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15 Christmas markets to visit in England

Twinkling lights, mulled wine, a festive atmosphere and fabulous gifts – Christmas markets and festivals are one of England's fondest traditions. Set in some of the country’s most picturesque cities, a visit to a UK Christmas market is equal parts shopping experience and equal parts destination discovery. Start planning your ultimate winter getaway in 2023 with our guide to the country's best Christmas markets, ideal for a family day trip or a romantic night out.

More Christmas 2023 events and things to do:

20+ Christmas events for 2023 | Best places for a 2023 Christmas break | 2023 Christmas events in stately homes | 2023 Christmas steam train experiences 

1

Leeds' Winter Favourites 2023

Leeds, Yorkshire

Christmas decor at Leeds Cornhill

Fun fact: you'll never be further than a six-minute walk from a festive activity in Leeds this Christmas season. Indulge at the Chow Down Winter Village, packed with local street food vendors as well as a rooftop curling club and a heated ski lodge; bag presents at an independent Christmas market in the iconic Leeds Corn Exchange and check out the speciality markets at Kirkgate (one of the largest indoor markets in Europe). You'll also find festive events and markets in Millennium Square, Briggate and Cookridge Street, where you can hop on a Christmas carousel.

When? (DATES NOT CONFIRMED FOR 2023/34)

While you’re here

Visit the Après Ski Bar for snow flurries and hot chocolate in Trinity Leeds Shopping Centre and the Leeds Wheel of Light for the city’s best views.

Find out more about this Christmas market in Leeds
2

Birmingham Christmas Market 2023

Victoria Square, Birmingham

A firm favourite on the city’s Yuletide calendar, Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market  is the largest German Christmas market outside of Germany or Austria. Expect a fine range of traditional gifts and products on its 180 stalls and get into the  festive spirit while indulging in schnitzels, bratwursts, crepes, glühwein and weissbeer. Another huge draw is its bandstand location in Victoria Square and the programme of live music and carol singers that bring party vibes to your festive shopping. 

When? 3 November to 23 December 2023 

While you’re here
Check out outdoor skating at Ice Rink Birmingham, the Big Wheel Experience, or head to Wightwick in Wolverhampton to experience a traditional Victorian Christmas. 

Find out more about Christmas in Birmingham
3

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland 2023

Hyde Park, London

Transforming London’s most famous park, Winter Wonderland is the biggest Christmas attraction in the capital. Home to the world’s tallest transportable Ferris wheel and the UK’s largest open air ice rink, thrilling fairground rides and numerous bars and food stalls, you’ll need at least a day to enjoy all the attractions here. Don't miss jaw-dropping circus acts at Cirque Berserk and creative ice sculpting workshops, and browse over 100 wooden chalets for unique gifts, festive decorations and culinary delights.

When? November 2023 to January 2024

While you’re here
Wander further afield and take photos of the festive window displays at Hamleys, Selfridge’s and Harrods, and the capital’s festive lights along Regent Street and Oxford Street.

Book tickets for Winter Wonderland
4

Southbank Winter Festival 2023

Southbank Centre, London

The Southbank Centre's Winter Festival, hosted annually in London.

The popular Winter Festival returns to London’s Southbank Centre this autumn, a festive favourite that sits alongside an eclectic programme of festive shows and events along the banks of the River Thames. All along the South Bank you’ll find twinkling wooden cabins selling Christmas gifts, from the quirky to the traditional. Make sure you get a selfie by the towering Christmas tree before you leave.

When? 28 October 2023 to 7 January 2024

While you’re here
Enjoy a live classical music concert Christmas in Tinseltown, featuring tunes from your favourite Christmas films played by the London Philharmonic Orchestra and presented by film reviewer Mark Kermode on 14 December.  

Discover this riverside Christmas market
5

Manchester Christmas Markets 2023

Albert Square, Manchester

Manchester Christmas Market, hosted around the Town Hall in Albert Square

The latest instalment of the Manchester Christmas Markets will take over locations across the city from mid-November, meaning you won’t be far from festive gifts and delicious food and drink stalls selling traditional bratwurst, hog roast, paella, middle eastern dishes and much more. There will be more than 300 stalls and chalets across the city, with the heart of the markets in Albert Square.

Follow the trail and pick up jewellery, tweed hats, toys, plants, locally-brewed booze, homeware and one-of-a-kind gifts at a variety of markets. Plenty of presents are available here, even for the trickiest person to buy for.

When? (DATES NOT CONFIRMED FOR 2023/24)

While you're here

Strap on a pair of blades and zoom around at Skate Manchester's family-friendly covered ice rink in Cathedral Gardens.

