Top Ten Christmas Markets

The Festive season is nearly upon us so why not experience one of the many Christmas Markets to be found around the country. To help you get into the Christmas spirit, we have selected 10 of the Best Christmas Markets in Britain and Ireland – all ideal for a mini-break.

If you’re not sure which of these selected festive markets to visit, take a look at the site for full information, reviews and view their Christmas Breaks section, to help you plan a festive mini-break.

Screen Shot 2014-12-02 at 20.30.50Leeds – Christkindelmarkt, running until 20th December in Leeds is one of the most established German Christmas Markets in the UK, with traditional wooden stalls, festive greenery, Christmas carousel ride and twinkling colourful lights all creating a unique continental festive atmosphere in the heart of Leeds city centre.

Set in the stylish civic setting of the award winning Millennium Square, Christkindelmarkt attracts many hundred thousands of visitors to Leeds each year and forms an integral part of the city’s annual events programme.

The market consists of over 40 wooden chalet stalls from authentic German traders providing a wide range of seasonal gift ideas.

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-Running until 21st December. Don your Santa hat, dust off the mulled wine glass, and get into the festive spirit – it’s time to head down to Manchester’s world famous Christmas Market.

Attracting shoppers from all over the UK and beyond, the market has put Manchester city centre firmly on the Christmas map – the Christmas Market has become not just a fabulous place to shop but also a hugely popular leisure destination in its own right. No Mancunian winter is complete without a wander through the chalet-lined streets of the markets.

The Christmas Markets are located in different spaces around the city, each with its own distinct character and atmosphere:

Albert Square | Brazennose Street | St Ann’s Square | Exchange Street | New Cathedral Street | The Corn Exchange | Corporation Street

Screen Shot 2014-12-02 at 20.44.58The Tate Modern London – The Christmas Market at Tate Modern brings the real German Christmas feeling right up until 24th December 2014, to Tate Modern, Bankside London, transforming the northern landscape of Tate Modern in to a Christmassy attraction for the whole family.

After 6 successful years of at the Southbank Centre Christmas Market, this is now their new home.

Experience a taste of what a traditional, beautifully lit, German style Christmas Market has to offer at the Christmas Market at Tate Modern in London!

Over 70 authentically decorated wooden chalets will sell a wide range of unique hand-crafted gifts and unusual Christmas presents.

Screen Shot 2014-12-02 at 20.49.34Glasgow – This year the festivities continue until Sunday 21st December, and will be taking place along Argyle Street.

The market is once again being organised by Market Place who deliver the famous Christmas Markets in Belfast and Newcastle.

The market is a real Global affair with professional traders from as far afield as Ecuador, Russia and one special visitor all the way from Lapland well the Finnish part of Lapland. Mixed with a huge array of traders from around Europe the Glasgow Christmas market will be a real Global affair.

As well as a gourmets delight, customers can while away an hour or two at the wonderful Gluhwein House operated by Markus Kochems from the Mosel valley. Kochems are listed in the top 100 wine producers in the World. As well as the Gluhwein you can also sample some of bavarias favourite beers at the Bavarian bar. Add all the gifts crafts and very unusual presents to buy and you won’t forget your visit to the Glasgow Christmas Market.

Screen Shot 2014-12-02 at 21.27.51Belfast – One of Belfast landmark buildings, the famous City Hall with its beautiful gardens, provides a wonderful backdrop for the Belfast Christmas Market, situated right in the heart of the City Centre and its wider retail shopping areas. The Market is situated directly alongside the central Bus link and taxi station so transport and travel are never far away.

These fabulous City Hall gardens are transformed into a bustling Continental village providing a great shop around Europe opportunity in the heart of this famous City Centre.

The Belfast Christmas Market also guarantees a real Irish welcome for all its visitors up until 21st December.

Among the retail theatre taking place each day, visitors will be able to avail of the now infamous culinary delights including a range of products such as cheeses, olives, Italian nougat, Belgian chocolates, French tarts, (made on site by a fantastic Breton Patisserie) Mouthwatering foods will be available for customers to sample and buy as they wander around the Yuletide market.

