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10. Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland

One of Britain’s most famous Christmas markets, Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland is a sensory extravaganza with attractions for all ages. Slip and slide around the UK’s largest ice rink, hop on a roller-coaster or take in the sights of London from the giant ferris wheel. Children will love the “Cinderella on Ice” musical and the circus spectacular of Zippo. New this year is a breathtaking walk-through experience, the ‘Magical Ice Kingdom’, which takes visitors on a journey through ice sculptures of deep-sea creatures, a mermaid grotto and even an octopus battle. The park is illuminated with thousands of twinkling lights and a village of hot food stalls will keep you energised and cosy in the nippy evenings.

When to visit: 10am-10pm 23 November – 6 January

Price: Free entry, £38 for a family ice-skating ticket

9. Edinburgh

With several markets to choose from there’s enough to see and do around the streets of Edinburgh to make a family mini-break worthwhile. Head to the traditional European Christmas market with its hand-blown glass decorations, colourful wooden toys and rustic wreaths. Children will love Santa Land in the Princes Street Gardens, with its own miniature Children’s Market. Kids can pick up gifts for family and friends, get stuck into Christmas crafts and have their faces painted before visiting Santa himself.

When to visit: 16 November – 5 January

Price: Free entry

8. Leeds Christkindelmarkt

There’s nothing like a traditional German Christmas market to make you feel festive, and children and adults alike will love this little piece of Germany in the heart of Leeds city centre. The family-friendly market has over 40 traditionally decorated wooden chalet stalls featuring handcrafted toys, jewellery, festive decorations and authentic German delicacies. On weekends, you can even join Father Christmas for breakfast in the Alp Chalet!

When to visit: 9 November – 22 December

Price: Free entry, some activities are ticketed

7. Bath

With over 200 wooden chalets set among the iconic Georgian houses of Bath, this Christmas market is a feast for the eyes. 80% of the stalls are from Bath and the southwest and the pop-up chalets attract a plethora of small businesses, so it’s a great opportunity to pick up treats from independent sellers. Take a break to warm up inside the Lodge, the gastronomic heart of the Christmas market offering real ales and hearty hot food. Each day a local charity hosts a chalet, promoting worthy causes and enlivening the community spirit of the market. When you’ve had your fill of festive fare, head to the glow-in-the-dark golf course or the nearby ice rink or catch a performance at the Theatre Royal.

When to visit: 22 November – 9 December

Price: Free entry

6. Manchester

Manchester is your classic ‘mulled wine, mince pies, snuggled up in a wooly hat buying locally made gifts for family’ kind of christmas market. There are a number of different markets across the city where you can expect the most christmassy smells, friendly faces and – in St Anne’s Square in particular – beautiful traditional huts reminiscent of the original German Christkindlesmarkt, where you can buy sweets, hand-crafted goods, yummy food to fuel Yuletide shopping plus lots more goodies to wrap and pop under the tree this year.

When to visit: 9th November – 22nd December

Price: Free entry

5. Belfast

A whirlwind of colour and sparkling lights, the Belfast Christmas Market is held in the manicured grounds of the imposing City Hall building, with Dutch florists bringing an array of pot plants and flowers. Vendors and artists from all over Europe flock to sell their handmade gifts and seasonal decorations. Father Christmas is in attendance in his specially designed Grotto, with proceeds from the visits going to a local children’s charity. There are several bands playing music to liven up the atmosphere, and more food and drink stalls than you could possibly want. Choose from French tarts made on site, creamy Belgian chocolates, Spanish paella from an enormous dish or giant Bratwursts from traditional Schwenkgrille.

When to visit: 17 November- 22 December

Price: Free entry

4. Cardiff

Set in the heart of the city, Cardiff’s Christmas market has been running for over 20 years and is a hub of both old and new exhibits and stalls. Local craftspeople will put on demonstrations of their skill and sell their wares, from hand-carved Welsh love spoons to rose gold Celtic jewellery. Twinkling stars are strung above the market and the Winter Wonderland will have kids giggling in excitement as they take in the fairground rides, Christmas characters and ice rink.

When to visit: 15 November – 23 December

Price: Free entry, ice skating costs from £27 for a family of four

3. Birmingham

Frankfurt Christmas market in Birmingham is the largest German market held outside of Germany or Austria, and the only one in England to have a Victorian carousel. Painted Russian dolls, wind chimes and candle holders are among the crafts available to buy as gifts. Look out for the toys carves entirely from chocolate for a treat that kids will love! Along with the gift stalls are a ferris wheel, ice rink and other attractions and food stands selling strudel, cups of hot mulled wine and waffles.

When to visit: 15 November- 23 December

Price: Free entry

2. Glasgow

Grab a continental beer and relax at Glasgow’s Christmas festival, featuring not one but two Christmas markets. St Enoch Square and St George’s Square will be filled with vendors from far-flung corners of the world including Ecuador, Russia and of course Lapland. Parents can visit the Gluhwein house to sample wines and fine Bavarian beers, renowned as some of the best in the world. Grab huge, hot pretzels and hot chocolate for the kids before heading to the helter-skelter and carousel rides in St George’s Square. Father Christmas loves to do the rounds in Glasgow, surprising visitors in the lodge-style bars and welcoming children into his cabin with their gift lists.

When to visit: St Enoch Square: 9 November – 23 December; George Square: 25 November – 31 December

Price: Free entry

1. Winchester

Set in the stunning city of Winchester – the ancient English capital – you’ll find a world-renown market with over 100 chalets selling everything from delicious festive foods to crafts and decorations from British craftspeople. The unique location, high quality exhibitors and bustling atmosphere make it a must for anyone looking for a truly traditional British winter’s day out with the family.

When to visit: 17 November to 20 December

Price: Free entry

Looking further afield? Explore Europe’s best Christmas markets.