Where will you take the kids when they break up (soon) from school for the Christmas holidays? Whether you’ve booked a UK timeshare break or you’re staying close to home, these are some of the most vibrant Christmas markets happening around the UK from now until early January, so there’s plenty of time to soak up the festive spirit before December 25th!
Hyde Park, London
Dates: November 21 to January 4
Starting with the capital…you’ll find loads of Christmas-themed fun and activities when Hyde Park transforms into a winter wonderland until just after the New Year, from big top shows, an observation wheel and a really big Christmas market – and it’s free to enter, too! Do your best Torvill and Dean impersonation as you whiz around the spectacular ice rink next to the Victorian bandstand, explore the winter sparkle at the Magical Ice Kingdom with its ‘ice forest’ of frozen sculptures and incredible ice castle, or settle in for some circus entertainment and watch the acrobats do their thing at Zippos Circus and Cirque Beserk.
Birmingham City Centre
Dates: November 13 to December 22.
Birmingham kicked off their festive season early two weeks ago, when they switched on their Christmas lights and if you love German Markets, there’s one here. There’s also another Christmas Craft Market nearby, selling local goods and gifts, which opened a few days later.
Birmingham is famous for its Christmas Markets which take over the city as venues like Victoria Square, New Street, Centenary Square and Chamberlain Square all come to life with dozens of stalls selling gifts, food and seasonal drinks, to keep you warm and well fed under your woolly hats.
The Parade, Leamington Spa
Dates: Sundays from November 16 to December 22
Take note, these are Sunday Christmas markets only, so make sure you don’t miss one of them because you’ll find over 100 stalls lined up along the main high street (Parade) in Leamington town centre. Stroll by the crafts stall, sample French and Italian fare, and do a little antique hunting along the way. If you love a great Farmer’s Market, they’ve saved it for the last day – 22nd December. Sundays only, 10am to 4pm.
Belfast City Hall Gardens
Dates: November 15 to December 21
The Irish know how to throw a good party and their Christmas markets are pretty legendary, too. And while the air will be nippy, you’ll get a wonderful, warm welcome. Belfast Christmas market dazzles with culinary delights, two bars (of course!) and a wide range of stalls selling a host of gifts, treats and delicious foods that could double up as Christmas presents if you’ve left the Christmas shopping a bit late.
Open from 10am-8pm Monday-Wednesday, 10am-10pm Thursday-Saturday and 1pm-6pm on Sundays
The Old Market Square, Nottingham
Dates: November 20 to January 4
Nottingham’s Christmas market opens 10am to 6pm (and stays open till 8pm on late shopping nights). One of the highlights is the ice rink (where you can skate away to your heart’s content and keep the kids occupied from 11am to 10pm) while the Winter Bars and Food Hall open at 10am and stay open till late. The theme is Olde England so fans of Victoriana will love this one! You’ll find 50 or so Victorian-style market trader cabins, themed bars, bandstand, the wonderful ice rink and a traditional nativity scene.
Location: From the Mound, along East Princes Street Gardens Terrace and around the Scott Monument.
Dates: November 21 to January 4
One of the most spectacular Christmas markets in the whole of the UK, Edinburgh’s has taken place every year for the last 20 years right in the heart of Edinburgh, in a very picturesque setting below the Mound. You’ll find endless Christmas gift possibilities, and have the chance to meet all the artisans and artists, stroll around the gift shops and don’t eat before you go because there are plenty of delectable foodie treats to be had at this market – you’ll be taking a few of them home!