Love it or loath it, Christmas is on its merry way! Festive markets will be opening their doors up and down the country, bringing warming gluhwein, traditional wooden crafts, glistening ice rinks and yuletide decorations.
Now is the time to start planning your festive trip, especially if you plan to make a weekend of it away from home. But with so many markets to choose from, it can be hard to decide where to go. So, we've collected some of the UK's best Christmas markets for inspiration.
17th November 2019 - 5th January 2020
Where better to celebrate the Christmas season than the beautiful city of Edinburgh? The famous Edinburgh Christmas Market just off Princes Street comes complete with the usual array of crafters, artists, gift shops and, of course, festive food and drink.
Gaze upon the panoramic views of the Scottish capital from the top of the Big Wheel, spin around on the traditional carousel or brave a twirl on the 60-metre-high Star Flyer.
If you're a fan of Scottish whisky, take shelter from the chilled Edinburgh air with a visit to the Johnnie Walker Bothy Bar.
Situated across a two-floor bar on the Mound, the Bothy will serve a variety of whisky cocktails and hot toddies, showcasing the unique flavours from the four corners of Scotland.
8th November - 22nd December 2019
The most Instagrammed Christmas market in Europe back in 2017, you're sure to find a few festive photo ops to impress your social following at Manchester's festive market. Situated at the heart of this buzzing city, you'll find mouth-watering international food, drinks and delicately crafted yuletide gifts.
Traders from all over Europe gather to showcase their craftsmanship. From fine amber jewellery, handcrafted leather bags, handmade Belgian kitchenware and French soaps, you're sure to find something special to put a smile on your loved one?s face come Christmas morning.
Complete your festive break with a visit to the Ice Village in the city's Cathedral Gardens. Here, you can see the impressive ice sculptures, visit the ice tiki bar and take the kids to Santa?s grotto, to meet the big man himself!
16th November - 22nd December 2019
Belfast City Hall gardens are transformed into a picturesque Christmas village ready for the festive season. Indulge in giant bratwurst from the iconic Schwenkegrill, check out the offerings from over 30 international traders and enjoy a range of warming drinks from one of the welcoming festive bars.
The children will love seeing Santa in his magical grotto, and don?t forget to post your little one's Christmas wishes to the North Pole while you're there!
After meeting Santa, why not treat the kids to a ride on the vintage carousel or a slide down the helter skelter?
8th November - 21st December 2019
Transforming Millennium Square in the heart of the city centre into a festive wonderland, Leeds Christmas market is sure to put you in the Christmas spirit!
Fill your boots with German bratwurst, goulash, and schnitzels, all washed down with warming mulled wine, then find that perfect present at one of the 40 quaintly decorated stalls.
To keep the little ones entertained, there are free children's activities every Sunday morning, including face painting, balloon modelling, sing-alongs and creative arts and crafts.
The Ski Hutte is the ideal setting to enjoy a mulled wine with friends. Keep an eye out for the unique Glockenspiel feature playing up to 30 different Christmas melodies!
21st November 2019 - 5th January 2020
For a Christmas to remember, head to London's Hyde Park Winter Wonderland. Alongside the traditional market, you'll find a giant observation wheel, ice rink, circus shows, comedy acts and an ice bar. There really is no end of exciting things to do for all the family!
See your little ones' faces light up as they catch a glimpse of Santa Claus himself in his Christmas grotto!
And if that wasn't enough, your children are sure to love 'Paddington Bear on Ice', a spectacular ice show, complete with award-winning international figure skaters!
14th November - 23rd December 2019
Head to Cardiff for a unique and alternative shopping experience. Organised and successfully run by Craft*folK for over twenty years, Cardiff Christmas market are proud to offer original works of art from local craftspeople, so you're sure to find a Christmas gift that's truly special.
Shop the array of bespoke jewellery, wooden gifts, original artwork, hand thrown ceramics and handmade textiles, bought directly from the makers themselves.
Beyond the market there's a funfair and ice rink as well as Santa's Grotto in the atmospheric setting of Cardiff Castle.
Getting travel insurance for a break at home may not seem necessary. However, even if you are travelling within the UK, you can still come up against unexpected events that could be covered by travel insurance.
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At Compare Cover, you can compare prices for your travel insurance quickly and easily, so you can relax and get in the festive spirit!
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