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The Best UK Christmas Markets to Visit This Festive Season

18 Nov 2022 by Liz Tod

There’s nothing like a Christmas market to get you into the festive way!

They’re a much-loved Christmas tradition.

In fact, did you know that, in 2021, 25% of our Christmas gifts were bought at Christmas markets (Statista 2022)?!

But when do UK Christmas markets start?

Most UK Christmas market dates start in mid-November, though keep an eye out for the shorter Christmas markets, which are often only over one weekend in December.


Here are our 10 top picks for UK Christmas markets:


1. Edinburgh Christmas market 2022

19th November – 3rd January.

10am – 10pm.

The two main markets are located at East Princes St Gardens and George St and several other smaller ones too.

A wonderfully festive atmosphere.

Delicious food and drink and great Christmas shopping with over 70 vendors.

Enjoy an ice rink, Santa Land for the kids and many other festivities throughout this vibrant city.

Take the kids to Edinburgh Christmas market for a go on one of the many festive rides. Photo by Ross Sneddon on Unsplash.


2. Winter Wonderland in London’s Hyde Park

18th November – 2nd January.

Tickets required for peak times.

Known as ‘Winter Wonderland’ this is one of London’s biggest Christmas markets.

It has the UK’s largest outdoor ice rink, over 100 wooden cabins brimming with hand-made goods, a giant observation wheel, a magical ice kingdom and winter wonderland shows.

Enjoy a variety of street food, live music, mulled wine, Bavarian beer and more.


3. Manchester Christmas market

10th November – 22nd December.

10am – 9pm.

This was the 1st Christmas market in the UK and now has more than 9 million visitors a year.

There are around 300 stalls over the streets and squares.

There’s also much more on offer throughout the city -  a Christmas Lights Trail, a covered ice rink, live music, DJs and a huge variety of food vendors.

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Explore the stalls in Manchester - officially the UK’s biggest Christmas market! Photo by Rebecca Campbell on Unsplash.


4. Lincoln Christmas market

1st December – 4th December.

10am – 9.30pm.

A wonderfully atmospheric Christmas market spread over 4 days in the historic city of Lincoln (also home to British Hamper HQ!).

Situated in the city’s Cathedral Quarter and inside the medieval walls of Lincoln Castle, this hugely popular market offers a wide selection of food and drink, interesting artisan stalls and fairground rides.

Enjoy Lincolnshire ale and Lincolnshire sausage German-Christmas style!


5. Nottingham Christmas market

15th November – 31st December.

Known locally as Nottingham Winter Wonderland, this is a lively and atmospheric market spread over Old Market Square and Trinity Square.

There are over 70 traditional Bavarian-style stalls with wonderful artisan foods, mulled wine, plants, hand-made gifts, jewellery, eco-art, outdoor skating, bars and a Big Wheel..…..something to suit everyone!

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Head to one of the many stalls at Nottingham’s Christmas market to find a handmade Christmas gift! Photo by Oleksandr Pidvalnyi.


6. Exeter cathedral Christmas market

18th November – 18th December.

10am – 7pm or 9pm depending on the date.

This is Devon’s biggest Christmas market, situated on Cathedral Green.

Lots of fun family entertainment, local musicians and local food producers with over 100 festive chalets to browse.

There’s also free entry into the cathedral.


7. Cardiff Christmas market

10th November – 23rd December.

10am – 6pm.

Held in the pedestrian area of the city centre this market has a vibrant Christmas atmosphere.

There are over 200 stalls with a focus on local crafts people and artists. Lots of seasonal food and drink to enjoy.


8. The 10th anniversary Chester Christmas market

18th November – 21st December.

10.30am – variable.

This market with its iconic sparkling tree has over 70 traders situated in the square around the Town Hall and centre.  

Come and enjoy the cosy atmosphere, mulled wine and locally made produce in this historical city.

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Enjoy a festive cup of mulled wine at Chester’s Christmas market. Photo by Alisa Anton on Unsplash.


9. Rochester Christmas market

26th November – 11th December (3 weekends).

10am – 6/8pm.

This is a lovely Christmas market situated in the picturesque castle gardens.

Plenty of festive treats to eat and drink within the Bavarian food village, hand-made gifts and fairground rides.


10. Belfast Christmas market

19th November – 22nd December.

10am – variable.

There are several markets in Belfast but the main one is within the grounds of Belfast City Hall. 

Browse the festive wooden chalets selling interesting local crafts and enjoy a large selection of international and local treats in the food court.  Kids will love the vintage helter-skelter and carousel rides.


Make you feel Christmassy just reading this?! Those are some of our favourite Christmas markets in the UK.


If you visit one of these or one of the hundreds more, let us know! We’d love to hear about your experience.


Happy shopping!


And if you’d like Christmas gifts delivered directly to you at home or to the lucky recipient, take a look at our luxury Christmas hamper range which can be delivered to over 40 countries worldwide.