You don’t have to go to Germany to get the pleasure of a Christmas market, as you can find some great UK equivalents. Here are our suggestions to get you in the Christmas mood.
So don your Santa hat, dust off the mulled wine glass, and get into the festive spirit !
1. Manchester Christmas Market
17 November – 23 December 2012
What began in Albert Square has spread out into nearby streets and squares. This year the market will be celebrating its 14th year and will take over eight different spaces around the city, each with it’s own distinct character and atmosphere.
This is one of the biggest markets in Britain, where you can enjoy European delicacies, Mrs Kirkham’s award-winning Lancashire cheeses, complete with a glass of champagne and Porky’s hog roasts. European and local producers offer everything from fine amber jewellery, handcrafted leather bags, and top quality bonsai trees, to Dutch cheeses, French breads, and Spanish chorizo. Perfect for alternative gift ideas. Once you get tired of the market you should definitely go ice skating on the outdoor rink in Spinningfields, with its North Pole bar.
2. SouthBank and London Eye Christmas Market
16 November – 24 December 2012
The Southbank Centre Christmas Market brings the real German Christmas feeling to Southbank Centre’s Winter Festival. From 16thNovember – 24th December 2012, Queen’s Walk along the Thames (London Eye to Waterloo Bridge) turns for the 5th time into a christmassy promenade for the young and the young at heart.
80 authentically decorated wooden chalets will sell a wide range of unique hand-crafted gifts and unusual Christmas presents. Wooden and soft toys, unique jewellery, hand made soaps and many more Christmassy products are offered in a magical winter atmosphere. As well as shopping, the carousel within the Christmas Market and traditional Christmas music will enthrall visitors, filling them with the Christmas spirit.
3. Newcastle Continental Christmas Market
19 November – 1 December 2012
While the rest of the world is ticking iPods and Wiis off their list, you can get back to the cosy feeling of handmade foods and special one-off gifts for your family and friends. The Continental Market gives you gourmet ingredients and a very real taste of Europe. You can get a currywurst from Germany, waffles from Holland, paella from Spain and crepes – both sweet and savoury from France. If you wish to experience something a little different, with the sights, sounds and smells of Europe, this is the place to be.
4. Leeds – Christkindelmarkt
9 November – 16 December 2012
Christkindelmarkt, is one of the most established German Christmas Markets in the UK, with traditional wooden stalls, festive greenery, Christmas carousel ride and twinkling colourful lights all creating a unique continental style festive atmosphere in the heart of Leeds city centre.
Set at the award winning Millennium Square, it attracts many hundred thousands of visitors to Leeds each year and forms an integral part of the city’s annual events programme. The market consists of over 40 wooden chalet stalls from authentic German traders providing a wide range of seasonal gift ideas for everyone including; handcrafted toys, jewellery, Christmas cards and festive decorations, speciality foods and traditional German delicacies such as gluhwein, bratwurst sausages, goulash, soups, schnitzels, stollen, gingerbread and candied fruits.
5. Edinburgh – Highland Village Christmas Market
29 November – 6 January
Christmas markets have been a tradition since medieval times and Edinburgh’s German Christmas Market is provided by stallholders based in Frankfurt. The stalls are selling a mix of classic and contemporary gifts as well as a range of German food and drink ideal for warming up the chilly bits. Tasty delights include hearty sausages, fried potato cakes, crepes and German beer, as well as the now famous Glühwein.
As an addition to the German Christmas Market, The Highland Village-style market will be selling food, drink, clothing and jewellery from all over Scotland! From Scottish foodie treats to woolly hats and Scottish teddy bears, this market is eclectic, vibrant and fun.
If you would like to visit some of those beautiful Christmas Markets and need a place to stay, get in touch with our teams at The Royal Trafalgar, The County in Newcastle, Thistle Manchester or King James in Edinburgh!