Is Manchester the Best Christmas Market in the UK?
That’s right – that time of year is on us again! Although it may feel like last Christmas was only a few weeks ago (there’s no way it was nearly a year ago… right?), the holiday season is most definitely here once more, and sadly so is all the terrible weather we’ve come to expect with it.
But don’t let that get you down! Winter means Christmas markets; cold weather means hot mulled wine. If you are ready to celebrate Christmas in the best possible way, we are here to help – we have compiled a list of the very best Christmas markets in the country; simply read about them then go out and enjoy them for yourself!
Manchester’s Christmas Market is the winner of numerous awards, simply because it is such a fantastic event. It starts in the middle of November and runs to just before Christmas, transforming Albert Square into a winter wonderland full of sweet treats and traditional gifts.
It’s been running for almost twenty years now, and attracts almost a million visitors each Christmas. Arguably the best thing about Manchester’s market is its international flavour – stalls come from all over Europe, offering everything from Spanish paella to Hungarian goulash. Perfect for any hungry folk!
Taking its name from the hometown of many of its stall owners, the Frankfurt Christmas Market in Birmingham is a truly traditional German Weihnachtsmarkt. Expect to see loads of pretzels, marzipan and delicious Stollen cakes, as well as lashings of beautiful Glühwein.
The community really gets behind the market – which you’ll find mostly on New Street and in Victoria Square – with plenty of local musicians taking to the bandstand, alongside lots of local arts and crafts goods for sale at the Craft Fair.
Heading across to Northern Ireland, Belfast’s Christmas Continental Market runs for a full month before Christmas, and is filled with a wide variety of treats and goodies. You’ll want to come for the food alone, especially the German specialities such as Bratwurst.
And although it’s called the Continental Market, some of the things on offer come from rather further away – there’s a fantastic Kenyan furniture and carpentry stall this year, for example. And the Grotto (with its own Santa, of course) is great for the little ones.
This time up to Scotland, Edinburgh’s market is just a teeny tiny part of the city’s massive Christmas celebrations. Running from the end of November all the way into the New Year, meaning you have no excuse to miss it.
In terms of what there is to see and do, well, where do we start? You’ve got light shows and fireworks, there are visits from Santa Claus himself, as well as a large funfair and even the biggest outdoor ice rink in all of Europe. That in itself is incredible enough, but when you add in the backdrop of the wonderful Edinburgh Castle, then you have something truly magical.