Best British Christmas markets 2016

Gillian Rowe / 22 November 2016

Festive fairs are a great way to welcome in the season with unique gift ideas, inspiration on decorating your home for Christmas and local foodie treats.

Birmingham Frankfurt Market, Nov 17 – Dec 29

Said to be the largest Christmas market outside of Germany or Austria. Leave plenty of room for the Glühwein, bratwurst and pretzels, in between looking for beautiful handmade gifts and decorations.

Bath Christmas Market, 24 Nov – 11 Dec

More than 170 traditional wooden chalets packed full of fabulous Christmas presents will fill the area surrounding the Roman Baths and Bath Abbey. All the exhibitors have been carefully selected and 75% of the goods available are handmade in the UK.

York St Nicholas Fair, Nov 17 – Dec 23

Central to York’s festive celebrations, with stalls lining Parliament Street, St Sampson’s Square and The Judge’s Lodging. Thor’s Tipi, a Viking inspired pop-up bar, with cosy log fires, and mulled wine, hot cider and hot chocolate on tap, is back for the second year as a welcome retreat for weary shoppers.

BBC Good Food Festive Fayre, Hampton Court, London, Dec 9 – 11

As well as providing an opportunity to stock up on some delicious goodies to savour over the Christmas period, you can pick up presents in the Clock Court area while enjoying Christmas carols from local choirs.

Cardiff Christmas Market, Nov 10 – Dec 23

This well-established market in the heart of Cardiff city centre features original artworks and prints, ceramics, glassworks and much more. The organisers endeavour to introduce new stall holders each year to keep it fresh, with many of the artists providing demonstrations off their skills.

Lincoln, Dec 1 – Dec 4

The city of Lincoln is blessed with a wonderful, historical backdrop for a Christmas market. The medieval square between the striking Norman castle and impressive gothic cathedral will feature stalls offering gifts, goodies and delicious food and drink.

Belfast, Nov 19 – Dec 22

Worth a trip to see how Belfast’s City Hall gardens are transformed into a Christmas village setting. As well as plenty of clothing, gifts, arts and crafts and decorations from across Europe, you’ll be able to sample a wide variety of festive treats, from Belgian chocolates and French tarts to a number of continental cheeses and German sausages.

Winchester, Nov 18 – Dec 20

Celebrating its tenth anniversary, this Christmas market is located in the grounds of the cathedral, with stalls selling a mix of unique gifts and local crafts, decorations and festive food. A perfect setting for an atmospheric shopping experience.

Edinburgh, Nov 19 – Jan 7

Such is the pull of Christmas markets, you’ll find a choice taking place in Edinburgh this year, from a traditional European one (ends Jan 7) to the Scottish market (ends Dec 24), where you’ll find a great selection of locally sourced food and drinks.

Leeds Castle, Kent , Dec 3 – Dec 23 (not inclusive, check website for details)

The annual Christmas Market at Leeds Castle offers a great day out for all the family. Held on the Cedar Lawn overlooking the castle, it has a range of seasonal gifts, toys, festive decorations, specialist food and drink. You can also meet the reindeer and the castle’s birds of prey.

Read about three women who’ve turned making Christmas gifts and food into thriving businesses in the December 2016 issue of Saga Magazine.

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