Best time to go to The United Kingdom

Christmas Markets 2019

Get into the mood for the holidays with traditional European entertainment

Christmas Markets in The United Kingdom 2019 - Best Time
Photo by

Adam Court

By mid-November, UK cities are full of decorations, carols, and a holiday shopping frenzy. Christmas markets are the best places to indulge in a magical atmosphere and fight the cold with a glass of mulled wine. York, Birmingham, London, Glasgow, Stratford-upon-Avon—you decide which Christmas market is the best of all.

Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market carousel 2020
Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market carousel

Birmingham hosts the largest Christmas Market in the UK with a distinct German flare, so get ready to see plenty of pretzels, schnitzels, and excellent Bavarian beers—all this with the beautiful Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery in the background. The craft market offers leather goods and wooden and glass ornaments. Altogether there are more than 180 stalls. Visitors can also enjoy ice skating at Centenary Square’s rink. All the details are on the Birmingham’s Frankfurt Christmas Market website.

Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market 2020
Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market

In London, Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park and Southbank Centre Winter Market are definitely among the most impressive ones offering delicious treats and artisan gifts.

Winter Wonderland, Hyde Par 2020
Winter Wonderland, Hyde Par

Belfast's beautiful City Hall hosts a famous Christmas market where visitors can purchase hand-painted pottery and decorations. Candy Alley is one of its main attractions.

Belfast Christmas Market 2020
Belfast Christmas Market

The city of Bath holds a stunning Christmas market surrounding ancient Roman Baths with more than 200 traditional stalls with local foods and gifts. It was named UK’s favourite Christmas market by the National Outdoor Events Association in 2017.

Medieval York is another great location for a holiday market. St Nicholas Fair in York features Alpine chalets and Made in Yorkshire Yuletide Village, offers gifts and crafts produced locally. York Theatre Royal’s Christmas pantomime is also highly praised as one of the best.

York Christmas Market Parliament Street 2020
York Christmas Market Parliament Street

If you are looking for some Victorian charm, head to Portsmouth where the Christmas market features Charles Dickens’ most famous characters. Tourists can also take part in a quiz to test their knowledge of Dickens’ works.

Victorian Festival of Christmas in Portsmouth 2020
Victorian Festival of Christmas in Portsmouth

Glasgow has two main holiday centers—the George Square Christmas Market and St Enoch Square Christmas Market. There is also Riverside Christmas Fair at the Riverside Museum, with rides and a Santa’s grotto for kids. For more events and details, check the Glasgow Christmas Markets page.

Christmas at George Square 2020
Christmas at George Square

Stratford-upon-Avon, the birthplace of William Shakespeare, hosts the Victorian Christmas Market in the town centre. The atmosphere is unique as all stall holders wear Victorian outfits. Entertainment throughout the town, a stage with lots of performances in Henley Street, a traditional funfair with a carousel and a cheerful market area will keep you busy over the long weekend in early December. A few hundred beautifully decorated market stalls long Waterside, Bridge Street, Henley Street, Meer Street and High Street sell foods and drinks and holiday presents for the loved ones.

Stratford-upon-Avon Christmas Lights and Victorian Market 2020
Stratford-upon-Avon Christmas Lights and Victorian Market
Christmas Markets in The United Kingdom - Best Season 2020
Best time for Christmas Markets in The United Kingdom 2020