The festive season is upon us – want to make the most of this magical time of year?
There really is nothing better than a visit to a Christmas market to get you into a merry mood.
Nothing screams Christmas like mulled wine, sparkling lights, and the smell of food that’ll have you lining up at countless food stalls.
They’re also great places to wander around for potential Christmas presents.
Looking for a snazzy hat, some pretty jewelry, or a fancy alcoholic gift? Browsing the Christmas market stalls is probably your best bet.
Whether you want a day out with the family, a romantic date night, or an evening out with friends, these are six Christmas markets that are definitely worth visiting.
1. Bristol: 3rd November – 23rd December
Located right in the heart of the city centre, you’ll discover something for everyone at the Bristol Christmas markets.
Stroll through rows of quaint wooden chalets adorned with twinkling lights, offering an array of handcrafted treasures, artisanal gifts, and delectable treats.
And it’s already running! It opened on 3rd November and is here to stay until 23rd December. You can visit it any day of the week between 10am and 7pm for the trader stalls. But the food stalls and bar are open until 10pm.
Choose from a hog roast, German bratwursts, Yorkshire pudding wraps, crepes, churros and lots more.
If you fancy a warm cider, take a seat in the Bavarian themed Jager Barn Bar and even book one of the igloos or immobile ski gondolas for the perfect wintery setting.
Whether you’re sipping hot chocolate, browsing for gifts, or simply soaking up the festive ambiance, these markets offer an enchanting experience for all who attend.
2. Bath: 23rd November – 10th December
Probably one of THE best Christmas markets in the UK, Bath’s Christmas market is well worth a visit.
At Christmas time, the cobbled streets of the historic city of Bath are transformed into a winter wonderland like no other. The markets are nestled amidst the stunning Georgian architecture, offering a magical experience for locals and visitors alike.
Spanning the whole of Bath’s city centre, there are over 250 festive chalets to explore, so you really are spoilt for choice. And the Abbey Courtyard becomes a focal point for communal gatherings, with a towering Christmas tree serving as a focal point for seasonal snapshots.
Running from Thursday 23rd November until Sunday 10th December, it’s only around for about two weeks, so make sure you plan a trip there soon!
3. Exeter: 17th November – 17th December
Home of BYD South West’s showroom, we couldn’t leave out Exeter from our list. And Exeter’s Christmas market is a good ‘un – it’s Devon’s biggest one!
Running from Friday 17th November until Sunday 17th December, It will be open from 10am-7pm Monday to Wednesday, 10am-9pm Thursday-Saturday and 11am-5pm on Sundays.
It’s located on Exeter’s cathedral green and there’s over 100 festive chalets filled with hand-crafted gifts, food and a big bar too.
Plus you can enter the cathedral completely free of charge if you’d like to have a look around the historical building.
There are plenty of global street food stalls to choose from, but if you fancy something more close to home, there’s always a range of West Country Produce to choose from like cheeses, cured meats, sweet treats and even some award-winning scotch eggs!
Against the backdrop of Exeter Cathedral, illuminated against the night sky, the Christmas Markets create a truly magical experience.
4. Plymouth: 30th November – 17th December
The Christmas Markets transform the historical city of Plymouth.
You’ll be able to get your hands on lots of Christmas presents thanks to the market stalls which will be filled with the best of local and artisan businesses. Make sure you bring your appetite too as there will be lots of tasty food and mulled wine to feast on.
Santa Claus himself often makes a jolly appearance in his iconic red suit and little ones can go visit him in the grotto to share their Christmas wishes and snap some pictures all for £10.95.
Mark your calendars, Plymouth’s Christmas market kicks off on 30th November and will be around until 17th December.
Opening times are:
- 10am-6pm Monday to Wednesday
- 10am-9pm on Thursdays
- 10am-6pm on Fridays and Saturdays
- 10am-5pm on Sundays.
5. Truro: 29th November – 24th December
The Truro Christmas Market is a new one for 2023 and we think it’ll offer a festive haven in the heart of Cornwall, putting Truro firmly on the Christmas Market scene.
Located at Lemon Quay, the Christmas market will feature traders from all across Cornwall and there will be a food court area too.
So each day will be full of local food, street food, drinks, arts and crafts, music and lots of family entertainment.
This big Christmas market has been organised by Truro Farmers Market. Festive wooden cabins will house the traders which will bring a festive feel to the city centre.
It’ll be around from 29th November until Christmas Eve and open all week from 9am-5pm. Except Wednesdays where it’s open until 9pm and Sundays where it’ll be open from 10am-6pm.
6. Cardiff: 9th November -23rd December
Having organised a Christmas market every year for the last three decades, Cardiff’s Christmas market is absolutely unique.
It’s situated along various pedestrianised shopping streets in the centre of the Welsh capital, so you can’t miss it!
Featuring 70 stalls, visitors are greeted by a charming mix of handcrafted gifts, local delicacies, and festive decorations.
But don’t worry, there’s hot mulled wine and an array of food options to keep you warmed up as you shop.
The markets showcase the talents of local artisans, featuring unique handmade crafts and artwork, providing an ideal opportunity for shoppers to find one-of-a-kind treasures for their loved ones.
Sound good? Luckily for you, it has already returned.
Cardiff’s Christmas market opened on 9th November and is staying until 23rd December. Trading times are from 10am-6pm Monday to Saturday and 10am-5pm on Sundays.