Find out more about Manchester's Christmas markets
6

Winchester Cathedral Christmas Market 2023

Winchester Cathedral

With its unique location on the grounds of a celebrated English icon, Winchester Cathedral’s Christmas Market is widely regarded as one of Europe’s best. More than 100 chalets are home to hand-picked exhibitors offering exclusive gifts that visitors won’t find on the high street – from hand-crafted decorations and festive treats to craft beer and mulled wine.

When? 17 November to – 21 December 2023

While you’re here
Head inside the 1.000 year-old Cathedral to hear a range of seasonal services taking place, from Advent evensongs to carol services, featuring the acclaimed choir. 

Go Christmas shopping in Winchester
7

WasteLess Wonderland

Oxford

If you love Christmas but loathe waste, check out this brand-new alternative festive market experience designed and curated by urban designer Wayne Hemingway in Oxford. It promises to be a 'contemporary reinterpretation of the classic Christmas market' - with a sustainable theme. Featuring incredible talent from across the city, WasteLess Wonderland will offer ‘good for-the-planet’ gifts from independent designers. Three Oxfordshire-based food brands will join the experience to get your tastebuds going; the Wonky Food Company will sell jars of yummy relishes that use imperfect and surplus fruit and veg - helping to tackle food waste. Climatarian Kitchen will serve street food dishes which are made from surplus food while Damascus Rose, a social enterprise supporting refugee women in Oxford, will be selling warming Middle Eastern food.

If you enjoy arts and crafts, join a free-to-join workshop where you can revamp your old Christmas party wear and decorations, create wooden ornaments and learn how to do Japanese furoshiki giftwrapping with patterned cloth. 

When? 24 November to 22 December 2023

While you're here

Partygoers should also check out Friday Lates, where a Recycled DJ Party allows you to pick a pre-loved, charity shop-sourced record, go behind the turntables and be a DJ yourself! 

Go sustainable this Christmas
8

York Christmas Market 2023

Parliament Street, York

Soak up medieval charm at York’s award-winning Christmas fair. Alpine-style chalets take pride of place on Parliament Street, offering an array of festive decorations, foodie treats and traditional Christmas gifts. For local Yorkshire produce, head for the Make in Yorkshire Yuletide Village, and for all the fun of the fair, slide down the Victorian-style helter-skelter at Kings Square. After all that excitement, you’ll need a tipple or two, so stop by the rustic barn in St Sampson’s Square for a glass of mulled wine and a cup of hot roasted chestnuts.

When? 18 November to 23 December 2023

While you’re here

Lace up your walking boots for a 90-minute daily Festive Guided Walking Tour, which explores the history, tales and traditions of 2,000 years of festive tradition including Winter Solstice, Saturnalia, Yule and of course, our modern idea of Christmas.

Celebrate Christmas in York
9

Rochester Christmas Market 2023

Rochester, Kent

This Medway market attracts more than 130,000 visitors a year. Found in Rochester’s Castle Gardens, browse a range of chalet-style stalls selling everything from Fairtrade clothing to dog toys and homemade jams. Head over to the Bavarian food village for a bratwurst before letting loose on some good old-fashioned fairground rides. The market also coincides with the Dickensian Christmas Festival (2 to 3 December 2023), where you can immerse yourself in Victoriana, meet costumed characters and listen to open-air carolling.

When? 25 November to 10 December 2023

While you’re here
Grab your 19th-century ball gown and attend the Mistletoe Ball, part of the Dickensian Christmas Festival . 

Find unique gifts in Kent
10

Norwich Christmas Markets 2023

Norwich, Norfolk

Norwich doesn’t have just one Christmas market; it has several! With festive events taking place from November, there are plenty of reasons to visit up until the big day itself. The largest, Festive Fair at The Forum, spills onto the pedestrianised amphitheatre opposite Norwich’s biggest medieval church. Browse stalls selling handmade East Anglian crafts, art, food and drink to the soundtrack of live Christmas music, and don’t miss the delicious street food.

When? 23 to 26 November 2023

While you’re here
Stop for a cup of warming Gluhwein at Sir Toby’s Beers on Norwich Market (Norwich’s smallest bar), The Nutcracker-themed afternoon tea at The Assembly House and the magical illuminations on Norwich Castle.

Celebrate Christmas in Norwich
11

Bath Christmas Market 2023

Bath

Bath Christmas Market sees more than 160 pop-up chalets set up on pretty Georgian streets and around its prized Abbey. Browse stalls selling food, decorations, homeware, jewellery and everything in between from local artisans and craftsmen in the South West and further afield. With new stalls to explore alongside the perennial favourites, you can indulge in a cup of mulled wine and a warm festive snack to keep those winter chills at bay.

When? 23 November to 10 December 2023

While you’re here
Check out Bath on Ice, which along with its ice rink, is home to Glow Golf, a mini golf course decked out with fairy lights. Glow-in-the-dark golf balls will also help you get a hole-in-one after dark!

