5 Best Christmas Markets in the UK

Christmas is coming, and with it, a whole host of fun festive activities! We don't know about you, but visiting Christmas markets is one of our favourite things to do in December. It's the perfect opportunity to pick up unique Christmas gifts, indulge in festive delights and treat yourself to a glass of mulled wine or two!


But with Christmas markets all over the country, how do you know which one to visit? Luckily for you, we've put together a quick guide to the five best Christmas Markets in the UK.


Winter Wonderland Hyde Park, London - 19th Nov 21 - 3rd Jan 22


For the ultimate Christmas Market experience, head to Hyde Park's Winter Wonderland. For Christmas shoppers, there's the traditional German market, made up of over 200 chalets selling unique handmade gifts, crafts and delicacies, as well as various bars and restaurants dotted around the site.


For the kids (and kids at heart), there are over 100 rides and attractions on-site, including the Magical Ice Kingdom, with something for everyone to enjoy.


This year, things are running a little differently to help maintain safe numbers and make social distancing possible. So you'll need to head over to the Winter Wonderland website and pre-book your tickets to avoid disappointment. Off-peak entry is still free of charge, but booking is a must, and you are required to stick to your allocated time slot.


Other things to do in London this Christmas:

  • Ice skating at The Natural History Museum
  • Wander Kew Gardens' Christmas Trail
  • Listen to Christmas carols in Trafalgar Square
  • See a Christmas show in the West End
  • Go on a Christmas cruise along the Thames


Where to stay in London at Christmas


Are you looking to stay close to Hyde Park? We highly recommend The Park Tower Knightsbridge for the ultimate luxury stay. We also have rooms available to book throughout the festive periods at big brand hotels, including Hilton, Marriott and Best Western.


Edinburgh Christmas Markets - 19th Nov 21 - 2nd Jan 22


Whether you live in Scotland or are visiting for the festive period, it's well worth a trip to Edinburgh for the Scottish capital's Christmas Markets.


Spread across East and West Princes Street Gardens, the Christmas Markets promise fun for all the family, with an ice rink, Santa Land rides and Alpine-style chalets selling handmade gifts and delicious food. If you're taking the little ones to see Santa, you'll find him in his grotto on Castle Street.


It's free to browse the Edinburgh Christmas Markets, but you may need to pre-book activities, like ice skating and Santa's grotto, to avoid disappointment.


Other things to do in Edinburgh this Christmas:


  • Enjoy the Edinburgh Botanical Gardens Light Trail
  • Visit Edinburgh Castle
  • Hike Arthur's Seat for amazing views of the city
  • Catch a Christmas show at the King's Theatre or Edinburgh Playhouse
  • Take part in the 2.5K Santa Fun run for charity
  • Go Christmas shopping on the Royal Mile


Where to stay in Edinburgh at Christmas


Are you looking for a Christmas hotel in Edinburgh? Search for your perfect room on PlansChange. We cater for all budgets, with cheaper Edinburgh hotel rooms from the likes of Holiday Inn Express and Travelodge. Fancy indulging in a luxury hotel? Book a stay at The Caledonian or Sonder Royal Garden Apartments.


Winchester Cathedral Christmas Market - 19th Nov 21 to 22nd Dec 21


The Christmas Market at Winchester Cathedral is not only one of the best in the UK but one of the best in Europe! Famous for its bustling atmosphere, stunning location and German-inspired stalls, it's the perfect place to pick up delightful Christmas gifts and try some tempting seasonal treats.


All exhibitors are handpicked for their unique and exclusive products, giving you the chance to pick up special presents that you won't find anywhere else. At the heart of the Christmas market, you'll find the ice rink - it's great fun and the perfect chance to create some Christmas memories with the family.


Entry to Winchester Cathedral Christmas Market is free, and there's no need to pre-book. Ice rink tickets are available in advance or on the day.


