The UK’s top Christmas markets

Thursday, 17 November 2011 4:54 PM

Christmas Markets are usually associated with Germany or Eastern European cities such as Prague, Budapest and Krakow, however you don’t have to go far on a city break to find one. Christmas markets have been popping up all over the UK in recent years and there are many which even rival the ones in Europe. Here’s a list of our top five.

Bath Christmas Market 24 November -11 December
The Bath Christmas Market has slowly become one of the most famous Christmas Markets in the UK and attracts thousands of tourists each year. Set in front of the majestic Bath Abbey and the quaint streets around, the idyllic market consists of traditional wooden huts selling a range of handmade crafts, wooden toys, decorations, candles, jewellery, puppets, scarves and knitwear. At night the market has a feeling of a winter wonderland glittering in tiny white lights. Indulge in the Christmas activities by enjoying a mug of mulled wine while you shop.

Canterbury Traditional Christmas Market 17 November – 24 December 
The picturesque medieval city of Canterbury hosts a yearly Yule-tide Christmas market serving traditional German fare of mulled wine, bratwurst and gingerbread, backed by German folk music. The charmingly decorated wooden stalls sell a range of quirky handmade products. For something extra festive visit A Canterbury Christmas Through the Ages exhibition at Canterbury Heritage Museum from 2 December – 4 December, featuring costumed characters, Santa’s grotto, an Anglo-Saxon Christmas celebration and a Tudor style Christmas market.

Dickens Christmas Market at Rochester Castle 30 November – 18 December
What could be more festive than a Dickens Christmas market filled with twinkling trees, street performers, carol singers and magical lantern parades? Set to the beautiful backdrop of Rochester Castle the market is the biggest in the South East. Stalls will be traditional German style selling a range of festive goods and children can meet Mr and Mrs Santa Claus at their temporary home set up in the grounds.

Cirencester Christmas Market 25 November - 11 December
This enchanting Christmas market is set in the heart of the idyllic Cotswolds, an area which has been famous for its markets since the Roman times. The Cirencester Christmas Market will feature festively adorned wooden chalets, and events include a lantern procession, live music and performers. Enjoy traditional the Christmas food and drink on offer as well as Christmas craft workshops for kids.

Lincoln Christmas Market 1 December – 4 December
Lincoln was home to the first ever German Christmas market in the UK, in 1982 with just 11 stalls. Now it is home to well over 250 stalls selling a range of festive crafts and treats. The market brings over 150,000 visitors to the historic streets of Lincoln each year and for some it’s the highlight of the city’s calendar. The link with Germany is still strong with stallholders from Germany coming over to sell their Christmas treats and gifts. Stroll around the cobble streets and medieval square shopping for handmade ceramics, painted glass, artwork, jewellery and wooden toys, while nibbling on German marzipan and gingerbread cookies.

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