My Favourites

My Favourites

Save your favourites with a single click and you’ll never forget a brilliant Muddy recommendation.

THINGS TO DO. ARTS. EAT. TRAVEL. FASHION. BEAUTY. KIDS. HOME

Get the inside line on what’s unique, special and new near you, straight to your inbox across 26 counties

Ad
Ad
Back to Day Trips

28 best Christmas markets across the Muddy counties

Is it even Christmas if you haven't eaten scalding chestnuts from a chalet hut? Do your festive shopping right this year with these 28 merry markets worth a visit across the Muddy counties.

Frankfurt Christmas Market, Birmingham, 4 Nov – 23 Dec

Pretzels, bratwursts and schnitzels washed down with steins of beer and mugs of steaming gluhwein – is it even Christmas until you’ve been to a German market? You can’t miss this one: it’s the largest outside of Germany and Austria, smack in the middle of Birmingham, and is generally blasting traditional Bavarian music. You can stock up on quirky gifts, glass baubles and wooden decorations — who are we kidding, though? We’re just there for the food, drink, and festive vibe.

Bournemouth Christmas Market, Bournemouth, Dorset, Nov 19 – 2 Jan

This stonker of a market boasts all things Alpine: from the stalls and food to a cosy Alpine Lodge — just, er, not the Alps. As well as the glittery market, don’t miss the Christmas Tree Wonderland free trail, for a walk-through giant tree and a spot of ice-skating.

Bristol Christmas market, Broadmead, Bristol, 5-23 Dec

Are you ready to get merry? Head to Bristol this December for a fabulously festive atmosphere, some 50 stalls in the centre of town, luxe private igloos to rent, and more delicious food than you could possibly consume (that’s not a dare!). You’ll find us at Jäger Barn Bar, mulling over (geddit?) the choice between mulled cider, gluhwein, or a hot chocolate spiked with Baileys. Decisions!

Festive Fayre, Hampton Court Palace, 3-5 Dec

What royal surroundings for a market! Enjoy singalong festive classics from the East Front Bandstand, indulge in Christmas-style street food and festive drinks, and make plenty of time to browse the unique gift stalls.

Christmas Market, Cheltenham, Glos, 20 Nov – 19 Dec

market

The yuletide market in Regency Cheltenham is back and bigger than ever for 2021. Expect twinkling stalls festooning the pedestrianised Promenade streets, and stalls packed with unique treats, gifts and handmade Christmas decorations. Once you’ve shopped your fill, feast on giant Bratwurst, or an exotic selection of ostrich and crocodile burgers (no lie!), macaroons from Italy, local fudge, and the very best cheeses. There’s also a Christmas Craft Market on the High Street from 11 – 23 December.

Brighton Christmas Festival, Sussex, 26 Nov – 31 Dec

Things are getting rather merry in Brighton and Ho-Ho-Hove, with various locations around the city donning their sparkliest lights and sprouting over 150 festive stalls. Expect live entertainment, a funfair and Santa’s Grotto, and (yeah, baby!) an Après Ski zone, where the adults can enjoy a glass of mulled wine.

Victorian Christmas Fayre, Worcester, 2-5 Dec

More than 200 quirky stalls fill this famous Victorian Fayre in the heart of Worcester’s picturesque old quarter. If you want to be time-warped back to a Dickensian yuletide, this is the one for you. Bag up delicious gifts, artisan arts and crafts, tuck into delicious street food and sip hot chocolate to carols, choirs and buskers on every street corner. There’ll be Victorian themed characters popping up in Gin Lane, stilt walkers and more.

Winchester Cathedral’s Christmas Market, Hants, 19 Nov – 22 Dec

Winchester Christmas market
Pic: Annie Spratt

Hampshire’s biggest and most atmospheric, German-style Christmas Market is back at Winchester Cathedral. Sip mulled wine and have a good old mooch around the alpine-style chalet stalls around the inner close.

Tewkesbury Christmas Market, Tewkesbury, Glos

Historic Tewkesbury is the backdrop for this Christmas market, which this year will be taking over parts of the High Street, Church Street and Barton Street. Filled with fairground rides , a performance stage, various activities and 100 Christmas market stalls, it’s one not to be missed. You’ll get the chance to feed reindeer, meet the cast of The Roses Pantomime who’ll be all dressed up, and there’s even free parking in town. A Christmas miracle!

Canterbury Christmas Market, Kent, 12 Nov – 24 Dec

A colourful array of festively decorated huts, unique indie gifts, eats and treats plus a helter-skelter! Visit this Christmas market in cookie-cutter Canterbury to enjoy live music, stalls, Father Christmas, and even his four-legged friend Santa Paws.

Victorian Christmas Fayre, Newbury, Berks 3-5 Dec

Newbury Victorian Christmas Market vintage carousel

Dig out your crinolines, hat, furry muff, Newbury’s going back in time to create a Christmas Card pretty vision of the festive season. OK so you don’t have to go in fancy dress unless that’s how you roll. But expect 100+ retailers, stall holders, pubs, restaurants and entertainers to be channeling A Christmas Carol. This is a traditional Christmas market with all jingle bells on. Choirs, vintage carousel, mulled wine and the chance to smash through your gift list.

Exeter Cathedral Christmas Market, until 18 Dec

Since Exeter Cathedral took the helm a few years back, the quality of the city’s Xmas market has gone up shed-loads. This year, 90 craftspeople have set up stall in the fairy-lit chalets, offering everything from local Exeter Gin and Devon Rum to handmade jewellery, pottery tea lights and retro frocks. Plus, every weekend Exmouth Miniature Railway rocks up to take the teenies for a ride on its Elf Express.

