From the highlands to Ireland and England’s great capital, there are a host of Christmas markets happening across the country throughout the festive period. Over the last few years I have been lucky enough to visit a few of them, as such I present you with my favourite fun and frivolous experiences to be enjoyed with friends and family.
Bath Christmas Market
The UNESCO world-heritage city is impressive enough in its usual grandeur, but for a couple of weeks this historic heart in the South West embraces the bustling throng looking to browse round the plethora of local handicrafts, as an array of enchanting wooden chalets line the cobbled streets and Abbey Courtyard. There is also an array of hearty food and drink to be had, with an ice-rink, winter lodge and ski-bar all in close proximity as well.
Belfast Continental Christmas Market
Most likely known first and foremost for its salivating array of food and drink from continental Europe, sure to warm your cockles when Jack Frost comes biting at the door. Wander round the sensual marketplace set in the grounds the Belfast’s iconic City Hall and browse the diverse array of goods on offer, everything from knitwear to woodwork and garden ornaments.
Set beneath the shadow of Edinburgh Castle, this sprawling market has something for young and old to enjoy, with a great range of continental crafts and sweet treats to be found behind the iconic observational wheel. There is also an annual ‘Festival of Light’; a delightful light installation in the heart of the city, where you can enjoy the dazzling switch-on daily.
Gloucester Victorian Christmas Market
A little different from its surrounding counterparts, there is a Victorian theme to this festive arrangement of handicrafts and local wares, filling the historic quayside with traditional Christmas cheer. It has a lovely communal feel, complete with carousel, ice rink and costumed street performers, singing and dancing between the merry fayre.
London Hyde Park Winter Wonderland
Naturally given its location, this was by the far the largest market and most diverse Winter Wonderland I’ve had the pleasure to visit. It is certainly one that can be enjoyed regardless of age and has a much more commercial feel, combining festive stalls with a wide array of fairground games and thrill rides, transforming the capital’s green space into a dazzling playground for all the family.