A British Christmas: The Top Five Festive Market Cities

Tuesday 10 November 2015 by Jasmine Trickey

For those of you that prefer a close-to-home festive getaway to an overseas retreat, you’re in luck. The UK hosts a variety of magnificent Christmas markets and winter celebrations in some of the world’s most stunning cities.



Manchester is not only a fantastic leisure destination in its own right; it also goes all out for the joyful winter season! The city’s Christmas market collection is named the best in the UK, and is one of Europe’s most renowned.  An array of more than 300 beautiful timber chalets will engulf the city over 10 locations, offering a fanciful range of European and local produce. You’ll find anything from mouth-watering Spanish paella and Hungarian goulash, to French soaps and intricately crafted Yuletide gifts.




When?  Saturday 14th November – 21st December, 10am - 9/10pm

Where? City Centre - All locations within half a mile of Albert Square, Manchester

Stay at: SACO Manchester - Piccadilly



Edinburgh’s magical Christmas is arriving bigger and better than ever on 20th November, with stunning Christmas markets stretching across three city centre locations, and heaps of festive entertainment. Head to St Andrew Square for classic Scottish cuisine and traditional crafts, pick up unique international gifts in the Mound Precinct or entertain the little ones by visiting the Children’s market in ‘Santa Land’, found in the beautiful Princes Street Gardens. New for this year, the Royal Mile will transform into a dazzling Street of Light, and there will be more rides and awe-inspiring theatre performances than you could hope for.



When? 20th November – 4th January

Where? St Andrew Square, Mound Precinct and Princes Street, Edinburgh

Stay at: View our Edinburgh properties here



Come late November, the beautifully quaint and historic city of Bath will become an artisan shopper’s paradise, as over 170 wooden chalets pack the snug streets surrounding Bath Abbey. It’s a one-of-a-kind festive marketplace due to attract thousands of visitors each day, specialising in distinctly British and locally produced handmade gifts. Santa’s Grotto and the city’s outdoor ice rink will be nearby, so there are plenty of activities to keep youngsters entertained. We recommend visiting on a weekday to avoid the crowds!



When? 26th November to 13th December, 11am – 5pm 

Where? City Centre surrounding Bath Abbey, Bath.

Stay at: SACO Bath –St James’ Parade



Once again, Birmingham’s city centre will come alive with the sounds and sweet smells of its famed Frankfurt Christmas Market, where visitors can pick up authentic German gifts, decorations and handmade toys. Liven up your diet with pretzels, bratwursts and marzipan, and warm up with a hot drink of aromatic Glühwein. The whole community gets involved, with many local musicians and schools performing on the central bandstand. You’re sure to find yourself immersed in the city’s joyful yuletide spirit!



When 12th November – 22nd December, 10am – 9pm      

Where? Victoria Square, New Street, Centenary Square & Chamberlain Square, Birmingham

Stay at: SACO Birmingham - Brindleyplace



From the West End to the far South, London dons its glittering party hat and buzzes with festive activities, from the giant Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square to the Royal Opera House’s Nut Cracker ballet. London’s spectacular Winter Wonderland, however, is a sight to behold. Situated in the stunning Hyde Park, over 200 illuminated Bavarian style chalets will be selling a vast range of international gifts and cuisine. Book in advance and you’ll be able to enter the breathtaking walk-through Magical Ice Kingdom or glide around the Ski Zillerta Ice Rink – the UK’s largest and most magical. 



When? 20th November – 3rd Jan, 10am - 10pm.

Where? Hyde Park, London                                                                       

Stay at: View our London properties here


Hopefully we've given you some festive winter break ideas! Which British markets are you planning to visit? Let us know below!

Fancy a festive trip outside the UK?

Check out our top European Christmas markets!
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Jasmine Trickey

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