Olive Magazine
York St Nicholas Christmas market

Best Christmas markets 2021

Published: November 8, 2019 at 1:10 pm
loading...
Travellers are advised to read the FCO travel advice at gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice for the country they are travelling to

Discover the top UK food festivals and Christmas markets for 2021. Mulled wine, mince pies and Christmas shopping galore

Looking for the best Christmas markets in 2021? We've found the best German Christmas markets, Christmas fairs and festivals across the UK.

Advertisement

For more inspiration, see the best new UK restaurants 2021 and more travel ideas. Cooking up a festive meal yourself? See our ultimate collection of Christmas recipes for mains, sides, desserts and more.


Best UK Christmas markets to visit

Taste of London – Festive Edition

Taste of London is the perfect way to sample the best dishes from around the capital. For four days only, Taste returns to east London’s Tobacco Dock with winter cocktails, live music, special entertainment and exclusive dishes.

Try dishes from the likes of acclaimed Sri Lankan and south Indian restaurant Hoppers, Caribbean-style Juici Jerk and Cin Cin, the award-winning Italian bar and kitchen. The event will also feature plenty of foodie workshops and cocktail masterclasses.

18-21 November, london.tastefestivals.com

See the best new restaurants in London

Taste of London

Bowhouse Christmas market, Fife

Taking place on 11 and 12 December, Bowhouse Christmas market sees a roster of Scottish food and drink traders including cheese from St Andrews Farmhouse Cheese and Strathearn Cheese, chocolate from Cocoa Tree and artisan drinks from Wasted Degrees brewery and Tay Spirits. There’s also live music and street food from Ròst, Fish & Frites, Mac Love and House of Tapas.

Make it a festive break

Just five minutes down the road is The Ship Inn, featuring impressive views over Elie Bay in Fife. A charming setting for a staycation weekend, guests can continue festivities with mulled wine, a hog roast and live music. The kitchen also serves breakfast, lunch and dinner in its restaurant, pub and beer garden using seasonal Scottish dishes.

Doubles from £120, check availability at booking.com


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.

More like this

Get the season started with the Christmas Cracker (21 November) with funfair rides, Christmas shopping and street entertainment. Then visit the Redbourn Christmas Market from 28 November for local produce, beautiful crafts and numerous gift ideas.

After strolling around the markets, amble over to The Pudding Stop for an order of chai lattes and hot puddings. If you’re eating in, try the sticky toffee pudding drizzled in a gooey sauce or fudgy banana loaf with warm butterscotch sauce and mounds of milk ice cream. enjoystalbans.com

Make it a festive break

Nearby to the markets is the grand Sopwell House Hotel, a Georgian country house where guests can stroll through 12 acres of gardens, relax in the pool and private spa and tuck into a festive-themed afternoon tea, complete with mulled wine and Taittinger champagne.

Doubles from £269, check availability at booking.com

A Christmas market with wooden chalets and people stood around in coats and hats

Christmas by the River, London Bridge City

Returning after a two-year hiatus, Christmas by the River is perfect for iconic views of London. Featuring festive entertainment, shopping, a wide selection food and drink, plus support for local charities.

Local vendors include Aroma – Steak and Chips serving Brazilian food, Burger & Fries providing gourmet street food, Chilli Cha Cha serving Punjabi fast food and Nicholas Pitta dishing up slow-cooked Greek souvlaki.

There is also a pop-up winter bar at The Riverside Lodge serving warming mulled wine and other festive cocktails.

16 November-2 January, londonbridgecity.co.uk

See the best restaurants with a view in London


Healeys Christmas Market

In contrast to 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.

Every weekend from Saturday 13 November to Sunday 19 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 seven 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 this wintry wonderland. 12 November-22 December, visitmanchester.com

Make it a festive break

When you’re finished, take a stroll to Manchester’s Northern Quarter and adjoining trendy Ancoats neighbourhood for cosy Victorian pubs, indie bars and top-quality restaurants. For dinner, Rudy’s is the local go-to for Neapolitan pizza and refreshing aperitivo with pals. Or if its drinks you’re after, Beermoth is jam-packed with local brews.

The Cow Hollow Hotel, a converted textile warehouse, features a reception which doubles as a cocktail bar, where guests can sip on complimentary prosecco and snacks. Rooms come kitted out with beautiful marble fireplaces, super comfy beds and a round of milk and cookies delivered to your room each night.

Doubles from £129 per night, check availability at booking.com

Brunch at Federal Cafe Manchester

York Christmas Festival

The streets of York will be turned into a festive playground 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. 18 November-23 December, visityork.org

Make it a festive break

Before the day is over, take a well-earned pit stop at Betty’s Tea Rooms in St. Helen’s Square for cake and creamy hot chocolates. Or if it’s dinner you’re after, the markets are not far from Skosh, an independent restaurant serving Indian-inspired small plates and seasonal cocktails on one of York’s most historic streets.

Within a few minutes from the market is Malmaison York, a new boutique hotel on the corner of Rougier Street. Its impressive views over the famous cathedral from its rooftop bar marks a perfect close to a day of exploring.

Doubles from £118, check availability at booking.com

York St Nicholas Christmas market

Bath Virtual Christmas Market

While the physical Bath Christmas Market is cancelled for 2021, there are still plenty of celebrations to be found throughout the city. Shop the virtual Christmas market with more than 160 independent, sustainable retailers offering everything from baked goods to drinks and more.

For in-person activities, don't miss the magical Christmas Light Trail or the Enchanted Garden of Light at the American Museum & Gardens. 1 November-Friday 31 December, bathchristmasmarket.co.uk

Make it a festive break

If you're in Bath for the weekend, whet your whistle at Kingsmead Bottle, specialising in all things craft beer, fine cider and wine. Compliment your tipple of choice with an artisan cheese board, or if serious hunger strikes, check out OAK restaurant for an exceptional meat-free feast in a little alcove with views of an unseen angle of Bath Abbey.

Hotel Indigo is a honey-hued Georgian terrace, a stone’s throw from the markets and city festivities. Unwind after a day out with barrel-aged negronis in The Elder’s cosy rooms, decked with plush red leather stools and panelled walls painted a deep-sea green.

Doubles from £135 per night, including breakfast, check availability at booking.com

See the best places to eat and drink in Bath

Bath Abbey

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.

After perusing the stalls mooch down to The Drop, an intimate wine bar in a friendly corner of Coal Drop’s Yard. Order a bottle of European wine and relax under the low-arched ceilings and soft lighting, with great cheeses and meats to snack on. If you’re after a low-key dinner without the queue, visit Happy Face Pizza for its festive spins on wood-fired pizza.

Retro-chic hotel The Standard next to St Pancras station is the place for post-market unwinding. Book a King’s Terrace room and you’ll be rewarded with a large terrace complete with an outdoor bath overlooking the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel and its terracotta-coloured clock tower.

Advertisement

Every day Tuesday-Sunday from 26 November-23 December, canopymarket.co.uk

An undercover market with people walking around stalls

Comments, questions and tips

Choose the type of message you'd like to post

Choose the type of message you'd like to post
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Sponsored content