Christmas markets will be held all over the UK in the coming weeks, so celebrate the season with a visit to a festive event
in the UK
Visiting a Christmas market is an essential part of the seasonal celebrations for many – and with festive markets held across the UK throughout November and December, it's easy to find one near you.
Shopping at a Christmas market is often a delight for the senses, with festive music, sparkly lights, and the aroma of mulled wine and spices filling the air.
It can also be a more eco-friendly alternative to shopping online or at big high street stores. Most markets feature stalls selling locally produced food, drinks, crafts and decorations – so by buying your gifts at a market, you'll be supporting small businesses and the local economy.
Many cities and towns will be hosting markets in the next few weeks, but also look out for events held in more unusual locations.
One of the most atmospheric markets of the season is the Winter Mercatum held at Haddon Hall, near Bakewell.
Dating from the 12th century, Haddon is believed to be the finest fortified medieval manor house in the UK. It has belonged to the Manners family since 1567, and has featured in many films, including The Princess Bride and Pride and Prejudice.
This historic hall, in the heart of the beautiful Peak District, hosts several seasonal artisan markets each year – and the Christmas event is especially memorable.
Some 110 stalls are set up in the courtyard and within the ancient halls, kitchens and galleries – offering the chance to explore this gorgeous setting, while browsing wonderful locally made crafts and foodie treats.
The setting is made even more magical with Christmas decorations and twinkling lights adorning doorways and windowsills, and warming open fires flickering in fireplaces.
At this year's Mercatum, stalls are offering a huge selection of locally produced food. This includes Hartington cheeses, cakes, preserves, and local ales and gins.
Crafts and gifts are also available, such as natural wax candles, jewellery, hand-crafted Christmas decorations, handmade soaps, textiles, and ceramics.
Thursday 28 November – Sunday 15 December 2019
At this time of year, Bath sparkles with glittering lights, and the air is filled with the aroma of roasted chestnuts and the sound of choirs singing carols.
Bath Christmas Market features more than 150 chalets spread out across the city's picturesque Georgian streets. Choose from homewares, Christmas decorations, handcrafted jewellery and much more – with lots of unique handmade gifts from local makers and designers.
You can also warm up with a comforting hot drink or hearty street food – including a new, dedicated vegan food chalet.
Other festive activities in the city include a traditional pantomime at Theatre Royal Bath, an outdoor ice-skating rink, and Victorian Carousel.
York Christmas Festival
14 November – 22 December 2019
Soak up the medieval charm of York at Christmas. York's Christmas Market, St Nicholas Fair, won Best Large Speciality Market at the Great British Market Awards in 2019 – and York was also voted the UK's Most Festive City in 2017.
Stroll through St Nicholas Fair and enjoy the festive atmosphere. You'll find fine Yorkshire produce from crafters and makers showcased at the Made in Yorkshire Yuletide Village, and traditional Christmas gifts amongst the many alpine chalets on Parliament Street.
There's also a funfair and festive food and drink on offer, with delicious treats including hot chestnuts and glasses of warming mulled wine.
Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market
7 November – 23 December 2019
Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market is the largest authentic German Christmas market outside of Germany or Austria. Expect 80 stalls offering a fine range of unique and traditional gifts and products, and get into the German spirit while feasting on schnitzels, pretzels, bratwursts, glühwein (mulled wine) and weissbeer (wheat beer).
Gift ideas include handcrafted wooden decorations and delicate glass baubles, toys, and jewellery.
There's also a programme of live music and carol singers to bring a party atmosphere to the festive shopping.
Green Adventures November 2019