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advent-calendar-521977_640Christmas Markets in the UK were very popular until Oliver Cromwell banned the celebration of Christmas in the fashion people had become used to and this affected the Christmas Markets which died out instantly. There were of course many markets in Britain during the Victorian era which would sell Christmas related products and foodstuffs in the run-up to Christmas but they were not known as Christmas Markets

UK Christmas Markets often have continental themes bringing over French, German or Italian traders. There are traditional German markets in Birmingham, Bournemouth, Leeds, London, Glasgow and Oxford..

Christmas Markets in the UK can be found in all sorts of venues ranging from town centres to stately homes. Some happen just over a weekend and others last for six weeks or more.  We have listed a few below.


BATH – 26th November – 13th December 2015

Bath Christmas Market transforms the quaint streets and square between the imposing 16th-century Bath Abbey and the Roman Baths into a temporary winter wonderland and Christmas shoppers’ haven. Here in the heart of Bath’s main shopping district, 150 traditional wooden chalets display a wide selection of gifts, decorations and food products. All the retailers sell unique, handcrafted items, many of which are made in the local area and the South West, so you are bound to find something out of the ordinary to please those difficult people on your Christmas list!

Where to Stay – Les Routiers Establishment – 20-at-The-Kings – Wood Street, Swindon SN1 4AB        

BRISTOL GERMAN CHRISTMAS MARKET- 6th November – 22nd December 2015

In the heart of the city centre shopping area you will find 38 wooden chalets selling a balance of food and craft goods including Christmas decorations, nativity scenes, wooden toys, baskets, gifts, soaps, and amber jewellery. There will be plenty of traditional, festive goods – gluhvein, bratwurst, waffles, crepes, liquorice, stollen cake, gingerbread hearts and candied fruit. apple rings, chocolates and cakes.  Look out for the traditional German Christmas Pyramid.  The Entertainer this year is Der Alpen Klaus who does a lot of entertaining at the Munich Beer Festival will deliver Bavarian style music and as it is Christmas he will do a lot of Christmas style music.

BURY ST EDMUNDS CHRISTMAS FAYRE – 26th – 29th November 2015

The historic centre of Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk will be transformed into a wonderful Christmas market with colourful stalls selling local produce and crafts as well as traders from around the UK and mainland Europe, with traditional fairground rides and on-stage entertainment.

CHELTENHAM CHRISTMAS MARKET – 3rd – 20th December 2015

Cheltenham’s Christmas Market under the Christmas lights on the Promenade will feature up to 40 stalls selling a wide range of Christmas gifts, crafts, food and drink in a unique Christmas Market atmosphere. Enjoy a glass of Gluwine and a bratwurst while you wander and browse along the rows of stalls.

Where to Stay – Les Routiers Establishment – The-White-Hart-Royal-Hotel-and-eatery

FRANKFURT CHRISTMAS MARKET IN BIRMINGHAM – The Biggest and Longest in Europe – 12th Nov – 22nd December 2015

Birmingham, England has joined it’s twinned city, Frankfurt, Germany, to fill the city centre with a huge Frankfurt Christmas Market. It’s the biggest such event in England and, in fact, the biggest and longest Christmas Market outside of Germany.  The market includes 90 stalls in Victoria Square, selling traditional handmade toys, Christmas decorations, jewellery, and crafts, along with German wines not usually available in the UK and lots of German goodies to eat and drink.  A bit later in November, a thirty stall craft market sprouts in Chamberlain Square.

Here’s what else you will find:-

A traditional bandstand in Victoria Square with lunchtime and evening concerts as well as carol singing.

Diwali Celebrations at Millennium Point, with fireworks, live Indian music, food and dance.

Open air Ice Skating in Centenary Square


Broad Street Canal Boat Light Parade – a procession of illuminated canal boats, from NIA to The Mailbox on December 9.

Traditional decoration making at the Birmingham Museum Victorian Christmas Weekend.

Where to Stay – Les Routiers Establishment –

Ye-Olde-Punchbowl-Inn – Ludlow Road, Bridgenorth, Shropshire WV16 5NQ

The-Plough-Inn – Far Forest, Nr Bewdley, Worcestershire DY14 9TE



LEEDS CHRISTKINDELMARKT – 13th November – 20 onwards

A Christmas Market in Leeds is icing on the cake as Leeds is such a great shopping city to begin with. Or on the German lebkuchen actually, because there are bound to be some of those traditional German Christmas cookies among the 40 genuine German stalls that fill Leeds Millennium Square.  The market is organized by the City Council in partnership with Frankfurt am Main. Lots of crafty things to buy and plenty of good things to eat – including such German delicacies as Stollen, Gingerbread, Goulash, Soups, Schnitzels, Bratwurst and Gluhwein.

LINCOLN CHRISTMAS MARKET –3rd – 6th December 2015

Lincoln’s Cathedral Quarter is taken over by stalls, entertainers and seasonal themes for four days of festive entertainment and shopping at the famous Lincoln Christmas

Lincoln started the tradition of German Christmas Markets in the UK 25 years ago, giving it the distinction of being the first. What started with 14 stalls has now grown to 350, filling this bijoux cathedral city to bursting. A very good place to get in the holiday spirit.  Lincoln’s Christmas Market is not only one of the most important events on the city’s annual calendar, it is also one of the favourites of hundreds of thousands of visitors to England. It can get very crowded but the crowds are in such good spirits that nobody minds.

Where to Stay – Les Routiers Establishment – The-White-Hart-Royal-Hotel-and-Eatery  – 1-5 High Street, Boston, Lincoln PE21 8SH 

LONDON CHRISTMAS MARKET – Mid November to Christmas Eve

The Christmas Market phenomenon in the UK may have started in the provinces but it didn’t take London long to catch up. The city now has several Christmas markets to add to its many other opportunities for festive shopping. One of the best is the Southbank Centre Christmas Market. The traditional, German-style chalet stalls stretch from the London Eye to Waterloo Bridge and the reflection of the sparkling lights in the River Thames makes it extra special. It is, of course, only one of London’s Christmas markets.

Where to Stay – Les Routiers Establishment – Adria-Hotel-Apartments – 44-46 Glenthorne Road, Hammersmith, London W6 0LS

MANCHESTER CHRISTMAS MARKET – Mid November to Mid December

There are five different Christmas Markets in Manchester. In keeping with the German origins of these markets, there’s a beer tent, a wolhnachtspyrymide – a giant, 6 meter high, pyramid-shaped Nativity Scene, and an Alpine house with a multi-lingual, talking reindeer. So bring the kids!

WINCHESTER CATHEDRAL CHRISTMAS MARKET – 19th Nov – Tues 22nd December 2015

This Christmas Market is inspired by traditional German Christmas markets and attracts more than 350,000 visitors each year. The pretty wooden chalets are situated in the Cathedral’s historic Close surrounding an open-air real ice rink. All our exhibitors have been hand-picked for their interesting, high quality and unique products many of which can’t be bought on the high street.

Where to Stay – Les Routiers Establishment – The-Mill-at-Gordleton, Sway, Hampshire SO41 6DJ

YULETIDE YORK – Late November until early January

York has Northern Europe’s largest Gothic Cathedral and a treasure trove of Medieval architecture, so it’s no wonder that the folks here get so carried away at Christmas. There are at least seven different markets, plus an early music concert, carol concerts in York Minster and an angel festival with ice sculptures. Within the walls of this little city, the holiday spirit takes over.

Where to Stay – Les Routiers Establishment – Shibden-Mill-Inn – 1 Blake Hill, Halifax, West Yorkshire  


November 26, 2015 | Les Routiers UK

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