Some of the best Christmas markets in the UK

15 November 2018

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


22 November - 9 December 

The scent of caramelised nuts wafts through the market, where over 180 traditional chalets sprawl through the Georgian streets of Bath. Visit for handmade jewellery, gifts, Christmas ornaments and much more, or just enjoy the atmosphere in one of the country's most beautiful cities.


17 November - 22 December 

Visit Belfast Christmas market for international food and drink, handcrafted goods, clothing and gifts. Sample the Gluhwein, hog roast, Belgian chocolates and crepes as you wander through lanes of pretty Alpine lodges. Live music will be playing at Lavery's Irish bar.


15 November - 23 December

Wander the pedestrianised Cardiff streets of St John Street, Working Street, Hills Street, Trinity Street and the Hayes. The market is open until 6pm most evenings, and 7pm on certain late night shopping events.

Informative, in-depth and in the know: get the latest entertainment news, interviews and reviews with Saga Magazine.

Chatsworth Estate

10 November - 6 January

Join in the festive spirit at Chatsworth. This year, scenes from classic tales are woven throughout Chatsworth House to create a storybook world

From Snow White in the Sculpture Gallery and Cinderella in the Chapel to more recent classics like James and the Giant Peach and Charlotte’s Web, the house has never before been host to such an array of popular characters.

Storytellers will roam the rooms and corridors to enchant visitors with mystical tales as they explore the magical land of make-believe. For younger visitors, a free family trail will be available at the entrance with a friendly baby dragon to spot en route. 

Read more - Christmas market savings


10 November - 23 December (St Enoch Square)

25 November - 31 December (George Square) 

When it comes to Christmas markets Glasgow has plenty to offer. Visit St Enoch Square and George Square for lots of artisan food from around the world and plenty of activities for children. Try German beers, slide down a vintage helter skelter and marvel at the stunning 15m Christmas tree. Each day children get to meet Father Christmas at the George Square Christmas Market. Smaller independent markets are dotted around the city for a huge range of gifts, including Etsy Made Local Glasgow at The Briggait and Merchant Square Craft Market, and the Country Living Fair takes places at the SEC Centre.

Have I left it too late to book a river cruise to the German Christmas markets?

These trips book up fast but do give it a try. Saga may have late availability for both river and sea cruises going to the European markets.

But don’t ignore what’s on your doorstep. Britain is fast catching up with European festivities. Bath now has more than 170 charming wooden gift chalets winding round its Georgian streets with all the glühwein and stollen you can handle – plus traditional British yuletide fare if that’s more to your taste.

Bury St Edmunds, Edinburgh, London and Manchester are all fabulous, too…

There are coach tours to the big markets now from just about every town in the UK. Look on But if you’re going independently, sort out accommodation before you book your travel: cities fill up fast when the market’s in town.

Extract taken from Saga Magazine, November 2017. For more travel tips,  subscribe to the magazine today!


9 November – 22 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.


17 November – 20 December

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. 

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.

Learn more about Scandinavia's Christmas markets

Take a look at all our of Christmas Markets holidays

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.