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Top 5 Christmas Markets in the UK

The days are getting shorter, the temperature is dropping and the bliss of summer afternoons seems a very long time ago, but all is not lost. Along with the extra layers comes the excitement of the festive period and a host of Christmas markets across the country which are sure to brighten the darker days.

Borough Market, London

Image credit: Borough Market/ via Facebook

One for the foodies, the renowned Borough Market is a destination for Londoners and tourists alike, and it only gets better during the Christmas period. During the depths of winter, the impressive array of food stalls offer a selection of festive culinary delights fit to grace any Christmas dining room table or party buffet. Meander around the stalls which are teeming with luxuries that make great gifts for loved ones such as artisan cheeses and chocolates.

Borough Market can be found at 8 Southwark St, London, SE1 1TL. Opening times: Monday to Friday: 10am - 5pm, Saturday: 8am – 5pm, Sundays during December.

The Frankfurt Christmas Market, Birmingham

Image credit: Frankfurt Christmas Market/ via Facebook

The Frankfurt Christmas Market has been running in the centre of Birmingham for the last 15 years. This market is one of the biggest in the country, attracting people from all over the UK and beyond to enjoy the lights, rides and traditional German festive treats. These delicacies include pretzels, schnitzel, bratwurst and a selection of hot chocolates. For older visitors warm gluhwein and weissbeer are also available. The market is also a great place to shop for unique Christmas presents in the form of traditional German handcrafted decorations, toys and jewellery.

Frankfurt Christmas Market can be found at Council House, New St, Birmingham, B1 1BB. Opening Times: 16 November to 24 December, 10am - 9pm.

Bath Christmas Market

Image credit: Bath Christmas Market/ via Facebook

Bath’s beautiful city centre makes the perfect backdrop for this award-winning Christmas Market, especially when decorated with Christmas lights. The market is sprawling, attended by over 200 chalets, and goes beyond the usual fair of food and drink stalls. There is also entertainment including live music and storytelling for children which is taking place in the Crypt of St Michaels Without Church on various days throughout the market run.

Bath Christmas Market can be found at Bridgwater House, 2 Terrace Walk, Bath, BA1 1LN. Opening times: Thursday 23rd November to Sunday 10th December, Monday to Wednesday: 10am – 7pm, Thursday to Saturday: 10am – 8:30pm, Sunday: 10am – 6pm.

Manchester Christmas Market

Image credit: Andrew Stawarz/ via Flickr

Manchester’s Christmas Market winds throughout a maze of streets in the city centre meaning there is always something new to discover. There are numerous chalet bars that serve up mulled wine and cider, as well as cheeky alcoholic hot chocolates. These bars run on a deposit cup system which means that if you choose not to collect your money, you can leave with your very own collectible Christmas cup. The market in Manchester also continues into Albert Hall so even if the persistent UK rain makes an appearance, Christmas fun can still be had.

Manchester Christmas Market can be found at Albert Square, Manchester, M2 4JW. Opening Times: November 10 to December 20, main Albert Square market 10am - 9pm, other sites from 10am -
7.30pm in November, 10am - 8pm in December. Bars and food open until 9pm.

Southbank Winter Market, London

Image credit: Southbank Centre/ via Facebook

Not as crowded or hectic as the nearby Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park, the Southbank Winter Market is a great London option. With stalls set up along the Southbank of the river Thames under the shadow of the London Eye, this Christmas market is a great activity come day or night – the skyline and lights twinkling in the trees along the promenade make this a particularly picturesque activity. The stalls sell a range of foodie treats and warming drinks alongside eye-catching and unusual gifts.

Southbank Winter Market can be found at The Queen's Walk, Lambeth, London SE1 8XX. Opening Times: 10 November to 4 January, 10am – 10pm.