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THE UK'S TOP 10 CHRISTMAS MARKETS

20.11.15

The season of cheer is upon us and with it brings an array of Christmas markets popping up across the UK. We’ve rounded up our top 10 hotspots to inspire your festive calendar and ensure you get your mulled wine and gingerbread fill before the year is up.

1. WINTER WONDERLAND

WHERE: HYDE PARK, LONDON

WHEN: 20th November – 3rd January 2016

WHY: Playing host to the UK’s largest ice rink as well as a performances from Zippos Christmas Circus, Winter Wonderland offers so much more than the average festive pop-up. Of course, Hyde Park is graced with multiple stalls for all your bauble, souvenir and Bratwurst needs, so make time to wander the market, but set up camp for the day to enjoy the rides, bars and marshmallow-toasting on offer after shopping.

2. THE SOUTHBANK CENTRE

WHERE: LONDON’S SOUTHBANK

WHEN: Fri 20th Nov 2015–Thu 24th Dec 2015

WHY: 50 chalets at the riverside combine to create the Southbank Centre’s must-visit Christmas market. Classic mulled wine, gingerbread and tree decorations line Queen’s Walk, creating a cosy and authentic atmosphere, but they’re accompanied by more unique offering including the likes of sheepskin rugs, local mead and lobster mac ‘n’ cheese. Head down after dark to see the city lit up across the water and enjoy an evening of festivities.

3. WINCHESTER

WHERE: Behind Winchester Cathedral, Winchester

WHEN: 19th November – 22nd December 2015

WHY: Celebrating its 10 year anniversary and famed as being one of the most impressive Christmas markets in the UK, Winchester is set to pull out all the stops this year. Inspired by traditional German markets, each of its exhibitors is hand-picked for their unique product offering, so it’s the perfect place to find a one-off gift that you wouldn’t come across on the highstreet. Take to the ice rink to showcase your skills or shelter in the Cathedral Refectory and ice rink café as a spectator.

4. EDINBURGH

WHERE: East Princes Street Gardens Terrace, Edinburgh

WHEN: 20th Nov - 4th Jan 2016

WHY: Positioned in a picturesque setting beyond the Mound, the European Christmas market in Edinburgh returns for 2015. Complete with all the usual suspects, you can’t go wrong, so head down to meander the stretch of themed stalls in the run-up to Christmas. If it’s something more authentic that you’re looking for, St Andrews Square plays host to Edinburgh’s Scottish Christmas Market. Expect locally produced sausages, fresh seafood, sweet treats and Scottish-brewed craft beer as well as locally made souvenirs.

5. CARDIFF

WHERE: Cardiff City Centre

WHEN: 12th November – 23rd December 2015

WHY: With over 190 exhibitors spanning the pedestrianised part of the city centre, there’s sure to be something for everyone at Cardiff’s Christmas market. The wide selection of local, predominantly Welsh, produce creates an authentic atmosphere and there’s a selection of personalised items available that will make thoughtful gifts. Head through the city to discover Cardiff’s very own Winter Wonderland where you’ll find an ice rink, a funfair and an Alpine cabin.

6. NOTTINGHAM

WHERE: Market Square

WHEN: 20th Nov - 3rd Jan 2016

WHY: Voted one of the UK’s favourite festive markets, Nottingham’s own Winter Wonderland is well worth a visit. Complete with an ice rink, two bars and multiple German-inspired food stalls from local independent retailers, there’s something for everyone. Child-friendly rides will keep the little ones happy whilst warming mulled cider and wine is available in the log tavern-inspired bars for those less interested in the Helter Skelter slide.

7. OXFORD

WHERE: Broad Street, Oxford

WHEN: 10th – 20th December 2015

WHY: As beautiful as Broad Street already is, come Christmastime it’s something extra special. Known for its picturesque setting, Oxford’s Christmas market is sure to attract visitors from all over the country. Expect to find stalls offering everything from classic crepes to woollen slippers, festive wreaths to handmade jewellery, and enjoy a mulled wine to really get in the spirit of things.

8. MANCHESTER

WHERE: Across Manchester City Centre

WHEN: 14th November – 21st December 2015

WHY: It’s the widespread design of the Manchester Christmas markets that set them aside from the rest of our Top 10. Trailing throughout the entire city and based at ten different locations, all within a quarter of a mile from one another, they’re arguably the most festive way to pass the day. True to tradition, you’ll find an array of international food, drinks and Yuletide gifts, and as an environmentally friendly twist, all glasses and mugs returnable via a deposit scheme.

9. BATH

WHERE: Bath city centre

WHEN: 26th November – 13th December 2015

WHY: Bath Christmas market is a distinctively British addition to our top 10, with over 80% of its 170 stallholders coming from the city and the surrounding area. Traditional wooden chalets line the streets with each hut offering something unique, from hand-crafted gifts to warming foods. This year, enjoy the addition of The Lodge, an indoor area designed to look like a rustic snow lodge where Bath ales, hot drinks and snacks will be available from 10am to 10pm.

10. BOURNEMOUTH

WHERE: Bournemouth seafront

WHEN: 13th November – 4th January 2015.

WHY: Positioned along the seafront, Bournemouth’s Christmas market is unlike any other in our line-up due to its beach location. It comes complete with all the classic crafts and food stalls that we come to expect, and also has an Alpine Bar serving a selection of Authentic German beers and the season’s favourite drink – mulled wine. Really embrace the theme and sample the produce from the Bratwurst House or tuck into a tasty crepe.