The best Christmas markets in the UK for 2017 to get you into the festive spirit

by Super User
Wherever you are in the country, there's a Christmas market for you... It's the most wonderful time of the year - time to wrap up warm, indulge with steaming hot drinks (mulled wine, anyone?) and get searching for those perfect Christmas gifts for your loved ones. And where better to stock up on festive cheer than one of the hundreds of amazing Christmas markets to be found all across the UK? There are tons of stalls offering up trinkets and treasures for you to wrap under the tree, not to mention the wealth of food pop-ups and mulled wine stands if you need to replenish your energy levels during your Christmas shopping. And nowadays, it's not just the stalls that draw in the crowds. Some of the markets have taken things one step further with rides, ferris wheels and ice rinks, making it easier than ever to while away an afternoon and spend quality time with the family. Trying to decide which one is right for you? We've done the leg work and searched out the UK's best Christmas markets - all you need to do is dig out your cosiest winter gear... Birmingham German Christmas Market When it comes to Christmas markets, there's no denying that Birmingham's offering has become iconic. Situated in the heart of the city centre, the event brings together a whole host of different markets filling Victoria Square, New Street, Centenary Square and Chamberlain Square, with hundreds of stalls offering everything from quirky gifts to delicious refreshments. The best part is that it's open daily right up until Christmas Eve, so you've got plenty of time to pick up some last minute gifts, or simply kick off the festive season in style. Worcester Victorian Christmas Fayre Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, Worcester's Victorian-themed street market is unlike any other! You'll feel like you've stepped back in time as you wander amongst the 200 stalls that offer everything from sparkling jewellery to festive home decorations, as well as tasty treats including mulled wine and roasted chestnuts. Stall-owners dress up in Victorian gear, and there are plenty of choir performances and dance displays - and even the odd juggling stilt walker or two! You can find out more about the market on TripAdvisor, or visit the official website. Hyde Park Winter Wonderland Hyde Park's Christmas bonanza has become somewhat of an institution with Londoners and tourists alike, thanks to the sheer volume of what's on offer. There's a ferris wheel offering spectacular views of the park and surrounding skyline, rollercoasters, games and even an ice rink. Then there's the Magical Ice Kingdom where you'll find incredible sculptures and plenty more entertainment - or for something a bit warmer, head to one of the dazzling shows that are always on offer. Leamington Spa Yuletide Fayre Just a short drive from Birmingham and Coventry, Leamington Spa is better known as the home of University of Warwick students living there during term time. However, this small town is also home to a vibrant annual Christmas market, usually on Sundays only, down its main high street the Parade. Expect handmade gifts from local retailers, including plenty of antiques and crafts, as well as a wide array of foodie treats including French and Italian foods. There are more than 100 stalls to explore - and the final day tends to include the added bonus of a farmers' market. You can find out more about Leamington Spa Yuletide Fayre on the Facebook page. Read More The top 15 best ski resorts in the world: everything you need to know including ski pass prices and the best time to go Belfast Christmas Continental Market Belfast Christmas Market (Image: Getty) The Belfast Christmas Market guarantees a real Irish welcome for all of its visitors thanks to the culinary delights and bustling stalls on offer. Located at Belfast City Hall, the market offers guests a taster of the best of the festivities from countries around the world such as Germany, Spain and France with its themed stalls. Seriously, it's brilliant for foodies - think French cheese, German beer and Spanish pastries. Oh, and previous years have also seen kids being able to meet Santa in his magical grotto too... You can find out more on our sister site Belfast Live's handy guide here. Read More Check out the 10 breathtaking places you need to see if you're in Ireland Warwick Victorian Christmas Evening Warwick Victorian Christmas Evening (Image: Enjoy Warwick) Taking place on the last Thursday of November, this fun-filled night is the perfect way to kick off the festive season! Father Christmas is on hand to help the Mayor of Warwick switch on the lights, while there's everything from carousels to children's rides and street entertainers sure to make for a memorable night out. Then of course there's the Victorian market itself which is packed with stalls offering the very best of festive foods and crafts - all you need to do is pick which ones you want to try first! You can find out more about the market on the official website. Ludlow Medieval Christmas Fayre Ludlow Medieval Christmas Fayre (Image: Ludlow Medieval Christmas Fayre) Taking place on the last weekend of November, this quirky medieval fair makes for a Christmas market experience unlike any other. Nestled in the grounds of Ludlow Castle, the fair boasts over 100 stalls selling quirky gifts you won't find on the high street, as well as plenty of historical goods, and of course, festive food and drink. There's entertainment on all day throughout the castle so it's a dream for budding historians, not to mention there are activities that the whole family can enjoy including archery, puppetry and even swordplay! You can find out more on the official website. Read