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Take a break from the overwhelming bright lights of retail stores and instead take a stroll around a charming Christmas market.

London

Covent Garden

Every Saturday from 9 November, you can take your kids to pet Santa's reindeer in Covent Garden. Along with traditional shops and decorations, the market features an exclusive creation, courtesy of LEGO as well as live theatre performances.

Dates: 6 November - 2 January 2015

Leadenhall

London's Leadenhall market has had a festive makeover for the holiday season. The old cobblestone walkways and the high, glass ceilings create a perfectly picturesque spot for Christmas shopping. Kids – big and small – will love admiring the twinkling lights and spectacular window displays.

Dates: 16 - 20 December 2014

Southbank

Take a family stroll along Southbank and enter into their Christmas market, which is part of the Winter Festival. Full of traditional German stalls and food items, you'll meander through rows and rows of unique huts and have a great time navigating the Christmas tree maze. To finish the day, take a ride on the carousel or the festively-decorated London Eye.

Dates: 11 November - 4 January 2015

Yorkshire

York

St Nicholas market in York is widely known as one of the UK's favourites. This year, the market is extending its stay to three weeks – quite a change from the usual four days. Browse the special stalls that line Parliament Street and St. Sampson Square and meet the vendors dressed in traditional costume.

Dates: 27 November - 21 December 2014

Leeds

Leeds' Millennium Square is completely transformed to cater for Christmas shoppers. With 40 traditional German market stalls, and special, weekly childrens' activities taking place every Sunday in the festive hall, Frankfurter Scheune, you'll find plenty of reasons to keep coming back.

Dates: 14 November - 20 December 2014

covent garden christmas

North

Manchester

The Christmas market in Manchester's city centre has now become a staple for the festive shopping season. The winter-themed chalets are full of goodies and gifts for every age. Take your time browsing gifts on over 300 stalls – from jewellery and clothes to toys and food, then pop over to Spinningfields ice rink for extra fun.

Dates: 14 November – 21 December 2014

Midlands

Birmingham

Visit this Frankfurt inspired Christmas and Craft Market for the ultimate European holiday experience. This market has over 180 stalls and is a German food mecca. The kids will nibble on pretzels and schnitzels while keeping warm with a big mug of German hot chocolate.

Dates: 13 November - 22 December 2014

The ice factor yorkshire iceskating

South

Winchester

Founded in 2006, this Christmas market is celebrated as one of Europe's best. Styled in the traditional German fashion, with wooden huts and decorative lights, working your way around the handpicked stalls is a real treat. Once your shopping's done, take a twirl around the ice rink.

Dates: 20 November to 21 December 2014

Bath

Visit this distinctively British Christmas market located right in the heart of Bath. Over 70% of the market vendors are from Bath and the surrounding areas, giving you the perfect opportunity to stock up on original gifts. The kids will have loads of fun on the ice-rink and Victorian carousel too.

Dates: 27 November - 14 December 2014

Salisbury

This tasteful and traditional Christmas Market has a classical eloquence that will really get you in the holiday mood. All the huts have lights adorning their roofs and together they surround a huge Christmas tree. Let the bandstand's local choirs sing you carols while you take your kids to meet Father Christmas after a day of shopping.

Dates: 27 November - 20 December 2014

More of what you love...

Looking for more inspiration for your staycation in the UK this Christmas? Check out our round-up of the top UK cottages, ideal for a cosy family retreat. Plus, even more ideas for ways to have fun this Christmas.