A wonderful aspect of Christmas in Britain are the delightful markets. Towns and cities up and down the country play host, and they provide wonderful opportunities to drink mulled wine, stock up on presents and feast on local foods. We’ve chosen five of the best in England, and also paired with a Pride of Britain hotel, so you can make it into a little trip away.
What: Every Christmas, Gloucestershire’s historic market town, Cirencester hosts a spectacular Christmas fair. There will be beautiful gifts and crafts as well as locally sourced and prepared food from the likes of Dottie’s Pigs and Mates Cider & Perry.
When: 5 – 24th December
Where: Market Place, Cirencester, Gloucestershire
Where to Stay: Barnsley House is a Grade 2* listed house built in 1697 and is just four miles north of Cirencester. Take some time out before the rush that is Christmas and unwind in their spa, watch a film in their private cinema and head out for a walk in their gardens.
What: Exeter’s Cathedral Green in the heart of the city will be filled with over 50 market stalls for a whole month in the run up to Christmas. It’s the perfect spot to find handmade and unique gifts and food for the festive period also whilst listening to the choir sing carols.
When: 19th November – 19th December
Where: The Cathedral Green, Exeter, Devon
Where to Stay: Bovey Castle in the heart of Devon is glamorous, indulgent and a retreat. Brace the elements and walk through Dartmoor, or spend the afternoon on the golf course, or in the ESPA spa.
What: Take in the sights of London this Christmas and all the beautiful lights that fill the streets at this Christmas market. The wooden chalets will be selling gifts, treats, festive food and plenty of mulled wine.
When: 11th November – 4th January
Where: Southbank, Southbank Centre, London
Where to Stay: The Arch is a boutique hotel in Marble Arch, a stone’s throw from Oxford Street and Hyde Park. It’s a mix of traditional townhouse living and a contemporary atmosphere and interior.
What: The Salisbury Market takes place in the Guildhall square. There will be 76 chalets filled with local businesses selling gifts, food, decorations and Christmas treats. They’ll also be a whole host of events, and children will be able to meet Father Christmas too.
When: 26th November -20th December
Where: Guildhall Square, Salisbury, Wiltshire
Where to Stay: The charming Montagu Arms can be found within the village Beaulieu in the New Forest. It’s not only steeped in charm and history, it is also home to the only Michelin-starred restaurant in the New Forest.
What: Leeds Christkindelmarkt brings a touch of Germany to the city centre. Decorated with festive greenery, the wooden chalets will sell everything from toys to traditional German food and drink such as Stollen. There will also be a carousel for children and events happening throughout such as face painting and band sing a longs.
When: 13th November -20th December
Where: Millennium Square, Leeds, Yorkshire
Where to Stay: Set in 20 acres of manicured gardens and parkland, Middlethorpe Hall, was once the home of the famous diarist Lady Mary Wortley-Montagu. Now a hotel, it features a spa, restaurant and private rooms.