By Patricia Bech
The UK boasts some of the best Christmas Markets in Europe. While snow is far from guaranteed throughout the country in December, the abundance of festive spirit at these events more than makes up for its absence.
Hyde Park Winter Wonderland has gained a reputation for being one of the largest Christmas Markets around, but there are also lots of other places in the UK that host excellent events.
Here are some recommendations for Christmas Markets to visit in the UK:
Of course, Hyde Park Winter Wonderland tops the list. This is one of London’s showcase festive events and it is free to enter. Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park is packed with attractions. This year it starts from the 21st of November and runs until the 5th of January. Some of the highlights include the world’s tallest transportable Observation Wheel. There is also a new theme at the Magical Ice Kingdom where it draws inspiration from ‘A Christmas Carol’. You can enjoy the likes of ice skating, après ski bars and a visit to Father Christmas. Something for everyone there we’d say!
To make the most of the wintery weather, a trip to Edinburgh is worthwhile. The ‘Edinburgh Christmas’ is a very popular celebration and it includes lots of attractions and shows, with the Christmas Market only being one part of the festivities in the city. The Christmas Market is staged in East Princes Street Gardens. The quaint stalls sell lots of products but they also offer the likes of a warming cup of mulled wine. Edinburgh Castle provides a picturesque backdrop for the Christmas events in this magical city.
While Edinburgh boasts a castle in the background, Bath has an Abbey and the Roman Baths as the centrepieces of its Christmas Market. People travel from far and wide to visit one of the UK’s most beautiful cities at this time of year and the setting for the Christmas Market is truly stunning. It has a romantic atmosphere and you can listen to carols as you browse the stalls. It offers everything from unique homeware to personalised presents, Christmas decorations, handcrafted jewellery and lovely food.
Manchester has Christmas Markets in a number of different locations throughout the city. They are known for offering particularly good food. In fact, the Christmas Markets in Manchester are famous for their traditional bratwurst. You can also enjoy the likes of Hungarian goulash, Spanish paella or a good old-fashioned hog roast too, making this a global Christmas feast. There are over 300 stalls and chalets that are spread across the city centre and the Christmas Markets are free and proud to be accessible to all.
The award-winning Belfast Christmas Market takes place in the City Hall grounds. This is a great Christmas Market for children. There is a festive grotto where you can take the kids to visit Santa. There are also vintage fairground rides at this Christmas market, including a carousel and a Helter Skelter. The food includes crepes, pancakes, chocolates and much more. There is also a focus on selling products from local craft producers.
Patricia Bech is a travel writer