Looking for the best Christmas markets in 2019? We have travelled the UK to find the best german Christmas markets, Christmas fairs and festivals. There’ll be mulled wine, mince pies and Christmas gift ideas at the markets.
If you fancy heading further afield, we’re also found the most unique Christmas markets in Europe. Check out the best markets to visit here
St Albans Christmas Market
St Albans has one of the oldest regular markets in the UK, dating back to the 9th century, so it seems only fitting that it also plays host to a traditional Christmas market each festive season. This year there’ll be events throughout the city, from street festivals to winter fairs.
On the 23rd there’ll be a winter fair where you can buy homemade cakes and preserves while sipping on hot chocolate, or pop to the wine fair on the 7th for the chance to meet 16 winemakers. As well as foodie markets, Santa’s Post Office will be popping up, giving children the chance to send their letter straight to Lapland.
Throughout November and December, enjoystalbans.com
Healeys Christmas Market
Unusually among all the bigger urban markets, Healeys Christmas Market is set on a working farm, in this case outside Perranporth in Cornwall. Weekends are dedicated to festive food and drink, expect a range of Cornish produce on offer including jams, juices and chutneys, all made on the farm.
Mince pies are being swapped for a cream tea, while the Spirit Master will be talking all things whisky and brandy in the Farm Shop. Don’t forget to select your own freshly cut Christmas tree, or join in with carol singing.
Select weekends in November and December, healeyscyder.co.uk
Manchester Christmas Market
Spread across this dynamic city, Manchester’s Christmas Market is one of the country’s largest, with more than 300 stallholders set out between eight distinctive locations. Soak up the festive spirit as you wind through the city centre’s brimming streets, buying from a tempting choice of food and drink producers from both the local region and across Europe.
Choose from traditional German bratwursts, great British hog roasts and an array of vegetarian options while fluffy Dutch mini pancakes and French profiteroles are sure to satisfy sweet cravings as you make your way around the wintry wonderland.
8 November – 5 January, visitmanchester.com
Click here to read about the best places to eat and drink in Manchester
York Christmas Festival
The streets of York will be turned into a festive playground for 39 days this winter. Wooden chalets will house food producers selling everything from spiced apple chutney to pecan and amaretto brownies.
If you’re feeling chilly, cosy up by the fire inside Thor’s Tipi with a mulled wine and hot cocoa. Head to the Shambles Market food court for savoury galettes from the Krep Truck and arancini from Pizzaoli’. As well as the food market, be sure to visit the alpine chalets on Parliament Street for Christmas gifts.
14 November – 22 December, visityork.org
Here are our favourite places to eat in York
Bath Christmas Market
Bath boasts one of England’s prettiest Christmas markets, with over 150 chalets lining the streets around its floodlit abbey for 18 days. While there will be homewares and art on offer, this festival is definitely one for the foodies. Start off with a hot toddy made with Somerset cider before trying a beer or two from Bradford-on-Avon microbrewery, Kettlesmith Brewery, and a chunk of Wyfe of Bath from Bath Soft Cheese.
If you’re on the lookout for gifts, Bath Botanical Gin Distillery will be selling their small batch spirits. Over 60% of producers are from Bath and the local area so it’s a great place to track down really unique products and avoid the mass-produced trinkets that so often crop up at Christmas markets.
28 November – 15 December, bathchristmasmarket.co.uk
Here are our favourite independent foodie spots in Bath to visit while you’re in town
Canopy Christmas Market
King’s Cross’ independent food, drink and crafts market is getting into the festive spirit with a series of special events. The market will trade daily and new traders for this year include Bermondsey-based The Butchery offering nose-to-tail butchered meats. Little Bread Pedlar will be serving mince pies and you can stock up on charcuterie from Re Due Sicilie.
29 November – 22 December, canopymarket.co.uk
Padstow Christmas Festival
Make a weekend of your foodie Christmas gift shopping by visiting Padstow Christmas Festival. This year’s event sees local chefs Rick Stein, Michael Caines and Nathan Outlaw headlining the stage, along with José Pizarro and Angela Hartnett. Pick up some tips, then eat, drink and shop your way around the stalls along the town’s pretty harbour (among them Da Bara Bakery for jars of Seville marmalade and Quicke’s for cloth-bound cheddars).
If you get peckish walking around, stop off at Wildbake for wood-fired pizzas, or Wild Food Kitchen for slow-cooked beef brisket.
5 – 8 December, padstowchristmasfestival.co.uk
Credit: James Ram
Leeds Indie Food, the Yorkshire-based food events company, is running a one-off Christmas special at North Brewing Company in December. Expect a stellar street-food line-up – including roast-in-a-Yorkshire-pudding-wrap specialists, the Yorkshire Burrito Company, and posh toastie outfit, So Toasted – all putting a festive twist on their classic dishes.
There’ll be covered seating and heaters to keep you toasty on the outside and coffee cocktails (curtesy of Rabbit Hole Coffee) to warm you up on the inside, too. If you’re looking for some non-foodie gifts, a selection of local illustrators will be selling prints, and hosts the North Brewing Co. will have brewery tour vouchers available to buy.
7 December, @LeedsIndieFood
Credit: Jo Ritchie