Plymouth Christmas Market, Devon, 2–19 Dec

Woolly hats on for the Piazza’s annual open-air bar and artisan food and gift stalls, plus oodles of extras to get you in a mulled mood, including Illuminated Roller Skating (2 Dec), a Sofa Driving Santa cruising around with his naughty elf (4 Dec), and The Curiosity Christmas Tree, a cross between a giant marble run and a magical clockwork toy (11 Dec). Not a bad line-up!

Christmas Fair, Waddesdon Manor, Bucks, 13 Nov – 23 Dec

This bustling market, with its fairytale Rothschild manor backdrop, boasts charming wooden chalets, fragrant festive food, and an array of local artisan gifts. Don’t miss the amazing light trail in the grounds, while you’re there.

Christmas Market, Blenheim Palace, Oxon, 19 Nov – 19 Dec

Blenheim Palace’s whole Christmas experience this year is well-worth a visit — think an illuminated trail and The Nutcracker re-imagined within the Palace’s rooms — but the market is always a dead cert. Expect boutique, artisan chalets, and plenty of refreshments.

Oxford Christmas Market, 9-19 Dec

The city of dreaming spires will be dreaming of a white Christmas at this bustling market, packed with carol-singing choirs, artisan gifts, and plenty of mulled wine. Pick up some unique local gifts, catch a glimpse of Father Christmas, and enjoy plenty of festive treats.

Cambridge Christmas Market, Cambridge, 11 Dec

Have a cool yule at this one-day outdoor market browsing more than 40 stalls full of Xmassy treats outside City Hall on Dickson Street. There’ll also be food trucks and live music to keep you entertained from 9am to 3pm. 

Trinity Park Christmas Market, Ipswich, Suffolk, 4 Dec

More than 70 indies in the area are descending on Trinity Park to get you in the Christmas spirit, with stalls selling everything from gifts, toys and decorations to festive food and drink. There’ll also be a Santa’s grotto and money raised from the fair is going to the Helen Rollason Cancer Charity, so it’s for a good cause too. From £6, 10.30am-6pm. 

Garon Park, Southend, Essex, 10-24 Dec

Offering up a trad Christmas market in the centre of its festive spectacular, Essex Christmas Wonderland really is your one-stop-shop for all Noël activities this year. Think fairground rides, ice-rink sessions, mulled-wine tastings and, of course, a quality selection of Christmas-themed goodies to pick up from the artisanal market. Just be sure to congratulate yourself with an eggnog (or three) when the Xmas shop is officially done.

Hertford Castle Christmas Market, Herts, 26 Nov and 27-28 Nov

For the first time, the grand Hertford Castle will be the backdrop for a Festive spectacular. The Castle Lawn will be filled with market stalls, festive entertainment and food to warm those cockles. And don’t miss the Christmas Gala on 26th where you can shop local ’til you drop in the town centre and soak up the atmosphere.

Tring Christmas Festival, Herts, 27 Nov

Tring’s Christmas Festival is the town’s biggest free event – the High Street is closed off to traffic and becomes jam-packed with stalls offering gifts and food as well as mulled wine and gin cocktails from the likes of Puddingstone Distillery. There’ll be funfair rides and Tring’s schools and dance academies will be out in force singing their hearts out in the church square as the shops keep their doors open for some late night shopping, discounts and often free nibbles, too. And don’t miss the light display and Christmas tree comp in the Memorial Garden.

Fowey Christmas Market, south Cornwall, 26 – 28 Nov

Festive activities and shopping opportunities take place throughout this charming port town, with fabulous Christmas Markets spread across the stunning Fowey Town Quay, Albert Quay, Webb Street and Town Hall venues. Expect all the hits: glowing lights, artisan gifts, festive tipples, and plenty of food.

The Enchanted Christmas Market, Royal Cornwall Showground, 9-12 Dec & 16-19 Dec

Fabulous shopping with over 100 stalls at the showground, plus an audience with Santa and a pop-up ice rink – taking place over two long weekends in December.

Frost Fayre, Glastonbury, Somerset, 27 Nov

Yes, Glastonbury’s not just for music festivals! Visit the market for a plethora of festive stalls accompanied by live music performed on stages dotted all over the place, and a grand opening by the Mayor.

Marlborough Christmas Cracker Fair, Wilts, 18 Dec

Marlborough’s town hall is being transformed into a winter wonderland, complete with over 80 stalls of gift inspiration. Just a week before Christmas, this is the perfect event for anyone who has left present buying until the same minute (no judgement!)

CHRISTMAS IN THE CITY

Winter Wonderland, Hyde Park, 19 Nov – 3 Jan

Back for its 15th year, Winter Wonderland is more Christmas microcosm than market, but it has that too! Then once you’ve suitably shopped, sampled, and perused, you can head onto the fairground rides, ice sculpting workshops, Santa Land, and ice rink. New for this year is the obligation to book ahead which – fingers crossed – will reduce the mega crowds.

Winter Market, Southbank Centre, until 23 Dec

Wander along the Thames and revel in twinkling lights, indulgent street food, and giftable goodies. Tip: don’t miss the gooey fondue eaten out of transparent snow globes, from Jimmy’s Lodge. Insta-catnip!

Kingston Christmas Market, Kingston-upon-Thames, 18 Nov – 24 Dec

It’s the outskirts of London, but this European-style Christmas market makes Kingston well worth a visit. Thing hog rolls, twinkling lights, a vintage carousel, and gorgeous gifts to buy from Alpine cabins. See you there!

Want more festive things to do? Check out our Christmas London guide, and our round-ups of the best ice rinks and light trails to visit.

Little Black Book

The Little Black Book

Our A-Z of the grooviest local businesses to help make your life easier

View the businesses
Reader Treats Just For You!