Christmas markets

29 October 2015

If you want to combine Christmas cheer with the chance to stock up on some presents then visit some of these magical markets.


19 November – 22 December

2015 marks the tenth anniversary of Winchester’s Christmas market and ice rink and it is expected that this year both events will be bigger and better than ever before. 

From its relatively modest beginnings, the Christmas market now boasts over 100 attractive wooden chalets, all selected for the quality of their products and selling a wide range of Christmas goodies, including seasonal food and drink, handmade British crafts, and unique, bespoke, interesting and unusual gifts and decorations. 

A large outdoor ice rink sits at the centre of Winchester’s Christmas activity. 

With the historic Close’s dramatic medieval architecture as a backdrop, it’s an idyllic setting at any time of day, but it really comes into its own in the evening when the cathedral is lit up and a warm glow radiates from the market stalls. 

This year skaters can continue to enjoy the ambience of the rink at the Ice Rink Café which has been re-developed in Swiss-chalet style, to include a heated outdoor seating area overlooking the rink. 

Save 10% on hotels in Winchester 

Chatsworth Estate

12 - 29 November

Join in the festive spirit at Chatsworth, which will be hosting live seasonal musical entertainment from brass bands to string quartets. Find the perfect presents for all the family from the wide range of stalls including toiletries, clothes and things for your home. 

Enjoy delicious food, with gourmet burgers, hotdogs, pancakes, churros, fudge and chocolate and treats galore. See the estate's stunning ranges of items in the Chatsworth gift, interiors and garden shops, up in the Stables. 

Throughout the festive season, Chatsworth will be transforming its state rooms into scenes from Wind in the Willows – the Painted Hall will serve as the Baronial Toad Hall, while the Great Chamber and Guest Bedrooms will also be transformed to reflect scenes from Kenneth Grahame’s best-loved classic. 

Read more - Christmas market savings

Derby Night Market

19 November, 5pm – 10pm

Derby Night Market marks an early opportunity to do some Christmas shopping. A concept popular in Europe, Night Markets are growing in popularity in Derby, and the one being staged on Thursday 19th November will have around 180 different stalls. 

It will be located in the streets of the Cathedral Quarter and city centre – around Sadler Gate, the Bell Hotel ballroom, Old Blacksmiths Yard, The Strand Arcade, the Avenue on The Market Place, and The Guildhall Arches. 

It will feature street food and drink – inside and outside – with live DJs, live music, performers, gift inspiration, craft, vintage, festive handicrafts, home decorations, fashion and food. 

The surrounding shops will stay open late into the evening too. It will feature everything from local independent clothing, to locally brewed sake-inspired beers – as well as the hats and fascinators made by Night Market organiser Sheena Holland, whose creations are worn by the likes of Lily Allen. 

Find hotels in Derby


14 November – 21 December

Manchester’s award-winning Christmas markets return this winter, offering mouth-watering international food, drinks and delicately crafted Yuletide gifts in the heart of this buzzing city. With over 300 beautifully festooned stalls and chalets spread across the city centre, Manchester’s markets are among the country’s largest. 

Soak up the atmosphere and follow the market trail as it winds through the city centre, tempting you with gifts, crafts, jewellery, clothes and toys. European and local producers offer everything from fine amber jewellery, handcrafted leather bags and top-quality bonsai trees, to handmade Belgian kitchenware, framed photo prints and French soaps. 

And when planning your visit, don’t miss the amazing array of food and drink! Manchester’s Christmas Markets are famous for traditional bratwurst, but you can also treat yourself to Hungarian goulash, Spanish paella or a good old-fashioned hog roast.

Save 10% on hotels in Manchester

Continental Christmas Markets

If you fancy a bit more variety, why not try a Christmas Market Cruise. Our continental cruise sails from the United Kingdom to Germany, Holland and Belgium. Enjoy the festive atmosphere in Bremen, Bruges and IJmuiden, as the air is filled with the sound of carol singers and aromas of freshly-baked gingerbread and hot Glühwein.

Take a look at all our of Christmas Markets holidays

Subscribe to the print edition or download the digital edition for great articles delivered direct to you every month. 

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.