Tom Stockwell a RoamRight Blog Author

The Best Christmas Markets in England


Christmas is just around the corner, and very few countries in the world celebrate it on the same scale as the United Kingdom. Town centers are bedecked with tinsel, decorations dangle high up above the streets and minor celebrities are roped-in to turn on the Christmas tree lights in every city and town across the country.

Christmas markets are becoming ever more popular in the UK, and lots of towns and cities are jumping on the holiday bandwagon. Many towns have a Christmas market running for just a few days, with some of the best short-lived markets including Harrogate, Portsmouth, Caerphilly and Lincoln. But where are the best places to get into the Christmas spirit if your dates don’t coincide with one of the smaller markets? Here are five favorites among the UK's burgeoning Christmas market scene that run throughout the entire holiday.

1. Leeds

Running until December 18th, Leeds' Christkindelmarkt takes its influence from German counterparts, and Leeds’ centrally located Millennium Square is given a makeover and turned into a fairytale village in the countdown to Christmas. Handcrafted toys, decorations and jewelry are among the wares on offer, and the Alp Chalet Bavarian eatery is open for folks to chow down on some traditional German grub.

2. Birmingham

The second-largest city in the UK, Birmingham is the butt of many jokes, but if there’s one thing the city always delivers on, it's Christmas. Birmingham’s Frankfurt Christmas market is the largest outdoor Christmas market in the UK where visitors enjoy mulled wine and marzipan as they stroll around the dozens of stalls - there are well over one hundred to take a look at!

3. Nottingham

Nottingham's rather grandly monikered Winter Wonderland is one of the best places in the UK to indulge in some festive frivolities, which can be enjoyed all the way through until January 5th. An ice rink, amusement park rides, and two fully-equipped bars accompany the myriad of market stalls in Robin Hood’s old stomping ground.

4. Salisbury

Located in the southern county of Wiltshire, Salisbury's Christmas market is reputed to be one of the prettiest and most fancy in the country - quite befitting of Salisbury’s general image. Five-dozen stalls sell their goodies, with Salisbury's historic buildings providing an atmospheric backdrop.

5. Southbank, London

The Queen's Walk, along the River Thames' Southbank, gets transformed into a promenade of pure magic as chalets, stalls and decorations pop up in the heart of London. Hand-made soaps and unusual gifts are available to purchase as presents, bratwurst and gingerbread are served to rumbling tummies, and a carousel is there to entertain the young and young at heart, with a soundtrack of traditional Christmas music ringing through visitors' ears.

Where in England would you like to celebrate Christmas?

Note: Available plans and coverages may have changed since this blog was published.

About the Author

Tom Stockwell

Tom Stockwell, a RoamRight Blog Author Tom has always had the travel bug and, after quitting his call centre job in the UK, he packed up and moved to South Korea to teach English for almost four years. Since moving on from South Korea, he's been travelling the world and loves exploring city streets, trying delicious new food, meeting great people and taking way too many selfies with his phone, although he'll disagree with you on that last point. Read about Tom's adventures on his blog, Waegook Tom, and follow him on Instagram and Twitter.

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