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14 Christmas markets to visit in England

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

More Christmas 2022 events and things to do:

20+ Christmas events for 2022 | Best places for a 2022 Christmas break | 2022 Christmas events in stately homes | 2022 Christmas steam train experiences 

1

Birmingham Christmas Market 2022

Victoria Square, Birmingham

A firm favourite on the city’s yuletide calendar, Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market is the largest authentic German Christmas market outside of Germany or Austria. Expect a fine range of traditional, personalised gifts and products on its 80 stalls and get into the German spirit while feasting on schnitzels, bratwursts, glühwein and weissbeer. Another huge draw is its bandstand location in Victoria Square and the programme of live music and carol singers that bring the party atmosphere to festive shopping.

Also check out: Outdoor skating at Ice Rink Birmingham plus the Big Wheel Experience, or head to Wightwick in Wolverhampton to experience a traditional Victorian Christmas.

Find out more about Christmas in Birmingham
2

Leeds' Winter Favourites 2022

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 Christmastime. 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 Christmas 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 taking place in Millennium Square, Briggate and Cookridge Street, where you can hop on a Christmas carousel.

Also check out: The Après Ski Bar for snow flurries and hot chocolate in Trinity Leeds Shopping Centre; and the Leeds Wheel of Light for the best views of the city.

Find out more about this Christmas market in Leeds
3

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland 2022

Hyde Park, London

Transforming one of London’s most spectacular parks, Hyde Park Winter Wonderland offers a festive paradise in the heart of the city. Home to the world’s tallest transportable observation wheel, a Magical Ice Kingdom and an array of thrilling fairground rides, along with the UK’s largest open air ice rink and plenty of bars and food stalls, there’s something for all the family to enjoy. Don't miss jaw-dropping circus acts and creative ice sculpting workshops, and browse over 100 charming wooden chalets for unique gifts, festive decorations and culinary delights.

Also check out: The festive window displays at Hamleys, Selfridge’s and Harrods, plus the capital’s festive lights around the shopping hubs of Regent’s Street and Oxford Street.

Book tickets for Winter Wonderland
4

Southbank Winter Festival 2022

Southbank Centre, London

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

The popular Winter Market returns to London’s Southbank Centre, a seasonal pleasure that sits alongside a range of family shows and festive fun as the banks of the River Thames become a winter wonderland. All along the South Bank are strings of decorations and cute illuminated wooden cabins selling Christmas gifts, from the quirky to the traditional, as well as mince pies, spiced cider and steaming mugs of mulled wine and hot chocolate. Make sure to grab a selfie by the huge Christmas tree!

Also check out: The fantastic performances available at the Southbank Centre, from Dolly Parton's Smoky Mountain Christmas Carol to live performances of bangers from films like Elf, Love Actually and The Night Before Christmas from the Philharmonia Orchestra.

Discover this riverside Christmas market
5

Manchester Christmas Markets 2022

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 visitors won’t be far from festive gifts and delicious food and drink stalls selling traditional bratwurst, hog roast, paella and much more. There will be more than 300 stalls and chalets across the city, with the heart of the markets found in Albert Square. Visitors can follow the trail and pick up jewellery, toys, plants, bags, homeware and fun, quirky gifts at a variety of markets, including a French market, a German market, a World Christmas market and a dedicated Arts & Crafts market.

Also check out: Claus – The Musical at The Lowry in Salford, and The Halle’s (Manchester’s Orchestra’s) Christmas Concerts at Bridgewater Hall.

Find out more about Manchester's Christmas markets
6

Winchester Christmas Market 2022

Winchester Cathedral

With its unique location in the shadow 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.

Go Christmas shopping in Winchester
7

Lincoln Christmas Market 2022

Cathedral Quarter, Lincoln

This four-day Christmas market sets up shop for its fleeting run at Lincoln’s Cathedral Quarter. There will be hundreds of wooden stalls selling a range of unique festive trinkets alongside a wide selection of hearty food, drink and fairground rides. Shops across the city stay open later when the market’s in town too, giving you plenty of time to get all your pressies. Stop by the Lincoln Christmas Maker's Market too to browse wares made by local artists and craftsmen.

Also check out: The Lincolnshire Food & Gift Fair for all things foodie; the glittering lights at Christmas at Belton and the biggest most elaborate shindigs at the Lincolnshire Showground, the EPIC Christmas Party.

Get your Christmas gifts in Lincoln
8

York Christmas Market 2022

Parliament Street, York

Soak up medieval charm at York’s award-winning Christmas fair. Alpine-style chalets take pride of place at the centre of Parliament Street, offering up 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, fly down the Victorian-style Helter Skelter at Kings Square. After all that excitement you’ll be in need of 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 chestnuts.

