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Fill Your Stockings: Top Ten English Christmas Markets

August 27, 2014 Destination Global No Comments Email Email

Over the festive period, England transforms into a magical winter wonderland with a variety of Christmas markets across the country. VisitEngland rounds up some of the best festive shopping experiences below:

An authentic European experience in Manchester (14 November – 21 December)

Considered to be one of the biggest in Europe, Manchester sparkles over the festive season with markets spanning eight picturesque city centre locations. There is an excellent selection of gifts on offer from fine amber jewellery and handcrafted leather bags to Dutch flower-bulbs and Spanish chorizo. Don’t miss the iconic giant Father Christmas perched on top of the town hall – perfect for a seasonal selfie!

Yodel in Leeds (14 November – 20 December)

Once again, Leeds is offering a host of festive activities in Millennium Square. The ice-rink remains a firm favourite amongst both adults and children, as well as the magical carousel ride transporting visitors back to their childhood. The highlight of the market returns in the form of the Oktoberfest inspired German Beer Tent. Join ‘Mundy and Friends’ to enjoy some traditional yodelling and a sing-a-long to all the classics. Expect copious mulled wine and dancing on tables – this is not one to be missed!


Winter Wonderland returns to London (21 November 2014 – 4 January 2015)

A true family favourite, Winter Wonderland returns to London’s Hyde Park this November with big top shows, the iconic Giant Observation Wheel and of course its famous Christmas market. The Wonderland has already attracted over 14 million visitors, with the UK’s largest open-air ice rink and the Magical Ice Kingdom to delight both young and old.  Enjoy hot cider, mulled wine and farmhouse foods alongside a spot of rustic revelry in the shape of an outdoor fire pit in the heart of the park.


A Canine Christmas in Norwich (from 29 November)

Why pick just one Christmas event when Norwich has so much on offer? Visitors really are spoilt for choice with the Assembly House Christmas Fair, which will feature a host of seasonal stalls. Or for something a little quirkier, why not try the Dragon’s Hall Medieval market with costumed stallholders and period musicians? There’s even something for dogs! Back by popular demand, Santa’s Grotto for dogs is being held in the forum once again, so dog owners can treat their pooches to a photo with its favourite festive character.


Festive fun in Bath (27 November – 14 December)

Each year,  the cobbled streets and square between the stunning Bath Abbey and the internationally-renowned Roman Baths become a Christmas shopper’s paradise. More than 150 traditional wooden chalets line the streets of Bath, each one offering bespoke gifts, decorations and edible goodies. Peruse locally-produced items and sip on hot mulled wine accompanied by the sounds of Christmas carols.

A Dickensian Christmas in Gloucester (20-23 November)

Gloucester’s impressive historic docks provide the magnificent backdrop for a very Victorian Christmas experience. Explore an authentic Victorian market selling high quality food and drink as well as hand-made festive gifts. Enjoy choirs, brass bands and don’t forget to keep an eye out for a host of colourful and larger than life Dickensian characters who bring the market to life including, street urchins, Fagin-style gang masters, flower sellers, beggars and thieves, all under the watchful eye of the faithful ‘peeler’.

A Medieval Christmas in Ludlow (29 and 30 November)

Get ready for two days of non-stop merriment and tomfoolery at the Ludlow medieval Christmas fayre, held in the ruins of Ludlow’s ancient castle. Expect chivalrous knights in full armour, dancing damsels, fire breathing jesters and impressive bird of prey displays. Also, get your hands on one-of-a-kind knight helmets and fine silver earrings; they make a great gift for loved ones.


New and improved Winter Wonderland in Nottingham (19 November – 24 December)

The Nottingham Winter Wonderland is back this year and will be bigger and better than ever before. This significantly expanded Christmas market will include 20 new bespoke Tudor-style trading cabins offering an even wider range of products, including unique trader made items for the most discerning of shoppers.  A truly unique Helter Skelter bar will also be created for the occasion allowing shoppers to enjoy a warming mulled wine or spiced cider whilst the little ones test out the ride.

England’s biggest German Market in Birmingham (13 November – 22 December)

Inspired by its twin city, Frankfurt, Birmingham’s Christmas market is the largest German-style Christmas market outside Germany. Showcasing some of the city’s finest craftsmen, these markets should be firmly at the top of anyone’s Christmas list. Birmingham’s markets comprise over 180 glowing wooden chalets sprawled across Victoria Square, Centenary Square, Chamberlain Square and New Street, each one packed with treats from glistening handmade baubles to traditional wooden toys. The edible treats are equally irresistible as the aroma of mulled wine, rich gingerbread and marzipan fill the air. The craft market opens on 15 November.

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