Stagecoach

Best UK Christmas markets

01 Dec 2015

As the nights draw in and the temperature tumbles, we begin to countdown the hours until the big day. However, hitting the high street in the run up to Christmas can be an extremely stressful experience — though it needn’t be.

Why not avoid the chain stores and spend a weekend at one of the UK’s best Christmas Markets? Here at Stagecoach Bus, we’ve picked out some of our favourites. All that’s left to do is dig out your biggest bobble hat and wrap up warm.

Manchester Christmas Market

Christmas Manchester Marketimage credit

What:
With over 200 stalls, the Manchester Christmas Market has been known to pull in close to 900,000 visitors each year — and for good reason! The market won ‘Best Market Attraction 2010’ and has everything you could imagine, from cosmetics and toys to mulled wine and cinnamon treats.

When:
Nov 14-Dec 21

Where:
Albert Square, Central Manchester.

Where to stay:
Check out the spectacular Hotel Gotham for a truly luxurious stay. Billed as ‘the sexiest hotel in Europe’, everything from the magnificent architecture to timeless décor is designed to take your breath away.

Edinburgh’s Christmas

Christmas Edinburgh Marketimage credit

What:
The Edinburgh Christmas Market is part of the city’s Christmas spectacular, which is arguably one of the biggest festive events in the UK. The market itself is set against the spectacular backdrop of Edinburgh Castle and offers a unique shopping experience for every visitor, with its artists, gift shops, crafters and gastronomic delights.

When:
Nov 20-Jan 4

Where:
East Princes St Gardens, Edinburgh.

Where to stay:
Check out The Rutland Hotel, a bespoke and luxurious city centre boutique hotel with sumptuous décor and unique charm.
If you are visiting Edinburgh for the day, get there for less with megabus.

Glasgow Christmas Market

Christmas Glasgow Marketimage credit

What:
Festive shoppers are spoilt for choice at Glasgow’s Continental Christmas Market. During the event, St Enoch Square becomes home to a variety of quaint wooden stalls populated by international retailers. Whether you’re looking for warming mulled wines, French delicacies or traditional gifts, you’ll certainly get into the Christmas spirit at this great festive market.

When:
Nov 13-Dec 20

Where:
St Enoch Square

Where to stay:
For a touch of grandeur, stay in the nearby Grand Central Hotel. It’s magnificent architecture and décor are sure to impress.

Lincoln Christmas Market

Christmas Castle Square image credit

What:
Lincoln Christmas Market is one of the oldest of its kind in the UK. It has grown from a modest 11 stalls since it was first founded in 1982, to over 250 stalls catering for up to 150,000 visitors each year. The Christmas Market is set in a picturesque location between the cathedral and the castle, which will most certainly help you to get into the Christmas spirit.

When:
Dec 3-6

Where:
Bailgate, Lincoln.

Where to stay:
For perfect views of the Christmas market from your bedroom, check out The Castle Hotel. The hotel has the perfect blend of stylish, modern and comfortable rooms with a home-away-from-home charm.

York’s St Nicholas Fayre

Christmas York Market

image credit

What:
The St Nicholas Fayre is the perfect choice for foodies, featuring venison, wild boar, suckling pig, and even kangaroo and ostrich. With over 100 cosy chalets selling inspired gift ideas and stocking fillers, your trip will be accompanied by the smell of roasting chestnuts and the sound of carol singers. It’s a great way to kick-start your festive season.

When:
Nov 19-Dec 23

Where:
York Minster, Coppergate, Parliament Square and St Sampson’s Square, York.

Where to stay:
Check out the Lamb & Lion Inn. It’s the perfect place to rest your weary bones after a day of soaking up the bewitching Christmas spirit of the city.

Cirencester Christmas Market

Christmas Cirencester Marketimage credit

What:
For ten days in December, the attractive old town centre of Cirencester is magically transformed into a winter wonderland, replete with twinkling fairy lights, wooden chalets, gingerbread, roasted chestnuts and Gluhwein. There are also perfumery workshops for adults and lantern-making workshops for children, either of which would make the perfect hand-made gift for friends and relatives.

When:
Dec 6-16

Where:
Cirencester Town Centre.

Where to stay:
For a stylish retreat within walking distance of the Christmas market, be sure to check out No 12 Luxury Bed & Breakfast, an elegant and welcoming B&B set in a Grade II listed Georgian townhouse.

Winchester Cathedral Christmas Market

Christmas Winchester Marketimage credit

What:
Winchester is the perfect weekend getaway for people based in London and the Victorian lanes make you feel like you’ve stepped straight into a Dickensian novel. Founded in 2006, the Winchester Cathedral Christmas Market is renowned for its breathtaking setting, high quality exhibitors and bustling atmosphere. If that wasn’t enough, the abundance of Christmas gifts, decorations and festive food means you aren’t likely to return home empty-handed.

When:
Nov 24-Dec 21

Where:
Winchester Cathedral Grounds.

Where to stay:
Check out the The Winchester Hotel, a stylish four-star hotel and spa in the heart of the city.

Bath Christmas Market

Christmas Bath Marketimage credit

What:
Each year the centre of Bath is transformed into a magical Christmas extravaganza, with over 170 wooden chalets containing stalls that specialise in everything from Yuletide treats to artisan gifts. The aroma of cinnamon and spice from the mulled wine and mince pies is guaranteed to get you into the Christmas spirit.

When:
Nov 26-Dec 13

Where:
Between Bath Abbey and the Roman Baths.

Where to stay:
Be sure to book yourself into the Queensberry Hotel, a quartet of Georgian townhouses within strolling distance of the city’s shops and spas.