Discovering the best British markets to celebrate the holiday season
When I picture the holidays in Europe, I instantly imagine Christmas markets. What’s more festive than sipping a warm drink while walking through decorated stalls of treats, toys, and holiday goods? Some of Europe’s most famous Christmas markets are in Austria and Germany, but you can find them all over the continent. In fact, Great Britain has many! Dozens of cities across the region put together their own holiday markets. Here are a few of the top Christmas markets in Great Britain.
Get in the holiday spirit at the Bath Christmas Market. From November 24 to December 11, there are more than 170 wooden chalets that line the streets around the Roman Baths. The vendors sell holiday decorations, ceramics, glassware, woodwork, jewelry, and many other local, handmade goods. And of course, there is plenty to eat and drink. Bath is very festive during the holidays!
Frankfurt Christmas Market is the largest German Christmas market outside of Austria and Germany. With more than 120 stalls, the market comes together in Birmingham’s Victoria Square from November 17 to December 29. Staying true to German tradition, the food and drinks are the main attractions. Visitors can sip gluhwein (mulled wine) or weissbeer (wheat beer), while gorging on bratwursts, pretzels, schnitzels, pastries, roasted nuts, and more.
One of the best Christmas markets in Wales takes place in Cardiff. From November 10 to December 23, more than 80 wooden stalls pop up in the city center to sell art, candles, ceramics, glasswork, lotions, woodwork, and more. You’ll also find craft beer, baked goods, fine chocolates, and other treats at the Cardiff Christmas Market.
From November 19 to January 7, Christmas takes over Edinburgh with holiday attractions, rides, and events. There are Christmas markets too! Head to St Andrew Square for the Scottish Market and you’ll find tasty food, drink, and crafts. Go to the Mound Precinct to see the art, gifts, and treats at the European Market. Or stop by the Children’s Market to pick out gifts for the little ones in your life.
There are handful of Christmas markets in London, but two popular ones are Southbank Centre Christmas Market and Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland. From November 11 to January 8, Southbank Centre is decked out with traditional wooden chalets. The vendors sell mulled wine, sweet treats, delicious food, and handmade goods. From November 18 to January 2, Hyde Park hosts a massive amount of holiday entertainment. Among that, there is a large market made up of 200 stalls selling gifts, treats, Christmas decorations, hot chocolate with marshmallows, and more.
More than 9 million people visit Manchester during the holiday season to experience the 10 different markets across the city. From November 10 to December 20, there are 300 stalls displaying toys, jewelry, clothes, art, and lots of food and drink. Also, the markets vary in style. There is a German market in St Ann’s Square, a French market on King Street, an international market on Brazennose Street, and more. It certainly feels like the center of Christmas!
Just outside Winchester Cathedral, 100 wooden chalets are set up to sell German-inspired fare, as well as British treats and handmade crafts. From November 18 to December 20, you can pair a warm cup of mulled wine with bratwurst and mince pies. There is also an open air ice rink right next to Winchester Cathedral Christmas Market.
The holidays are a magical time to visit Great Britain. There are loads of holiday celebrations and Christmas markets all around the country. To save money on your vacation, make sure to book your flights and hotel at the same time. You can save up to $600 on your trip if you book a vacation package on Expedia. And if you haven’t made travel plans for Christmas yet, don’t worry! Expedia’s data shows that the best time to book flights is 7–13 days before Christmas. Surprising, right? To learn more about traveling in Great Britain, check out our trip planner for flights, hotels, things to do, and upcoming events.
Which British Christmas markets do you want to visit?
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