The UK may not have the winter sun but it does have lots of magical Christmas markets to take the children to. If you’re not jetting off to your timeshare resort this month, here are three of the biggest, best festive markets to explore closer to home.
Lincoln Christmas Market, 6-9 December
Top of our list is Lincoln. It’s one of the UK’s oldest Christmas markets and a real traditional favourite. Set against the picturesque medieval square between Lincoln’s famous Normal castle and breathtaking Gothic cathedral, the location is just about as magical as it gets.
Locals are used to Lincoln’s fantastic produce: you’ll find plum bread, Lincolnshire Poacher cheese and plenty of homemade mince pies. Join the Dickensian carol singers for a few choruses then stroll around and soak up the atmosphere before heading home for tea.
Edinburgh, now on until 6 January
A stunning castle, lively city and lashings of history make Edinburgh another favourite, particularly for long weekends around Christmas time. It’s the UK city that celebrates the festive season for the longest, and during that time the Great Edinburgh Santa Run takes place (December 9). There’s an ice rink in East Princes Street Gardens, the Traditional Highland Village Market featuring the best of Scotland, from whisky to cheese (why not try the whisky-flavoured Arran cheese?) and eco lovers will like the Ethical Christmas Fair (8th to 16th December) full of fair trade treats.
Birmingham’s Frankfurt Christmas Market, ends 22 December
Birmingham takes on a decidedly German/Austrian flavour at its annual Christmas market. Over 180 stalls display an array of gorgeous gifts from hand-dipped candles to comfort foods – try the king size pretzels, bratwurst, or take home some chocolate covered marzipan. If Octoberfest feels too far away you can always indulge in a litre glass of German beer or a rum and hot chocolate. Next to this big market is the Christmas Craft Fair, where local traders and artisans will be selling their own beautifully-crafted items.