Visit the Bath Christmas Market
12

Padstow Christmas Festival 2023

Padstow, Cornwall

Food is at the heart of Padstow’s Christmas Festival, championed by high-profile local chefs like Rick Stein, Nathan Outlaw and Paul Ainsworth. With more than 60 culinary experts giving advice and demonstrations across four days, you’re sure to pick up some top tips for your Christmas cooking.

The Christmas marquee is also the best place to pick up top-notch West Country produce – from beers, cheeses and pickles to beauty products, art and fresh seafood. Once you’re full, swing by the festival’s literary talks and book signings – the perfect place to bag yourself an early Christmas pressie.

When? 7 to 10 December 2023

While you're here
Strictly one for the grown-ups, local brewery Sharp's is bringing its Doom Bar Silent Bistro to Padstow this year after a well-received debut at Dorset's Camp Bestival. Grab your seat, choose a beer, don the bluetooth headphones and tune in to the sounds, flavours and aromas. This unique experience includes bitesize taster dishes prepared by Sharp’s chef friends.

Have a Cornish Christmas
13

Stratford-upon-Avon Victorian Christmas Market 2023

Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire

People browsing the stalls at Stratford-upon-Avon's Christmas market

Step back in time at this award-winning Victorian Christmas Market spreading traditional festive cheer with shopping, street food and free entertainment. Around 300 stalls, complete with Victorian outfit-clad vendors, will be selling a wide range of gifts and seasonal products, and over on Wood Street, there’ll be a traditional funfair to keep the little ones entertained, including an original Victorian-era carousel.

When? 7 to 10 December 2023

While you’re here
Experience traditional winter blooms and ‘Wassailing’ (traditional folk singing) at Christmas at Shakespeare’s birthplace. 

Have a Dickensian Christmas
14

Chester Christmas Market 2023

Chester, Cheshire

From late November to late December, make a beeline for the city’s sparkling Christmas tree (you won’t miss it, it’s huge!), before exploring over 70 stalls selling everything from handmade gifts and arts and crafts goodies to fudge, vodka and other stocking fillers. When you’re all shopped out, tuck into a hearty hog roast roll and get into the Christmas spirit with a steaming cup of mulled wine.

When? 19 November to 21 December 2023

While you’re here
Check out the enchanting sparkle of Lanterns and Light at Chester Zoo (17 November to 31 December), the flickering flames of the fire garden at Christmas at Delamere Forest and the much-anticipated annual 12 Days of Christmas Parade. 

Find Christmas gifts in Chester
15

Ulverston Dickensian Christmas Festival

Ulverston, Cumbria

All the fun of the festive fair awaits you in this charming Lake District town. Marvel at roving street performers, including a brass band and fire eaters, sip on hot chocolate and shop for goodies at independent stalls dotted around the centre. Be sure to check out the famous costume parade, where prizes can be won for the best dressed. Best start planning your outfit now!

When? 25 to 26 November 2023

While you're here

Keep a look out for the Magic Lantern, a curious Victorian-era contraption that travels the country with its crew of storytellers, musicians and puppeteers - telling and collecting stories, lighting up woodlands and bringing laughter to young and older people alike!

Christmas meets the circus in Ulverston

More Christmas markets and fairs to explore

• An afternoon of festive fun awaits the whole family at Shillingford Bridge Hotel's Christmas Fayre in Oxfordshire, on Sunday 17 December. Take the little ones to meet Santa, get their faces painted and take part in gingerbread decorating while you shop for last-minute presents at stalls from the local community; be sure to look out for the special sweet stall loaded with delicious treats. And when you're all shopped out, settle down for a festive roast lunch with all the trimmings. It's never too early for Christmas dinner...

• Now the East Midlands largest Christmas market, make sure you check out Nottingham's Winter Wonderland, which runs to 31 December 2023. Enjoy ice skating above the crowds, while the kids can take a toboggan ride and sit on the Frozen Swing for a memorable photo. Be sure to check out the market stalls which offers everything from hand-made gifts and delicious food to mulled wine or a classic hot toddy. 

 

29 Nov 2023(last updated)

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  • 1

    Leeds, Yorkshire

  • 2

    Victoria Square, Birmingham

  • 3

    Hyde Park, London

  • 4

    Southbank Centre, London

  • 5

    Albert Square, Manchester

  • 6

    Winchester Cathedral

  • 7

    Oxford

  • 8

    Parliament Street, York

  • 9

    Rochester, Kent

  • 10

    Norwich, Norfolk

  • 11

    Bath

  • 12

    Padstow, Cornwall

  • 13

    Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire

  • 14

    Chester, Cheshire

  • 15

    Ulverston, Cumbria

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