The Best UK Christmas Markets 2022

The Best UK Christmas Markets

Christmas Markets originated in Germany and are now held in many countries, especially the UK.

They date back to the late middle ages in the German-speaking parts of Europe and Eastern regions of France. They became a popular Advent custom during the Reformation Act.

Dresden’s Striezelmarkt first opened for one day on Christmas Eve in 1434 and is considered the first true Christmas Market. The Striezelmarkt, like other early markets, was traditionally held in the town square and sold meats. Over time, the markets evolved to include other products, seasonal treats and handicrafts such as baskets, toys, woodcarvings, gingerbread and other baked goods, accompanied by singing and dancing. 

Prior to 1943, December Markets (as they were then referred to) were held as an extra market day during the month of December. The first “December Market” was held in Vienna, Austria in 1298, Munich in 1310, Bautzen in 1384 and Frankfurt in 1393.

Lincoln brought the first traditional German Christmas market to the UK as part of its twinning with Neustadt in Germany. The UK is now home to many Christmas Markets selling festive goods and delicious food.

The Lincoln Christmas Market, Castle Hill, Lincoln. LN1 3AA
The Lincoln Christmas Market, Castle Hill, Lincoln. LN1 3AA

The Lincoln Christmas Market, Castle Hill, Lincoln

1st December to 4th December 2022

The UK’s oldest Christmas Market is one of the biggest events in the City’s calendar. Beginning with only 11 stalls in 1982, the market has progressed dramatically and now attracts over 250,000 visitors during the 4-day event where you can enjoy cultural entertainment and a stroll around over 200 wooden market stalls.

Twinkling lights and the smell of roasted chestnuts, mince pies and hot mulled wine lead you through Castle Square to Victorian-themed traders selling local produce including cheeses, sweets, olives and hand-crafted gifts and decorations.

Stalls are gathered within the Medieval Square of the Castle grounds, The Lawn and Westgate, with the Norman Castle and the magnificent 12th-century Cathedral providing a perfect backdrop.

Shops across the city stay open later when the market is in town. In addition to the traditional festive market, there is also a family funfair packed with rides and attractions including the iconic Ferris wheel where you can discover amazing views of the city. It is situated on Westgate, behind the Castle.

Also, take some time to enjoy some of the local live music and entertainment around the Cathedral Quarters. Buskers, carol singers in Victorian costumes and medieval musicians take to the cobbled streets. There are also daily choir concerts in the Lincoln Cathedral.

You can find plenty of delicious drinks on offer from locally produced gins to hot chocolate, traditional gluhwein, mulled wine and spiced cider. An export of Lincoln’s twin city Neustadt an der Weinstrasse, the gluhwein stalls have been a part of the Lincoln Christmas Market since 1982.

Thor’s Tipi bar is a Christmas pop-up bar in the Cornhill Quarter. It is a perfect place to meet up with family and friends for a tipple with its roaring log fires, cosy furs, fairy lights and festive drinks, including mulled wine, boozy hot chocolate and cocktails.

Lincoln Christmas Market gives visitors and residents a festive experience with a traditional event for all the family offering fun for all.

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, London

18th November 2022 to 2nd January 2023.

Located in the heart of London, Hyde Park is transformed into a spectacular Winter Wonderland for six weeks, offering a festive paradise with rides and attractions, activities, entertainment, food and drink and much more.

Everything here is on a grand scale, from the UK’s largest outdoor ice-skating rink to the iconic giant observation wheel, roller coaster rides, a helter-skelter, a carousel, circus shows and creative ice sculpting workshops. Colourful lights fill the park where stalls offer gifts, festive decorations and plenty of street food stalls, festive drink bars and live music.

Also check out the festive window displays at Selfridges, Harrods and Hamleys and the capital’s twinkling lights around the shopping areas of Oxford Street and Regent’s street.

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland is London’s spectacular Christmas destination with more than 100 thrilling rides, 200 food and beverage outlets and 150 fairy lit wooden chalets, there is something for all the family to enjoy.

Winter Wonderland in 2022 is set to be its most magical yet as it celebrates its 15th anniversary. 

Bath Christmas Market

24h November to 11th December 

The Christmas market in Bath is held in the town centre, on the streets and in the small squares around the Cathedral. Over 170 twinkling wooden stalls line up along the cobbled streets around the Roman Baths and Bath Abbey selling a range of handmade and local seasonal gifts and handmade decorations.

Over 70% of stallholders are businesses from Bath and the South West regions of the UK, offering stylish jewellery, personalised gifts, food and drinks. Among the food and gift stalls, you can find local charity chalets raising awareness of their organisations and collecting donations.

Street entertainment is provided by brass bands and local choirs. Buskers perform Christmas songs whilst the Christmas lights guide you through the chalets. There you can enjoy your favourite winter warmers, comforting hot drinks and tasty treats such as traditional sausage rolls, mince pies, bratwurst and local mulled gins and cider.

Step back in time and discover the wonderful world of Christmas at Bath whilst making memories in this historic city.

