Crisp cold days, wrapped up warm in scarves and bobble hats, toes toasty in winter boots, Christmas tunes playing and the delicious smell of mulled wine – there’s something special about visiting a Christmas market.
Germany is known for its seasonal markets. The Christkindlesmarkt in the medieval city of Nuremberg can stake a pretty strong claim as being the most popular in Europe with a market dating back to 1628. People also flock to Dresden Streizelmarkt, which has a market that heralds back to 1434. This city perched on the edge of the River Elbe is famed for its delicious fruit and marzipan packed stolen.
In the UK we are relative newcomers to the Christmas Market scene but nonetheless, in true British style, we have immersed ourselves into creating a selection of the most fabulous markets, so much so that travelling to Europe is no longer a necessity to get your festive fix.
Christmas Markets are right here on our doorsteps. A sizzling bratwurst and a cheeky gluwein are not as far away as you might think.
Birmingham – To get the full on authentic German experience you don’t have to head off overseas, twinned with Frankfurt the incredibly friendly Brummie capital has a fantastic German market with over 180 craft stalls.
London – Hyde Park plays host to over 100 stalls, the UK’s largest outdoor ice rink, a circus, Ferris wheel and a Bavarian village. For those who want to continue the fun, head off to the Southbank which hosts its own Christmas market on the Thames.
Manchester – It’s Christmas market was launched in 1999 as just a single site in St Ann’s Square. Today the market is a sprawling and hugely popular festive attraction which attracts millions of visitors each year. This Christmas Market is not just a fabulous place to shop but has become a leisure destination in its own right. No Mancunian winter is complete without a wander through the chalet-lined streets of Manchester.
Wales – It also boasts a fabulous selection of festive markets. The charming Victorian seaside resort of Llandudno is home to the rapidly growing Christmas Fayre offering 165 stalls in the centre of town. This gorgeous town was voted best seaside resort in the UK in 2016 and 4th overall as best UK destination to visit by TripAdvisor, coming in behind London, Edinburgh and Liverpool.
For those fortunate enough to live close to a Christmas market there are wonderful advantages. Being able to stroll out of your front door and do some Christmas shopping in the open air is such a treat.
Homes close to Christmas markets:
For student living in Birmingham look no further than 800 Bristol Road, it is an exclusive luxury student accommodation in the heart of Birmingham’s buzzing Selly Oak area. From £199 per week.
Or Brook Studios also in Birmingham, newly refurbished, premium rooms designed especially for students just a few minutes’ walk from the Edgbaston campus of the University of Birmingham. From £172 per week.