Screen Shot 2014-12-02 at 21.36.09Winchester – Founded in 2006, the Winchester Cathedral Christmas Market is recognised as one of the best in Europe, renowned for its unique location, high quality exhibitors and bustling atmosphere. Wonderful Christmas gifts, decorations and festive foods can be found in abundance. The Christmas Market is inspired by traditional German Christmas markets and attracts more than 350,000 visitors each year. The pretty wooden chalets are situated in Winchester Cathedral’s historic Inner Close surrounding an large open-air real ice rink. All our exhibitors have been hand-picked for their interesting, high quality and unique products many of which can’t be bought on the high street up until 21st December.

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– Just a short stroll from Bath Spa Station, in the centre of the city, you will find Bath Christmas Market – one of the largest festive events in the UK and certainly the most beautiful.

For 18 days, more than 150 quaint wooden stalls line the squares and streets surrounding the impressive Bath Abbey, selling everything you could possibly need for your festive celebrations. Gift ideas abound, including clothing, accessories, crafts and toys as well as more unusual or one-off pieces of art and jewellery. Stock up on festive foods with cheeses, pickles and meats galore, and sample wines, liqueurs and local cider to compliment your choices. Treat yourself to luxurious chocolates and puddings – or why not put together a hamper as a wonderful gift?

Get well and truly into the Christmas spirit and enjoy the atmosphere of the market. The enchanting sound of carols and the tantalising aroma of sumptuous food on the air add to the ambience of the market, creating a magical experience. There is no need to rush – with the market open late most evenings, you can take your time and browse the stalls under twinkling lights, before perhaps retiring to a bar or restaurant.

Ideally located in the heart of Bath’s main shopping area, with well-loved high street brands and designer boutiques all around, you can’t fail to find everything you are looking for. Give yourself a treat this festive season and get your Christmas shopping ‘wrapped up’ in one magical day at Bath Christmas Market.

Screen Shot 2014-12-02 at 22.02.13Dublin – Dublin City Centre’s first ever Christmas Market will be held in St. Stephen’s Green this year. There will be more than 60 trade concessions located in traditional wooden chalets along the exterior of St Stephen’s Green Park between Grafton Street and Merrion Row, the Market will offer a unique selection of quality Irish made handcrafted gift items, including accessories, woodcrafts, jams and preserves and prints as well as seasonal food and drinks to include charcoal grills, crepes, bratwurst, chocolate fountain, Gluhwein as well as other seasonal non-alcoholic drinks.

Screen Shot 2014-12-02 at 21.48.03Belgravia Christmas Market, London – Santa and his Reindeer, Carol Singers, Christmas Lights and the best of Festive Shopping

Sparkling their way through two of Belgravia’s most beautiful streets, Father Christmas and his live reindeer will make Christmas come to life in one of London’s best loved villages.

On Sunday 7th December, Elizabeth Street and Pimlico Road will be transformed into a winter wonderland, thriving with festive handmade craft stalls and boutique markets, balloon modellers, choirs, brass bands and delicious festive food and drink.

A haven from the busy high street Belgravia is the ultimate Christmas destination for discerning shoppers and diners alike. Belgravia has an array of superb boutique retailers with bars and restaurants, designer and luxury fashion, delicious gourmet treats and beautiful homewares.

Throughout the festive season, this hidden corner of London really comes alive, offering everything from Daylesford Organic festive hampers and bespoke Les Senteurs fragrances, to charming Mungo & Maud accessories for the pampered pooch, bespoke Christmas cards from Grosvenor Stationary Company and the finest Cuban cigars from tomtom.

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Galway – Ireland’s longest running Christmas Market, the Galway Continental Christmas Market, returns to its home in Eyre Square, Galway City, until Monday 22nd December. Now running for its fifth consecutive year, the Galway Continental Christmas Market, will launch the festive season in Ireland as it is the earliest Christmas Market to open in the country.

Building on the successful format of previous years, the market will be a hive of activity with lots of entertainment promised. Over fifty traders from all over Ireland and Europe will be selling a host of crafts, festive food, treats and Christmas gift ideas, while the expected audience of up to 650,000 market-goers can also enjoy a live entertainment programme throughout the month-long event.

Many thanks to our Friends at for their indispensable advice

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