Other things to do in Winchester at Christmas:


  • Winchester's Christmas lights switch-on
  • Watch Aladdin at The Theatre Royal
  • Enjoy the magical Steam Illusions at the Watercress Line


Where to stay in Winchester at Christmas


Enjoy a weekend stay in December at the Winchester Royal Hotel. Fancy upgrading your Christmas weekend with a spa break? Take a look at the offerings from The Winchester Hotel and Spa.


Birmingham Christmas Markets - 4th Nov to 23rd Dec 21


Did you know that Birmingham has the largest authentic German market in Europe aside from Germany and Austria? Back in 2019, before the pandemic struck, the event had a whopping 5.5 million visitors!


Birmingham Christmas Markets consists of the traditional Frankfurt Christmas Market and the craft market. For 2021 there are more stores than ever before, stretching across New Street, Victoria Square and Centenary Square. Oh, and a Christmas market wouldn't be the same without an ice rink and big wheel, so of course Birmingham Christmas Market has both!


Visit the Frankfurt Market for a wide range of Christmas products, including decorations, handmade jewellery, hand carved wooden toys, and delicious German food, including bratwurst and pretzels.


And if that wasn't enough, the Christmas Craft Market features a wide range of handmade crafts, soaps and candles by local artisans, as well as unique offerings from around the globe.


Entry is free, and booking is not required.


Other things to do in Birmingham at Christmas:


  • Take part in The Big Birmingham Bake (Birmingham's first pop up Bake Off!)
  • Enjoy delicious comfort food and festive entertainment at the Old Joint Stock Pub & Theatre
  • Head to the Now That's What I Call Christmas concert at Symphony Hall (23rd Dec)
  • Join the Santa Safari at West Midland Safari Park
  • Visit Winter Funland at Birmingham NEC (the UK's largest indoor fairground) for rides, attractions, circus acts, ice skating and more!


Where to stay in Birmingham at Christmas


When it comes to booking a Christmas hotel in Birmingham, you'll be spoilt for choice. Check out our listings from the likes of Marriott, Holiday Inn, Radisson and Hilton. We also have rooms available at luxury hotels throughout December, including Hotel Du Vin and The Grand Hotel. Book through PlansChange for great discounts on your favourite Birmingham hotels.


York Christmas Market - 18th Nov to 23rd Dec 21


We'd argue there aren't many places more magical than the medieval city of York at Christmas. Head to Parliament and St Sampson's Square for the hugely popular St Nicholas Fair, featuring over 60 festive alpine chalets, offering a delightful selection of gifts and local produce.


For something a little different, don't forget to head to York's most famous street - The Shambles, where you'll find a whole host of indie traders, along with The Shambles Food Court.


Are you visiting with children? Take them for a ride on the vintage carousel at King's Square. It might not offer the same thrill as some of the rides and attractions at Christmas Markets in other cities, but York has a certain charm you won't find elsewhere.


Other things to do in York at Christmas:


  • Enjoy the Kirkgate Christmas Tale immersive experience at York Castle Museum
  • Sail down the River Ouse and meet Santa with City Cruises
  • Go ice skating at Yorkshire's Winter Wonderland
  • Watch Cinderella at the York Theatre Royal
  • Take the children to make festive chocolates with Santa at York's Chocolate Story


Where to stay in York at Christmas


For a 5 star hotel stay this Christmas, check out the luxury Grand York LVX hotel and book through PlansChange to get the best deal. Search our branded hotel listings to find York hotels to suit all budgets.


 Bath Christmas Market 2021


Are you wondering why Bath Christmas Market isn't on our list? While it's undoubtedly one of the best Christmas Markets in the UK, unfortunately, the event is cancelled for 2021 due to staff shortages. Fingers crossed it'll be back for 2022.

Book a Christmas hotel with PlansChange


Remember, UK hotel room prices tend to be more expensive during the busy Christmas season. If you're planning a Christmas Market trip in another city, it's worth booking an overnight stay to make the most of your time there. Start planning your Christmas getaway today. Visit our Great Deals page for money-saving offers, and take a look at the cheap hotel rooms our PlansChange sellers are re-selling.