Christmas markets originated in Germany, Austria and the Alsace and started as early as the Late Middle Ages. The one in Dresden was the oldest known market. Nowadays, the Stuttgart market attracts more than three million visitors and other German markets have over 300 stalls.

However, you don’t need to leave the country to get the pleasure of a Christmas market as you can find UK equivalents.Here are our suggestions to get you in the Christmas mood.

1. Frankfurt Christmas Market, Birmingham

This is the largest outdoor Christmas market in the country.  Along with the usual decorations and craft goods available, you can taste the delights of German mulled wine, beer, pretzels, marzipan sweets and other Christmas delights

Venue: Victoria Square and New Street

Date: Thursday 17 November – Friday 23 December 2011

Time: 10am – 9pm

If you’re tired after a long shopping day, we have a cosy hotel nearby (Thistle Birmingham).


2. Finnish Fair Church Guild Christmas Market, London

As Finland is the home of Santa, there is nothing more “Christmasy” than Finnish goodies. The food and the cinnamon coffee drinks will certainly put you in the spirit.

Venue: Finnish Church, 33 Albion St, SE16 7HZ

Date: Friday 18 November – Saturday 26 November 2011

Time: Wed-Fri noon-8pm, Sat & Sun 10am-6pm

If you’re visiting London, Thistle Barbican is close to both the market and loads of other London attractions.


3. Bath Christmas Market, Bath

The beautiful Roman Baths are transformed into a huge venue perfect for unique Christmas gifts. With more than 130 stalls, it is almost guaranteed that you’ll find what you’re looking for.

Venue: Around Abbey Church Yard

Date: Thursday 24 November – Sunday 11 December 2011

Time: 10 till different

The Grand Thistle hotel in Bristol is only a 20 minutes drive away if you’re thinking about visiting this market.


4. Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, London

The famous location of the greatest London Christmas fairytale opens on 18th November and is on until shortly after New Years Eve.  The transformed Hyde Park and its Christmas-related attractions and ice-rinks entertain the whole family.

Venue: Hyde Park, Serpentine Rd, W2 2UH

Date: Friday 18 November 2011 – Tuesday 3 January 2012

Time: Daily 10 am–10 pm, closed 25 December

If you need a place to stay, our closest hotel is Thistle Hyde Park.


5.    Christmas Vintage Craft Fair

Brighton is the perfect place to get into the Christmas mood. With multiple shopping centres open till late for all the Christmas shoppers, the town’s themed fair has many vintage delights and handmade goodies from talented local traders. If you’re around this Saturday 26 November, there’s also the regular Christmas Craft Fair.

Venue: 44-47 Gardner Street, Brighton BN1 1UN

Date: Sunday 4 December

Time: 10.30am – 4pm

Our Thistle Brighton is an option for a comfortable stay for your Christmas spree.


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