It’s time to break open the mince pies and pray that you’ve been a good girl/boy this season: failing that you can always treat yourself at one of the fabulous Christmas markets in the UK, which are brimming with all the festive food, drink, decorations and gifts you could possibly need!
Manchester Christmas Market – until 22 December 2013
The ninth annual Christmas Market in Manchester has won awards for its seasonal stalls and atmosphere. Sellers line nine of the city’s historic streets including Albert Square, St Ann's Square and Corporation Street, providing an eye-catching treat. The 300 stalls sell everything from jewellery, toys, crafts and gifts and the seasonal food and drink comes with an international twist. Chomp on Hungarian goulash washed down with a Spanish beer.
Bath Christmas Market – until 15 December 2013
Beautiful Bath hosts their annual Christmas Market in the heart of the traditional city, surrounded by Victorian architectural wonders. There are 130 quaint and traditional wooden stalls lining the history-laden streets around the handsome Bath Abbey. Gifts for all family members are covered here with clothing, toys and accessories all on offer. Picky relatives will appreciate the local cheeses, meats and ciders on offer.
Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market & Craft Fair – until 22 December 2013
The city of Birmingham has Christmas all wrapped up with its impressive German-inspired market and craft fair. There are more than 180 picturesque stalls in the heart of the city selling everything you could possibly need. The highlight is undoubtedly the rage of authentic German trinkets, food and drink.
Holkham Hall Christmas Market – 14-15 December 2013
The majestic Holkham Estate at Wells-next-the-Sea on the north Norfolk coast comes alive this season for its annual festive fair. This is an old-school Christmas, rather befitting the setting, with the opulent state rooms bedecked in traditional style. The estate is studded with richly decorated Christmas tree laden with handmade decorations and head to the courtyard to meet Father Christmas and browse the traders selling local and handmade produce.
Southbank Centre Christmas Market – until 24 December 2013
This is one of the biggest seasonal markets in the UK and (hint hint) is open right up until Christmas Eve. Located within London's Southbank Center close to the London Eye and Waterloo Bridge, there are over 80 chalets, sporting authentic decorations. Stock on a large range of special hand-crafted gifts which make for unusual Christmas presents.
Oxford Christmas Market – until 22 December 2013
You’ll probably smell the festivities long before you arrive as the heady scent of gingerbread carries on the air! Immerse yourself in the festive atmosphere in Oxford which is based on an authentic German Christmas market. Snap up some fresh gingerbread and sample a warming mulled wine. There are even carol singers to get you in the spirit.
Erddig Hall Christmas Market – until 15 December 2013
Wrexham in north Wales is the setting for this particular traditional market, which is also home to Santa's Winter Wonderland. The setting is the handsome Erddig Hall which dates back to 1687. Expect fifty cabins selling everything from ceramics, glassware, decorations and toys. There are also pastries, waffles and hot mulled wine on offer.
Glasgow Christmas Continental Market – until 23 December 2013
There is a distinctly international feel within the Glasgow Christmas market as it welcomes traders from all over the world. Held in the heart of the city in the historic St. Enoch Square this is a real global affair. The highlight is undoubtedly the gourmet style food on offer and the authentic Glühwein House serving up tasty spice, citrus fruit and honey infused GlühweinLeeds Christkindlmarkt Traditional German Christmas Market – until 18 December 2013
Here we have a proper old-fashioned Christkindlmarkt in the heart of Leeds. In fact this is one of the best established Christmas markets in the UK. Based in the city’s Millennium Square, this is the perfect spot to stock up on gifts and food goodies in time for the festive season.
Christmas at Leeds Castle – until 22 December 2013
Nothing says ‘Christmas’ quite like an event at an authentic British castle – cue Leeds Castle in Kent. The castle glistens under the festive lights and looks resplendent decorated in the traditional manner. Recreate the atmosphere at home with cinnamon sticks, pine cones and orange wreaths. Stock up at the pretty stalls selling all manner of seasonal items.