As winter takes hold, one thing that helps a lot of us endure the cold temperatures is embracing the Christmas spirit. It's the perfect opportunity to wrap up and explore some of the UK’s most exciting festive markets.
Whether it’s one just on your doorstep, or involves a journey for a day out with family or friends, here’s a list of the most vibrant Christmas markets across the UK so you can indulge in ice rinks, mulled wine, ferris wheels, and more.
Where: Edinburgh New Town
When: 17th November 2023 until the 6th January 2024
Price Range: Free for non-events, tickets start from £9.50 for bookable events
Located in Scotland’s capital city, Edinburgh Christmas Market is bursting with festive activities to take your mind off the cold weather setting in. With handmade products being sold at market stalls, it’s a chance to do some Christmas shopping, as well as hopping on some of the enthralling rides. Enjoy the idyllic East Princes Street Gardens, hop on the iconic Forth 1 Big Wheel ,and indulge in some winter themed tipples at this beautiful festive market. You can also see Edinburgh Castle turn into the Castle of Light, with immersive experiences inside.
Where: Victoria Square and New Street, Birmingham
When: 2nd November 2023 to 24th December 2023
As the largest authentic German Christmas market outside of Germany and Austria, Birmingham’s Frankfurt market has proved popular year on year, with around five million visitors each time. There are over 180 stalls selling handmade jewellery and toys, as well as German inspired cuisine, such as Bratwurst and drinks such as Weissbier. There’s also a plethora of amusement rides, providing a mixture of activities for everyone visiting the market. Birmingham Frankfurt market has the added bonus of their now iconic singing moose, that has become an attraction in itself.
Where: Abbey Square, Bath
When: 23rd November 2023 to 10th December 2023
Already one of the most aesthetically pleasing cities in the UK, Bath’s Christmas Market makes for a cosy day out, with over 160 chalets each hosting a local business. The stalls range from personalised presents for your loved ones to delectable mulled wine to keep you warm. Bath puts emphasis on up and coming artists, giving them a huge scale platform to showcase their work, so make sure to pay attention to what's on offer. See the best bits of Bath's Christmas market in the video below.
Where: Hyde Park, London
When: 17th November 2023 to 1st January 2024
Perhaps the most famous Christmas Market in the UK, with more than three million visitors over its six week stint in the capital, Winter Wonderland offers activities such as ice skating and roller coasters, to visiting one of the many bars available on site. This year tickets need to be booked in advance online, and due to the bustling Hyde Park location, it's worth doing so early to avoid disappointment. Adult entry prices range from free to £7.50, depending on peak or off-peak visits. Winter Wonderland is home to the iconic Bavarian Bar, giving a place for a relaxing Christmas drink after exploring the attractions, and if you choose to stay the night, JustPark has plenty of nearby overnight parking, so you can enjoy the festive evenings stress free.
Where: Across Leeds City Centre
When: 24th November 2023 to 22nd December 2023
New this year, Leeds is expanding its Christmas horizons with a much larger Market, spreading out all over the city. There are over 120 Bavarian-style stalls, hosting both local Yorkshire, and international traders, as well as an ice skating rink in Victoria Gardens. As the market is all over Leeds, there is a Christmas Market trail to help you explore present shopping at Kirkgate Market, getting local produce from Briggate Farmers Market, and the Artisan market at Harewood House. There are also new festive bars dotted around the city on Quebec Street, Dortmund Square, and Briggate, making them the perfect areas to relax and have a Christmas catch up.
Where: Winchester Cathedral Inner Close
When: 17th November 2023 to 21st December 2023
With stunning historic surroundings, Winchester Cathedral Christmas Market is one of the best in Europe, with wooden chalets filled with a variety of traders. The internationally acclaimed choir sings carols to complement the festive atmosphere, and toys, food, garden supplies, clothing, and charity chalets on offer, Winchester Cathedral Christmas Market makes for a unique shopping experience. There are also stage performances from local groups, and exploring the Cathedral itself can make for a memorable Christmas outing.
Where: Parliament Street and Sampson’s Square, York
When: 16th November 2023 to 22nd December 2023
A city enriched with vibrant history, York hosts its St Nicholas Market with 68 Alpine chalets offering gifts, local produce, and festive food and drink. There is a vintage carousel to serve as a break from shopping, as well as the new Swiss chalet called the Winter Butte, serving up fondue, bratwurst, and raclette, with booth seating. You can explore the city’s attractions, such as York Minster, and JORVIK Viking Centre, and then come to the market for a warming glass of mulled wine and present shopping. Explore the Christmas lights and sights through this short video.
Where: Market Square and Olympic Way, Wembley Park
When: The first three weekends in December 2023
Located on Market Square and Olympic Way, the Wembley Park Festive Market is a do-not-miss afternoon full of yuletide cheer. The festive markets will be open for the first three weekends in December for shoppers looking for last-minute gifts or simply strolling through the stalls to soak up the festive atmosphere. Other free-to-attend attractions at Winter in Wembley Park include a brand-new light-based interactive maze, art installations and live choirs. Find one-of-a-kind items such as handmade statement jewellery, vintage goods by Portobello Vintage Market pop-up, Jesmonite homewares, premium skincare, clothing, candles, homemade gifts and more.
Whether you’re staying local and shopping for your loved ones, or fancying a weekend getaway to get in the festive mood, don’t get caught out with your parking. JustPark offers short term parking for a quick visit, or long term if you’re having an extended stay, meaning you can pre-book your space and get close to the Christmassy action. Don’t let parking options deter you from visiting one of these bustling Christmas markets, use JustPark to plan your trip beforehand, and remove the hassle.