November 30th, 2021
7 of the best Christmas markets to visit this December
Christmas is just around the corner, which means that it’s time to start searching for gifts for your loved ones. If you’re looking to buy some stocking fillers this year, you could consider visiting a local Christmas market.
While many of these events were cancelled in 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic, now that most Brits have been vaccinated they are being set up again in cities across the country. Read on for the seven best Christmas markets to visit this December.
1. Lincoln (2-5 December)
While it’s only running for a short while, the Christmas market in Lincoln is worth a visit if you’re able to. Nestled between an 11th-century castle and the city’s famous gothic cathedral, the market is scenically placed for an unforgettable evening.
While it had humble beginnings, starting with less than a dozen stalls, it has since grown to more than one hundred and has a wide variety of gifts and treats on offer.
It’s also worth noting that the nearby cathedral will be hosting daily choir concerts throughout the time that the market will be running.
2. Oxford (9-19 December)
With its colourful lights, carol singers, and traditional wooden stalls, the Oxford Christmas market has a cheerful festive atmosphere that is sure to appeal to any visitor.
Whether you’re looking for food, gifts, or a warm cup of mulled wine, Oxford has something for everyone. There will also be a variety of musical performances on each day of the market, from professional brass bands to enthusiastic local volunteers.
There will be a wide variety of exhibitors this year, selling all sorts of handmade wares, from jewellery to locally brewed spirits.
3. Manchester (12 November-22 December)
While Manchester’s memorable Christmas market did run last year, it could only do so in a reduced capacity due to the government’s Covid-19 restrictions. Thankfully, this year, organisers are hoping for a proper return to form.
Manchester is actually home to six different Christmas markets, which you can find in the city’s main squares. Here, you’ll be able to find a wide variety of craft sellers, food stalls, and even locally brewed ales.
For the first time, the Manchester Christmas market is hosting a live music event in Piccadilly Gardens, which will be open until 3 January.
4. London (19 November-3 January)
As you may know, London’s “Winter Wonderland” in Hyde Park is well-known as one of the most popular and highly visited Christmas markets in the country.
The event runs for a total of six weeks and features a wide variety of attractions and activities that will appeal to all the family. These include ice skating, fairground rides, and even circus performances. For a limited time, visitors this year will also be able to try their hand at ice sculpting.
You can also find a large selection of food and drink from a variety of businesses, including pizzas, hot chocolate, and even Bavarian beers.
5. Newcastle (2-24 December)
Newcastle’s Christmas market had to be cancelled last year due to Covid-19 restrictions, but you’ll be pleased to hear that it’s returned for 2021.
While it may not be as big as in previous years, the event is still worth a visit as it will be showcasing some of the best local produce that the city has to offer.
With several dozen stalls, you’ll be able to buy all sorts of sweet treats and handmade gifts, which can be perfect for a late Christmas present.
6. Winchester (19 November-22 December)
If you’re on the south coast, the Christmas market in Winchester is well worth a visit. The Hampshire city is one of the most picturesque in the country and so is an ideal location for such an event.
Styled after a traditional German market with a variety of small wooden chalets, you can find a wide array of crafts, gifts, and treats made by local businesses.
You may also want to visit the city’s beautiful gothic cathedral, which is at the heart of the Christmas celebrations and hosts several services over the festive season.
7. York (18 November-23 December)
Last but certainly not least, the hugely popular St Nicholas Fair in York is returning this year and will be running for five weeks through November and December.
At the historic Shambles Market, you’ll be able to find a wide variety of local independent traders selling their wares. You’ll be able to buy everything from traditional Yorkshire flat caps to delicious snacks and hand-crafted gifts.
If you’re feeling peckish, you may also want to stop at the food court. This year, you’ll be able to find a wide variety of international street food, from Moroccan wraps to tempting Thai dishes.