Our Favorite Christmas Markets in England

bath christmas market
Bath Christmas Market. Credit: Chris Cooper

Surround yourself with the wonders and festivities of the season in England. The Christmas season is one of the most magical times to visit. Tour their many Christmas markets, including celebrations and merriment in Bath, Manchester, Oxford, and London. Below we have highlighted our favorite Christmas markets in England that encompass plenty of shopping and twinkles of destination discovery.

Brightening up the dark days of winter, England’s Christmas markets blaze out with color, stunning light displays, festive entertainment, and lots of delicious treats for all the family.



Bath

Bath Christmas Market

bath christmas market england at night
Credit: Chris Cooper

Spanning for eighteen days, the Bath Christmas Market is spread across the city’s picturesque Georgian streets. Support Bath’s local small businesses while discovering many artisan gifts for your loved ones. Easily check everything off of your Christmas place.

Over 150 chalets or shops await visitors. These include everything from bath, beauty, and jewelry to food, drink, and homeware. There will also be many opportunities for purchasing personalized gifts.

Tip: bring your reusable cup to receive a discount on warming festive drinks from all the Market’s caterers.

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland

hyde park winter wonderland hot chocolate at night
Hyde Park Winter Wonderland

London is home to two of the biggest markets, including Hyde Park Winter Wonderland. This festival is considered to be one of the most popular Christmas markets in England.

A true festive paradise in the heart of the city. The Market is home to the world’s tallest transportable observation wheel, a Magical Ice Kingdom, Britain’s largest open air ice rink, Hyde Park Winter Wonderland is a truly festive paradise.

All kinds of gifts, decorations and lots of food and drink can be found in more than 100 German style chalets, set within the largest park in central London. But it’s not just that – there is plenty of entertainment too.

Skate on the UK’s largest open-air ice rink, enjoy a host of fairground rides, watch circus performers and admire the work of ice sculptors or visit the Magical Ice Kingdom. For those with a taste for height, you can take a ride on the world’s tallest transportable Ferris wheel and see London spread out far below.

Leeds

Christkindelmarkt

Manchester Christmas Market
Manchester Christmas Market. Credit: VisitBritain

Moving northwards to the two cities of Leeds and Manchester, there are spectacular Christmas markets to be enjoyed. The Christkindelmarkt in Leeds Millennium Square is the perfect place to buy hand crafted jewelry and festive decorations, as well as enjoying a ride on the Christmas carousel.

Lincoln

Lincoln Christmas Market

manchester food treats and desserts

The setting for the oldest Christmas market in the UK is in Lincoln, a perfect day trip destination from London. This market also has to be one of the most dramatic of all locations. Climb the steep hill leading up to the Cathedral and explore nearly 300 stalls selling a vast array of food, drink, gifts and unique decorations many supplied by local artisans.

A huge Christmas Postbox at St Paul in the Bail offers an opportunity for children to write and send letters to Santa. Entertainment too is on offer in the form of an illuminated Wall Walk at the adjacent Lincoln Castle. The only drawback is that the market lasts for just three days, the shortest timespan among the Christmas Markets in England.

Manchester

Manchester Christmas Market & Winter Funland

Albert Square Manchester Town Hall christmas
Albert Square Manchester Town Hall. Credit: VisitBritain

The epicenter of the market is found in Albert Square. Purchase a variety of toys, jewelry, homeware, and fun quirky gifts.

Over in Manchester, 300+ stalls occupy streets and squares across the center of the city branching out from Albert Square. Discover quirky gifts, a dedicated Arts & Crafts Market, a World Christmas Market, French Market and a German Market. Relax with festive food as well as bratwurst, hog roasts, paella and mulled wine. Plenty of vegetarian options are also available.

Visit the Winter Funland with its fairground attractions, ice rink and circus, while Ice Village Manchester also offers an ice rink, Santa’s Grotto and an Arctic Tiki Bar.

Oxfordshire

Bleinheim Palace Christmas Market

Bleinheim Palace Christmas Market
Bleinheim Palace Christmas Market. Credit: Experience Oxfordshire

In Oxfordshire, the massive surroundings of Blenheim Palace provide a spectacular setting for a Christmas Market. Housed in wooden chalets within the Great Court are over 70 craft traders selling distinctive artisan products and tempting treats.

Blenheim palace christmas market oxfordshire daytime
Credit: Experience Oxfordshire

Combine it with an exploration of the Story of the Nutcracker set amid the state rooms of Blenheim Palace or an evening at the totally spectacular glittering tunnels of light, fire garden, and larger than life illuminations which turn the gardens into a total wonderland.

Looking for a nearby hotel? The Bear Hotel in Woodstock is conveniently located just around the corner within an easy walking distance of the Blenheim Palace Christmas Market.

Stratford-upon-Avon

Victorian Christmas Market

stratford upon avon christmas street lights winter
Star and Light Trail in Stratford-upon-Avon

Forget about Shakespeare when visiting Stratford on Avon this Christmas.  The town’s Victorian Christmas Market has over 300 stalls; complete with stallholders dressed in Victorian outfits.

A traditional funfair can be found on Wood Street, and there are lots of street entertainers to be found throughout the market.  It’s a great place to buy unusual gifts, local produce and some pretty ornaments to adorn the Christmas tree.

Also in the Midlands is the Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market in Victoria Square. This market sells German inspired produce and feasting on Gluhwein, schnitzels and bratwurst.

South Bank Winter Festival

South Bank winter festival
South Bank Winter Festival

Just across the river on the South Bank is the ever-popular Winter Market.  At night, the twinkling lights reflected in the dark waters of the River Thames combined with the pleasure of sitting around fire pits drinking mulled wine and cider, and eating festive food. There are also many delightful gift opportunities that truly turns this into magical wonderland.

A huge Christmas tree sparkles, and there are lots of mince pies or steaming hot chocolate available. Watch street performers, enjoy circus entertainment with Circus 1903, or combine with a concert or film at the adjacent South Bank Centre.

Yorkshire

St Nicholas Christmas Fair & Whitby’s Christmas Market

york christmas market stall parliament square uk
York Christmas Market Stall in Parliament Square

York’s St Nicholas Christmas Fair takes over Parliament Street with alpine-style chalets selling festive decorations, traditional gifts and food. Anyone looking for some traditional Yorkshire produce should head for the nearby Made in Yorkshire Yuletide Village.

Enjoy a Victorian-style Helter Skelter in Kings Square, or skate around a 30 foot high Christmas tree in Yorkshire’s Winter Wonderland.

While in Yorkshire, head over to the coast for Whitby’s Christmas Market complete with spectacular drone lighting display or for foodie specialties, visit Malton’s gourmet food & drink Christmas market.