to pre-book your visit
on their website. 7 Belfast Continental Christmas Market NurPhoto/NurPhoto/Getty Images November 20 to December 23
Centred around the vintage-style helter-skelter, the Belfast Christmas market has Christmassy delights in spades. With a carousel and local food, as well as treats from 32 different countries, it’s the perfect place to have your evening dinner followed by a stroll around the various stalls.
8 York St Nicholas Fair OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images November 18 to December 23
Nestled in the heart of Parliament Street and St Sampson’s Square, this Christmas market is the best way to explore York. It’s filled with alpine-style chalets scattered across the area selling drinks, food, and festive trinkets. Make sure to also visit the historic Shambles market, which is home to a wide range of local traders.
9 Cardiff Christmas Market Matthew Horwood/Getty Images News/Getty Images November 11 to December 23
Located in the heart of Cardiff, this cosy market prides itself on the handmade and authentic items sold at its stalls. Take in the vibrant atmosphere and lose yourself to an evening of Christmas mooching in the Welsh capital. A highlight is the number of crafty stalls available to browse including the Concrete Corner, Gelicious Melts, and Glassworks Design.
10 Southbank Centre Winter Market Future Publishing/Future Publishing/Getty Images November 4 to December 24
Is there anything more delightful than strolling along the Thames under twinkling Christmas lights? Well, add chalet stalls placed along the riverside and you’ve got the perfect Christmas evening. If you’re feeling peckish, you can soothe your stomach with plates of truffle burgers, mince pies, and fondue, and wash them down with mulled wine or a hot toddy. This year’s Southbank Winter Market is, as always, free to enter and explore.
11 Flowerfield Christmas Craft Market November 20 to December 23
Located on the north coast of Northern Ireland, the award-winning Flowerfield Art Centre is back with its annual Christmas craft market. With a range of handmade gifts, artwork, and jewellery, there are plenty of treasures and trinkets to marvel at as you wander through. Guests are encouraged to pre-book a visiting slot on the