Christmas is inching closer by the day and it won’t be long until you’re popping up the Christmas tree and cleaning up the mess made by your devilish elf-on-the-shelf. But Christmas hasn’t fully begun until you attend some Christmas markets, although sometimes it can be a struggle to find the best ones. With the help of Stagecoach, who offer cheap bus fares, I’ve found some of the best Christmas markets in Britain.
Newcastle upon Tyne – Open: 11th December – 17th December
Newcastle transforms into a winter wonderland at Christmas time, with decorations travelling up and down the long and narrow street. The market is located at the top of Grey Street, just under Grey’s Monument, where you can find wooden huts that are built and decorated specially for the Christmas period.
The Newcastle Christmas market brings cultures together and celebrates differences, perfect for small children wanting to experience a big world. Trades people from across Europe come to bring a touch of their country to Newcastle – you’ll get to witness one of the best atmospheres in the country during this festive time. From foods to ornamental items, you’ll be spoilt for choice with what you can purchase. Plus if you’re into Ice Skating you can head down to the Centre for Life to show off your skills in Times Square!
Birmingham – Open: 17th November – 29th December
For 12 years now, the German Christmas market in Birmingham has been a top attraction to those wanting to venture outside of their own city. Located in Victoria Square, it makes a beautiful setting for any family photograph – lights descend down the centred fountain and the iconic carousel is at the top of the steps creating an uncanny version of Santa Claus’ Village.
With an amazing 180 stalls, you’re bound to see something unconventional. You’re guaranteed to be able to snatch up a unique gift for your little one, whether this is a piece of jewellery or a handmade toy. Grab a hot chocolate and a pretzel, have a stroll around the village and marvel at all thats on offer. With great food, warming drinks, traditional gifts and live music, this Christmas Market is one not to miss.
Exeter – Open: 16th November – 17th December
Take a trip to Exeter this year to discover the magnificent Christmas market on the West Front of the Cathedral – creating an enchanted atmosphere. With the Cathedral towering over, you will be able to take a long walk around the different wooden huts and experience something from each continent of the world – perfect for introducing your kids to different cultures.
Unlike previous years, the Exeter Christmas Market will now have a bandstand which will host the entertainment for the evening – with local bands, singers and choirs spreading the Christmas spirit by singing some of our favourite Christmas carols. You’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to food too and you’ll be able to sample wood-fired pizzas, freshly cooked waffles and a whole lot more. If you can’t get enough of Christmas markets in Exeter, there’s two more – one on Castle Street and Fore Street – so you’re spoilt for choice.
Lincoln – Open: 7th December – 10th December
Indulge yourself in the historic culture of Lincoln by attending their Xmas market or over 280 stalls surrounded by the iconic castle and cathedral – allowing your little ones to have a real sense of magic on your family trip out. From freshly cooked food to some of the most exceptional gifts, you’ll be able to experience something different from this market that will make you want to return year after year.
Not only are new stalls put up outside, but shops along the cobbled streets come outdoors to sell their products too, creating the perfect atmosphere up the steep bank. Not only can you shop in the market, whether this is for hot food or baked treats, you can also take a trip on the big wheel and other fairground rides – once you get high enough, you might be able to spot one of Santa Claus’ elf in the crowd – so make sure you’re on your best behaviour to remain on this year’s good list. this market is only on for a short period of time compared to most others so make sure you don’t miss out.
London – Open: 17th November – 1st January
If you’re heading to the capital this Christmas, why not take a trip to the Winter Wonderland situated in Hyde Park. Full of festivity, there’s nothing that you and your family can’t do at this market, from ice skating, to circus shows and even Cinderella on Ice, whatever your family desires is available here – although booking is strongly advised as there is a high demand of certain activities and attractions and they get booked up fast.
There’s no excuse not to attend this Winter Wonderland as it remains open after Christmas has ended! Remember to take your camera and capture plenty of selfies, you don’t want to miss the moment where your littles one’s face light up when meeting Santa Claus himself.
So, what Christmas markets will you be heading to this year? Have you been to any of the one’s I’ve mentioned above? If so, I’d love to hear your views on them.
*this is a collaborative post but all opinions and photos are my own