The UK's best Christmas markets

21 November 2016

Instead of a last minute dash round the shops, make your Christmas shopping an experience to treasure with a trip to one of the best markets the UK has to offer.



It's the most wonderful time of the year - the year that the Christmas markets roll up into town, roll out their festive sparkle and warm the cockles of our hearts with spiced drinks, festive tunes and beautifully crafted gifts. Here are five of our favourites:


York

The picturesque city of York makes for an atmospheric visit at any time of year, but when the Christmas market sets up shop, you can feel the holiday spirit in the air.

St Nicholas Fayre has an olde worlde sensibility about it, just like the city itself. Expect cosy wooden chalets, festooned with twinkling lights, to serve up the scent of roasting chestnuts and mulled wine along with unique gifts from jewellery and homewares to local wines and cheeses.

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Edinburgh

A trip to Edinburgh offers a range of festive fun for all the family and several Christmas markets that will keep even the most ardent shoppers happy.

For a festive taste of Scotland, we recommend the Scottish Market in St. Andrew Square where you will find a showcase of local crafts, food and drink including mouth-watering sausages and Scottish brewed craft beer.

However, the romance of the European Christmas Market, situated right in the heart of this historical city, offers an ambience that takes some beating.

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Manchester

This northern city is known for its superb shopping opportunities, so it's no wonder that Manchester's Christmas market is an award-winning spectacle. Scattered throughout a variety of locations, this winter wonderland transforms the city centre for five magical weeks and attracts millions of visitors from all over Europe.

From the sumptuous delights of Albert Square with its bratwurst stands and decadent hot chocolate treats, to the continental cheeses, macaroons and champagne of King Street, Manchester offers something for everyone.

Look out for a taste of Christmas pudding gin and Christmas cake fudge. 'Tis the season, after all!

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Bath

Another award-winner, the beautiful Bath Christmas market consists of 170 chalets packed with gorgeous Christmas treats and high quality gifts. Set against the backdrop of the enchanting Abbey, the sounds of the carol singers and smell of mince pies will send you straight to winter wonderland heaven.

Most of the stalls are run by businesses from Bath and the surrounding areas, so get ready to fill your bags with treats as varied as locally-produced honey and fine ornaments blown from Bath aqua glass.

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London

Last but not least, how could we forget our very own capital? Let's just say that London does not let us down. The city lays on a dazzling array of markets in a variety of famous locations.

Some of the best-loved are located at the iconic London Bridge, on the trendy streets of Shoreditch, and at the mighty Hyde Park Winter Wonderland where 200 fairy-lit stalls will vie for your attention.

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Of course, if you're off on a festive city break, you'll need a place to stay. Superbreak offers a variety of comfortable Christmas Market hotels to choose from so you can make your stay that little bit more special.

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.