8 wonderful festive markets to visit in Great Britain this Christmas

Christmas time in Great Britain is a unique blend of festive fun, wonderful tradition and magical experiences. For those visiting over the holiday period we have put together a list of some of the unmissable Christmas markets that will be running in different locations around the country. From mulled wine & mince pies, to meeting Santa in his grotto, a visit to a Christmas market is an absolute must for any traveller who wants to experience the warm heart of Great Britain at Christmas.

Winchester Cathedral Christmas Market - 17 November–20 December 2018

The Winchester Cathedral Christmas Market is inspired by traditional German Christmas markets and attracts over 350,000 people each year. The market takes place within the Inner Close of Winchester Cathedral and turns it into a sparkling winter wonderland.

Visitors will encounter everything from stollen, to mulled wine to delicate painted textiles, and for those who enjoy a bit of exhilaration, the Christmas market is also home to a magical outdoor ice rink.

To arrange a ‘meet and greet’ for your groups, please contact the Winchester Cathedral Christmas market team, as they will be able to facilitate coach arrivals as well as arranging entry and tours to the Cathedral with refreshments.

For those travelling by train, Winchester Cathedral Christmas market is easily accessed by rail from London, Southampton, Basingstoke, Reading, and the Midlands and beyond.

Image courtesy of Winchester Cathedral’

Caerphilly Christmas Market - 8 December–9 December 2018

Caerphilly Christmas Market, in South Wales,  presents a unique twist on the traditional Christmas market. This festive event takes place in Caerphilly Castle and as a distinctly medieval feel – perfect for visitors to experience a taste of a 13th-century festivity!

The market is home to over 100 stalls, selling a range of festive gifts along with some fantastic seasonal food and drink.

Caerphilly Castle is just half an hour from Cardiff by rail, and Caerphilly itself has a host of other wonderful attractions for visitors to experience on their trip

To find our more about coach bookings for the event, visit the website.

Image courtesy of Caerphilly County Borough Council

Birmingham's Frankfurt Christmas Market – 15 November – 23 December

lights illuminate festively decorate stalls and a merry-go-round in Birmingham and Christmas

Birmingham’s German-themed Christmas Market is the biggest outside  Germany and Austria.

Visitors can sample a warming gluhwein whilst browsing stalls that sell traditional wooden toys, hand-made gifts and Christmas decorations. The market also features a Big Wheel to take in the sights from above, as well as a lovely ice rink in Centenary Square.

The market is open daily between 10am – 9pm and is located in Victoria Square, New Street – just a short walk from the station. It is quick and easy to reach Birmingham from many major cities in the Great Britain, and it is only an hour and a half from London. For more information visit their website.

Image courtesy of the Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market

Bath Christmas Market – 22 November – 9 December 2018

The Bath Christmas Market is set amid the stunning scenery of the city’s ancient heritage. Over 200 magical chalets will twinkle against the backdrop of the city’s Roman baths and magnificent 16th-century abbey. Visitors will be able to wander the city’s Georgian streets, sampling local gingerbread, cheese and festive drinks whilst admiring the selection of handmade gifts on display – and maybe pick up a Christmas present or two!

Bath Spa station is a 90 minute journey from Central London, and the Christmas market is just a short walk from the station.

The market is free to visit, and it is possible to avoid the crowds by planning a visit on a weekday morning or evening. For those who want to experience the bustling atmosphere of Bath’s Christmas Market in full swing it is best to visit either lunchtime on a weekday or at the weekend.

Image credit: VisitEngland/Luke Rogers

Southbank Centre Winter Festival, London – mid November to Early January

The Southbank Centre plays host to numerous events throughout the year, but its Nordic-inspired Christmas market is definitely one of the highlights. Just a stone’s throw from many of the wonderful London sights, this market is home to beautiful wooden chalets that sell a variety of Christmas goods, and food and drink stalls offering delicious festive treats.

The Southbank Centre Winter Festival is within easy reach from both London Waterloo and Charing Cross stations, and is also accessible directly from the river via the London Eye Waterloo Pier.

Image credit: India Roper-Williams, courtesy of Southbank Centre Winter Market

Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh - 16th November - 5th January 2019

The traditional and romantic Christmas Market in the heart of the City of Edinburgh offers a unique shopping experience for every visitor with its fair of crafters, artists, gift shops and gastronomic surprises. Get into the Christmas spirit!

The market is open from daily from 10am – 10pm, except 17 November when it opens at 1pm, and 24 December when it closes at 8pm. The market is closed 25 December, and opens 12pm on 26 December and 1 January.

Coach parking is available in Edinburgh – on both Regent Road and Johnston Terrace. Further information can be accessed here.

Image credit: Lloyd Smith Photography and film, courtesy of The Corner Shop

Manchester Christmas Market - 9 November–22 December 2018

sparkling festive lights illuminate stalls under a clock tower at Manchester Christmas MarketSet beneath the town hall in Albert square, the festive lights of the Manchester Christmas market twinkle with festive delight. Picturesque market stalls wind through the city centre, and visitors can experience a whole host of Christmas offerings.

From mulled wine, to delicious Belgian chocolate, the multitude of stalls at this wonderful Christmas market caters for every taste.

Manchester is a gateway to the North of England and is easily accessible from other Northern cities, whilst only being a 2 hour train journey from London.

Image courtesy of VisitBritain Images

Bristol Local Christmas Market - 30 November - 23 December

an image of Bristol at sunrise, viewed from the river
Bristol Christmas market is home to 22 wooden chalets that offer a mix of traditional and eclectic wares. Right in the heart of the city, this festive gem is a wonderful opportunity for visitors to immerse themselves in the vibrant and unique Bristol landscape whilst enjoying some mulled wine and mince pies.

Bristol is just over an hour and a half from London by rail making it perfect for both a day trip or as a starting point for a festive tour of the South West.

To find out more visit www.facebook.com/BristolLocalChristmasMarket/

Image ©VisitBritain/Craig Derrick