More Canada's classy capital Ottawa is the ultimate winter wonderland - get ready to don your skates and thermals Cheltenham Christmas Market Cheltenham Christmas Market (Image: Christmasmarkets.com) You know it's Christmas when the wooden chalets pop up along the Cheltenham Promenade, and the surrounding trees are decorated with pretty lights and festive touches. As for what's on sale? You can expected seasonal arts & crafts, elegant paintings and sparkling hand crafted jewellery - not to mention bargain hunters can often find some more unusual gifts or collectables. You can find out more on the official website and also on TripAdvisor here. Read More Check out the 10 breathtaking places you need to see if you're in Ireland Nottingham Winter Wonderland Nottingham Winter Wonderland (Image: Nottingham Winter Wonderland) Whether you're after an afternoon of Christmas shopping or looking to get into the festive spirit early and make the most of Nottingham's nightlife, Winter Wonderland has it all. There's a Victorian Christmas Market packed with stalls selling everything from clothing to arts and crafts to knick-knacks, as well as festive decorations. Done all your Christmas shopping? Then it's worth checking out the fun games on offer - especially the ice rink which sits in the heart of the action. And for those who do want to party into the night, there's a food hall and plenty of Winter Bars open until late into the evening... You can find out more on the official website. Cardiff Christmas Market Cardiff Christmas Market Cardiff's Christmas extravaganza takes place over 44 days, boasting more than 200 exhibitors and 85 wooden stalls. Renowned for offering up some incredible arts and crafts that make for unique gifts under the tree, this market is located in the heart of the city centre and boasts plenty of pedestrian areas so shoppers can explore at their leisure. You can find out more in our sister site Wales Online's handy guide. Gloucester Quays Victorian Christmas Market Gloucester Quays Victorian Christmas Market (Image: Christmasmarkets.com) Take a step back in time at this authentic Victorian market where you're likely to spot plenty of characters including 'Wonder Tonic' salesmen, Oliver Twist-esque urchins and even a couple of mischievous thieves. There's plenty to see and do, whether you want to show off your skating skills on the ice rink, explore the decorated stalls or ride the traditional Ferris Wheel. Oh, and there's even a real ale tavern and roast chestnuts carts to really immerse you in the experience! You can find out more on the official website or on TripAdvisor here. Read More Travelodge launches massive sale with 30% off rooms - including Christmas holiday dates Wrexham Victorian Christmas Market Wrexham Victorian Christmas Market (Image: Christmasmarkets.com) The picturesque St Giles' Church provides the beautiful backdrop for the festive stalls lining the streets of Wrexham. Expect toys, candles, clothes, books, crafts and seasonal plants on offer - but it's the food which keeps locals and tourists coming back. Not only are there local producers on hand to take orders for Christmas turkeys or geese, but they're also selling delicious pies, sausages, desserts and even Welshcakes, not to mention you could get your hands on local cheese, beers and ciders. Oh and if you can't wait to get home to tuck into the feast, there are plenty of food stalls serving up everything from German sausages and mince pieces to mulled wine. You can find out more on the official website. Read More Top 26 things you need to see and do in Britain in 2017 Edinburgh European Christmas Market Edinburgh European Christmas Market (Image: Kathy Collins) Located in the heart of Edinburgh, just below the Mound, this Christmas market is just a stone's throw away from the biggest sights - so it's ideal if you're hoping to take a last-minute city break to the Scottish capital. Then of course, the market itself offers everything you could want to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year, from arts and crafts to gift shops, as well as some very exciting foodie surprises. You can find out more on the official website, or on TripAdvisor here. Read More Christmas Markets to get in the spirit... Manchester Germany UK Europe Winter Wonderland, Hyde Park Berlin London Exeter Chester Christmas Market Chester Christmas Market (Image: Visitchester.com) At the heart of Chester's market sits a sparkling Christmas tree, but there's plenty more festive cheer to go around. Wander through the decorated wooden chalets offering up unique gifts and decorations sure to make Christmas Day that extra bit special, or replenish at the Real Ale Bar where you'll find both ales and hot chocolate, as well as that classic mulled wine. You can find out more on the official website or on TripAdvisor here. Read More Christmas 2017 Gifts Stocking fillers Jumpers Songs Advent calendars What is the Christmas story? UK Christmas markets Wine for turkey Movies Christmas jokes Christmas TV guide Christmas on Netflix Norad Santa Tracker Last Christmas posting dates When is last day to order online? Best wine, beer, champagne and prosecco Blenheim Palace Living Crafts for Christmas Fair Blenheim Palace Living Crafts for Christmas Fair (Image: Getty) Looking for a fun day out in the lead-up to the holidays? Then head to Bleinheim Palace where not only can you explore the festive market and quirky stalls, but the admission price also includes entrance to the palace's iconic formal gardens and parkland. Basically, the perfect excuse to make the most of the fresh winter air - and tuck into a hot chocolate to keep warm too! You can find out more on the official website or on TripAdvisor here.

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