Frankfurt Christmas Market Birmingham
Frankfurt Christmas Market Birmingham

Frankfurt Christmas Market Birmingham

4th November to 22nd December 2022

Consistently one of the largest Christmas Markets in the UK.

There are several markets around the city with the most famous being the Frankfurt Christmas market in Victoria Square. This is the largest authentic German market in Europe outside of Germany or Austria.

The market offers a wide range of products including Christmas decorations, hand-crafted gifts and jewellery and carved wooden toys while the craft market offers handmade soaps, candles and crafts by local artisans.

The stalls on Victoria Square and along New Street offer a large range of traditional goods and gifts with a selection of pretzels, schnitzels, Brezl, bratwursts, crepes and roasted almonds along with traditional gluhwein, hot chocolate and weissbier (wheat beer).

Live music and entertainment can also be found on Victoria Square where you can listen to live music and carol singing. The big wheel, a carousel and an outdoor ice rink are also regular fixtures at the event. 

Manchester Christmas Markets

12th November to 22nd December 2022

The market stalls and chalets are located all over the city including Cathedral Gardens, Piccadilly Gardens, Exchange Square, Market Street, New Cathedral Street, King Street and St Ann’s Square.

The winter gardens in Picadilly Gardens have a selection of yuletide bars offering locally brewed ales, food stalls, crafts and a stage with live music and DJs.

King Street will host an array of French-themed stalls with garlic foods, beers and wines plus a warming gin bar with over 100 gins to choose from.

You will find an array of beautifully crafted stalls and wooden chalets across the city offering finely crafted gifts from around the continent including stocking fillers, personalised decorations, jewellery, arts and crafts along with delicious international food and drinks.

In the heart of the buzzing town centre, you can feast on bratwurst, hog roast, Dutch Frites and Greek gyros, paella, crepes and warm cookie dough puddings. With over 300 stalls, visitors won’t be far from festive gifts and delicious food and drinks.

Edinburgh Christmas Markets & Winter Festivals

18th November 2022 to 3rd January 2023

One of the most popular, world-renowned markets in the UK. The main Christmas Market is held in the Princes Street Garden and George Street, in the heart of the city.

The park, lying in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle, is transformed into a magical Winter Wonderland with a Christmas Market, an ice rink and many other attractions including the Edinburgh eye and rides for all ages and thrill seekers.

This Christmas Market is both traditional and romantic with its twinkling lights, seasonal scents and colourful Christmas Markets.

Edinburgh at Christmas is a truly magical sparkling experience. Wind your way through the Christmas Tree Maze and pay a visit to Santa’s Grotto before browsing the stalls full of festive treats and gifts. Take a look at the majestic Christmas tree on the Mound, donated by Norway’s Hordaland County Council.

You can enjoy the ice skating rink, walk through festive wooden stalls and sip on Mulled Irn bru, hot mulled wine with cinnamon and enjoy delicious foods such as vegan pigs in blankets and local home produce along with traditional holiday delicacies such as German bratwurst, schnitzel and gingerbreads.

New sites at Parliament Square and Castle Street are being planned in 2022 for an artisan market and a dedicated market for Scottish produce. 

Be tempted to stay for the Hogmanay celebrations that take place in this ancient city. When it comes to celebrations Scottish cities know how to stand out from the crowd.

York Christmas Market

17th November – 23rd December

St Nicholas Fair in the historic medieval city of York transforms Parliament Street, Kings Square and St Sampson’s Square into a festive wonderland. 

As many as 68 wooden alpine-style chalets draped in fairy lights and smelling of roasted chestnuts is to be found at the centre of Parliament Street and St Sampson’s Square, offering a range of festive decorations, stocking fillers, foods, drinks and traditional Christmas gifts.

It is just as festive in King’s Square where you can find a range of traditional fairground rides including the much-loved vintage carousel and a helter-skelter.

The Christmas lights will lead you up Davygate towards St Helen’s Square where you will find a huge Christmas Tree outside the Mansion House – the address of the Lord Mayor of York. 

The York Minster Winter Village is set to have picnic benches with nearby wooden chalets selling festive food, gluhwein, luxury hot chocolate, Yorkshire produce from local traders and York Minster Christmas Gifts.

The atmosphere continues in The Shambles – A narrow street of mainly timber buildings, with a mix of mostly independent shops dating back as far as the 13th century. Located in the heart of the city centre, you can experience the wonderful Christmas decorations with coloured lights and a little sparkle as you walk along the cobbled Tudor street of The Shambles to Parliament Street.

2022 marks the 30th anniversary of the St Nicholas Fair. Step back in time and discover the magic of Christmas in York with festive cheer on every corner.

Try a tipple or two at the rustic barn in St Sampson’s Square for festive food and drink, from traditional mulled wine to hot chestnuts. Thor’s tipi will also be back on Parliament Street serving traditional mulled wines, luxury hot chocolate and delicious foods. All in a twinkly Christmas-style tipi with a real log fire and cosy furs.

Summary

When it comes to Christmas Markets in the UK, there is a lot to choose from. Above we have outlined just a few of the magical Christmas Markets and Festivals you can visit around the UK.


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