Tens of thousands of shoppers will be hitting the country’s high streets this weekend. Want to avoid the herds and find unique, handmade gifts? Want to relax at an outdoor bar with a hot cider in hand? Then, visit one of the country’s ever-growing Christmas markets. From Chester’s Victorian village to Birmingham’s Frankfurt experience, there’s something for everyone in just about every town and city across Britain. Check out our list of the top 10 Yuletide markets below:
Bath: Wooden Christmas chalets and festive mobile bars selling mulled wine are nestled amongst the city’s World Heritage sites of Bath Abbey and the Roman Baths. Street entertainment also livens up the storybook atmosphere.
Birmingham’s Frankfurt Christmas Market:Birmingham hosts the biggest German Christmas market outside Germany and Austria. With 180 stalls of crafts, gluhwein, and bratwurst, more than 3 million visitors, and generating nearly 90 million in economic activity, it’s even bigger than the Christmas market in Berlin! The brainchild of a man tasked to advertise Frankfurt abroad, it has inspired the German market craze across the country.
Bristol’s German Christmas Market: Decorations, nativity scenes, toys and more are sold from wooden chalets. Outside bars will serve gluhwein, bratwurst and waffles. Look out for the traditional Christmas Pyramid!
Cheltenham Christmas Market: This upmarket town on the edge of the Cotswolds hosts a market full of high quality goods, including freshwater pearls, fair trade knitwear, and costume jewelry. Wet your palette with award-winning fruit wines and don’t forget to try the ostrich burgers!
Chester’s Winter Wonderland: The festive fun includes a giant wheel, Victorian village in front of majestic Chester Castle, and an ice skating rink. Enjoy a hot drink at the Castle Courtyard Bar!
Gloucester’s “Very Victorian Christmas”: Characters in Dickensian dress sell food, drink and gifts from the city’s historic docks. Highlights include a real ale tavern, choirs, and brass bands.
Leeds German Christmas Market: Traditional wooden stalls, festive greenery, Christmas carousel rides and twinkling colourful lights all create a unique, continental-style atmosphere in the heart of the city centre.
Liverpool: The city is hosting its biggest ever Christmas market with around 100 stalls with traders from Europe, Asia, Africa, the Americas, Australia and Oceania. Shoppers can find everything from traditional Finnish toys to Chinese wooden dolls.
London’s Winter Wonderland: The enormous Hyde park attraction has an ice rink, giant observation wheel and carnival rides, kids’ shows, Santa land, E:Cube and Spiegel Saloon restaurants, and outdoor bars.
Manchester Christmas Markets: The city hosts five German markets that include a beer tent, a giant six-meter-high pyramid-shaped nativity scene, and an Alpine house with a multi-lingual, talking reindeer.