Discover some of the best places to indulge in festive food, drink and shopping with our round-up of UK Christmas Markets for 2021.
Visiting a Christmas Market is a great way to get in the festive mood in the run up to Christmas. You can buy Christmas presents that you won’t find in the High Street stores, and stock up on some treats for the Christmas holidays. And while you’re there, you can also indulge in some delicious treats and take in the entertainment.
But you don’t need to travel overseas to visit a traditional Christmas market. They’re now really popular in the UK, and you’ll be able to find some fantastic local produce and artisanal gifts made by local crafters.
I’ve pulled together some of the UK’s best Christmas markets in the UK, so you’ll know where to head for your festive break. And I’ve also suggested some hotels close to the markets, in case you feel like making a weekend of it!
Birmingham – 4/11/21 to 23/12/21
This Christmas Market may divide opinions among the locals, but Birmingham’s Frankfurt Market is the largest authentic German Christmas Market outside of Germany or Austria.
It’s been running in Birmingham since 2001 and usually has over 80 stalls. There will be slightly fewer stalls this year, to allow more space around them, but you’ll still find plenty of gift ideas like delicate glass baubles, hand-crafted leather goods and jewellery.
And of course, you can indulge in plenty of German delicacies like lebkuchen, pretzels and bratwurst, not forgetting the gluhwein and hot chocolate!
There’s also a bandstand opposite Victoria Square where you can see live performances every day. And there are lots of other Christmas events around the city centre, including an outdoor ice-rink and giant Ferris wheel in Centenary Square.
Where to stay?
- The Hyatt Regency Birmingham is directly opposite Chamberlain Square, just a short walk from the market.
- The Premier Inn New Street is right by New Street Station and the entrance to the market.
- The Radisson Blu is a luxury hotel a few minutes away from New Street Station. Click here to read my review
- And the newly reopened Grand Hotel on Colmore Row is the pinnacle of glamour.
For more information visit www.thebfcm.co.uk
Manchester – 12/11/21 to 22/12/21
You’ll find a wide array of festive stalls and chalets across Manchester city centre in the run up to Christmas this year. The final locations are still to be confirmed but they usually include Albert Square, Exchange Square and Cathedral Gardens.
Mouth-watering food and drink and beautifully crafted Christmas gifts will be on offer at Manchester’s award winning Christmas markets.
You’ll find amber jewellery, Belgian kitchenware, French soaps and even bonsai trees. Plus you can tuck into an array of international food and drink including Hungarian goulash, Spanish paella and plenty of vegetarian options too.
Where to stay?
- The Holiday Inn Manchester on Aytoun Street is a few minutes walk from Manchester Piccadilly station and the market at Piccadilly Gardens.
- The Manchester City Centre Roomzzz aparthotel is less than 10 minutes walk from the Albert Square market.
- The Malmaison is close to Manchester Piccadilly station and several of the markets.
For more information visit www.visitmanchester.com
The beautiful Georgian city of Bath won’t be hosting a full Christmas market this year, but there’s still plenty of festive fun to be found. The independent Bath artisan market will be taking place in Queen Square, there’ll be a Victorian carousel ride outside the Roman Baths and festive stalls in Kingston Parade and Abbey Green.
They’ll be showcasing unique jewellery, Christmas decorations and personalised presents along with artisan gifts from local designers. Shopping for your Christmas presents at the Bath Christmas Market is a great way to support local small businesses.
And while you’re shopping, you can treat yourself to caramelised nuts, a hog roast or mulled wine to keep you warm.
Bath Christmas Market is the perfect place to do your Christmas shopping in a beautiful setting.
Where to stay?
- The Francis Hotel is a beautifully restored Regency townhouse hotel, that’s only a few minutes away from Bath’s historic sites.
- Hotels in Bath can be pricey, but the Holiday Inn Express is a budget-friendly option.
- The Queensberry Hotel is close to the city centre and has a Michelin-starred restaurant on-site. Click here to read my review
For more information visit bathchristmasmarket.co.uk
York – 18/11/21 to 23/12/21
With the scent of mulled wine and delicious food in the air, the medieval streets of York are the perfect place for a Christmas getaway.
A host of traders will be across the city, at locations including Parliament Street, Coppergate and the iconic Shambles.
You can pick up fabulous Christmas gifts like Whitby jet jewellery, hand turned pens made from local wood, and paintings and photographs depicting the local countryside.
If you’re looking for a unique gift that you won’t be able to find on your local High Street, York Christmas Market is definitely the place to be!
Where to stay?
- The Grand has luxurious rooms and a vaulted spa, all set in a Grade II listed former railway headquarters.
- Hotel Indigo has fantastic boutique-style rooms, excellent facilities and a central location.
- Moxy York is a design led hotel at a reasonable price, located 5 minutes away from the Shambles.
For more information visit www.visityork.org
Cardiff – 11/11/21 to 23/12/21
The pedestrianised streets of Cardiff City centre will be filled with another eclectic mix of stalls this winter as the Cardiff Christmas Market returns after a break last year.
Work is underway on organising the market and a host of local artisan producers are sure to be on display at Cardiff Christmas Market. The stalls will be throughout city area in locations such as St John Street, Working Street, and Trinity Street.
You’ll find handcrafted ornamental glassware, pewter accessories, Welsh tweed clothing and much more in the beautifully decorated wooden stalls.
Plus of course you’ll be able to indulge in delicious food and drink, like hot Welshcakes, buttered Bara Brith, and warming mulled wine.
Where to stay?
- The Park Plaza has an excellent location, stylish rooms and there’s even a spa on-site for extra relaxation.
- The Jurys Inn Cardiff has a great central location just a few minutes walk from the market locations.
- The Premier Inn Cardiff Central is a reasonably priced option and is located close to Bute Park.
For more information visit www.cardiffchristmasmarket.com
Belfast – 20/11/21 to 23/12/21
Visit Belfast Christmas Market in the grounds of the City Hall to discover more than 30 international traders.
You’ll find local artisanal food and craft producers, which will make ticking off your Christmas shopping list a real pleasure. And then you can treat yourself to bratwurst, dutch pancakes, gluhwein, mulled cider and much more!
There’s also plenty of entertainment, including Santa’s grotto, a helter skelter and a vintage carousel.
Where to stay?
- The Hampton by Hilton offers a central location and great facilities at a very reasonable price, which even includes a hot breakfast!
- The Malmaison Belfast is less than ten minutes away from the Belfast Christmas market. It is housed in a converted Victorian warehouse, and mixes period features with modern boutique style.
- The luxury Fitzwilliam Hotel is just a five minute walk from City hall. The sumptuous boutique rooms are beautifully decorated, and there’s also an excellent restaurant and cocktail bar.
For more information visit visitbelfast.com
Glasgow – 6/11/21 to 31/12/21
Visit the Christmas Markets in Glasgow, and you’re sure to find plenty of unique festive gifts, plus delicious street food and a glass or two of something warming.
The markets will be located in both George Square and St Enoch Square.
The George Square market includes the iconic Glasgow Big Wheel and a traditional carousel, as well as family friendly street entertainment.
And visitors to the St Enoch Square will discover more than 50 beautifully decorated chalets featuring delicious treats like bratwurst, hog roast, crepes and more.
Where to stay?
- The Radisson Blu is close to both market locations, and has spacious rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows.
- Motel One Glasgow is a design led hotel at a reasonable price, and has a fabulous central location. Click here to read my review.
- The luxurious Grand Central hotel is within 10 minutes of both market locations, as well as being next door to Glasgow Central Station. Click here to read my review.