As Christmas approaches, what better way to get into the spirit of the season than to visit a festive market? Shop around for unique gifts, dance to live music and keep an eye out for Father Christmas at some of our favourite Christmas markets taking place across the UK.
© Visit Bath
Bath Christmas Market
Aglow with twinkling Christmas lights, the Georgian city of Bath will once-again host its renowned market this year (28 November – 15 December). Taking place over 18 days, explore 150 chalets selling unique homeware, personalised presents, decorations, handcrafted jewellery and, of course, plenty of festive food and drink. New for 2019, the Bath Christmas Market Experience includes a Christmas wreath-making workshop, two-course Champagne lunch and a two-hour session at the Thermae Bath Spa, to relax and unwind after shopping and to enjoy views of the city from the steaming rooftop pool. Make a night of it and stay at The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa or head out of the city to nearby Lucknam Park.
York Christmas Festival
Experience the medieval charm of York at Christmas with a host of festive events taking place across the city (14 November – 22 December). Stroll along St Nicholas Fair to soak up the atmosphere and discover fine Yorkshire produce from crafters and makers showcased at the Made in Yorkshire Yuletide Village. For more traditional gifts, wander amongst the many alpine chalets on Parliament Street, head to King’s Square for classic fun fair rides including a traditional Helter Skelter and sample fabulous festive food and drink at the St Sampson’s rustic Yorkshire Barn, with delicious treats including hot chestnuts and mulled wine. Stay nearby at Middlethorpe Hall & Spa
© Digital Triangle Creative Ltd
Edinburgh’s Christmas 2019
Nestled in the heart of Edinburgh, the traditional Christmas market at East Princes Street Gardens offers something for everyone, with stalls selling everything from local and bespoke products and gifts to tasty treats (16 November – 4 January). The Johnnie Walker Bothy Bar, a two-storey pop-up situated on the Mound, will immerse locals and visitors into the world of whisky, with cocktails and hot toddies showcasing the quintessential Scottish drink. Elsewhere, expect to find concerts, fair rides and Winter Windows, a vibrant exhibition of stained-glass windows designed by students across the city. Stay at Dunstane House in Edinburgh’s West End.
© Sam Hardwick
Hay Festival Winter Weekend
This intimate, fireside version of the summer Hay Festival will transform the Welsh market town of Hay-on-Wye into a winter wonderland of ideas, with literary conversation, candle-lit storytelling, comedy, music and family workshops (28 November – 1 December). The Hay Winter Food Festival will take place on the Saturday, offering a celebration of the best local produce, followed by Hay Artisan Market on the Sunday, featuring a plethora of retro and vintage traders. It all begins with the big Christmas lights switch-on on the Friday, with carol singing, readings and evening entertainment bringing festive cheer in abundance. Stay at The Lake Country House Hotel & Spa.
© National Trust, Waddesdon Manor. Photo Hugh Mothersole
Waddesdon Manor Christmas Fair
Waddesdon Manor, a 19th-century manor house in Buckinghamshire, will be lit up for Christmas as a fabulously festive market sets up shop in its grounds (16 November – 22 December). Soak up the sights, smells and sounds of the season with hand-selected exhibitors all housed in charming wooden chalets and selling a variety of unique gifts, decorations, crafts and festive food. Explore the grounds to discover a Winter Light Trail or head inside to see the house charmingly decorated for the season. Head from one manor house to another and stay nearby at Hartwell House.
Christmas in Lavenham
The charming medieval village of Lavenham will be illuminated by twinkling Christmas lights and glowing with log fires this December, when its annual Christmas fair returns for a weekend of shopping, festive food and drink, live music and traditional fairground rides. The village’s quaint cafés, cosy pubs, restaurants, galleries and boutiques will provide plenty of Christmas cheer alongside performances by live bands, carol singers and Morris dancers. Stay just a stroll away at The Swan at Lavenham.