Also check out: Take your seat for panto at Grand Opera House or York Theatre Royal or skate around a 30-foot-high Christmas tree at the York Designer Outlet. 

Celebrate Christmas in York
9

Rochester Christmas Market 2022

Rochester, Kent

Attracting more than 130,000 visitors a year, this Kent-based market is sure to fill more than a few stockings. Nestled in Rochester’s Castle Gardens, you can browse a range of chalet-style stalls selling everything from Fairtrade clothing to dog toys and homemade jams. And head over to the Bavarian food village for some bratwurst or churros (very German, we know!) before letting loose on some good old-fashioned fairground rides. The market also happens to coincide with the Dickensian Christmas Festival, where you’ll be able to feast your eyes on Victorian delights, meet costumed characters and listen to some open-air carolling.

Also check out: 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 2022

Norwich, Norfolk

Norwich isn’t content with just one Christmas market, so it hosts several. With festive events taking place from the end of November, there is pretty much a Christmas market taking place each weekend up until the big day itself. The largest, Festive Fair at The Forum, spills onto the pedestrianised amphitheatre opposite Norwich’s most complete 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 street food.

Also check out: The Tunnel of Light - Norwich’s most-visited Christmas attraction, The Nutcracker-themed afternoon tea at The Assembly House and the magical festive illuminations on Norwich Castle

Celebrate Christmas in Norwich
11

Bath Christmas Market 2022

Bath

Bath Christmas Market sees more than twinkling 150 pop-up chalets set up on pretty Georgian streets and surrounding its prized Abbey. Browse food, decorations, homeware, jewellery and everything in between from local artisans and craftsmen in the south west as well as further afield. There’re always new stalls to explore alongside the perennial favourites and you can indulge in a range of festive food too.

Also check out: Bath on Ice, which along with its ice rink is home to Glow Golf, a golf course decked out with fairylights. Glow in the dark golf balls will also help you get a hole in one when it gets dark!

 

Visit the Bath Christmas Market
12

Padstow Christmas Festival 2022

Padstow, Cornwall

Food is at the heart of Padstow’s Christmas Festival, championed by high-profile chefs like Rick Stein, Nathan Outlaw and Paul Ainsworth. Join them, and more than 60 culinary experts, at cooking demonstrations across the four-day event that showcases the best of British food and drink. The Christmas marquee market is also the best place to pick up some of the most celebrated West Country produce – from beers to beauty products and art. You can even stop by the festival’s literary talks and book signings – the perfect place to bag yourself an early Christmas pressie.

Also check out: The Cornish traditions surrounding the winter solstice at The Montol Festival in Penzance.

Have a Cornish Christmas
13

Stratford-upon-Avon Victorian Christmas Market 2022

Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire

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

Stratford-upon-Avon’s award-winning Victorian Christmas Market spreads plenty of traditional festive cheer with plenty of shopping, food and street entertainment to enjoy. Around 300 stalls, complete with Victorian outfit-clad tradespeople, 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.

Also check out: Traditional winter blooms and ‘Wassailing’ at Christmas at Shakespeare’s Birthplace.

Experience Christmas with a twist
14

Chester Christmas Market 2022

Chester, Cheshire

A magical experience awaits you in Chester’s city centre this festive season. From late November to late December, go looking for the city’s sparkling Christmas tree (you won’t miss it, it’s huge!), and, surrounding it, you’ll find over 70 stalls selling everything from handmade gifts and arts and crafts goodies, to fudge, vodka and cute stocking fillers. When your shopping ventures have worked up an appetite, dig into a hearty hog roast and get well and truly into the Christmas spirit with a cup of hot mulled wine.

Also check out: The enchanting sparkle of The Lanterns at Chester Zoo; the flickering flames of the fire garden at Christmas at Delamere Forest; the much-anticipated annual 12 Days of Christmas Parade.

Find Christmas gifts in Chester
01 Nov 2022(last updated)

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  • 1

    Victoria Square, Birmingham

  • 2

    Leeds, Yorkshire

  • 3

    Hyde Park, London

  • 4

    Southbank Centre, London

  • 5

    Albert Square, Manchester

  • 6

    Winchester Cathedral

  • 7

    Cathedral Quarter, Lincoln

  • 8

    Parliament Street, York

  • 9

    Rochester, Kent

  • 10

    Norwich, Norfolk

  • 11

    Bath

  • 12

    Padstow, Cornwall

  • 13

    Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire

  • 14

    Chester, Cheshire

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