This time of year is perfect for spending quality time with your family. Set aside an afternoon and explore some of the UK’s best Christmas markets. Bus operator Stagecoach has provided this run-down of the must-visit markets. And, with their affordable bus prices, getting there won’t break the bank!
Newcastle upon Tyne
The city of Newcastle is transformed into a winter wonderland, with its narrow streets decked out in lights and decorations. The market is located at the top of Grey Street, just under Grey’s Monument where you can find wooden huts that are built and decorated specially for the Christmas period.
So why is this market worth the visit? Tradespeople from across Europe come to bring a touch of their country to Newcastle – creating one of the best atmospheres in the UK during this festive time. From foods to ornaments, you’ll be spoilt for choice with what you can buy. If you love to ice skate, be sure to head down to the Centre for Life to show off your skills in Times Square!
Open: 11th December – 17th December
If you’re heading to London, you have to visit Winter Wonderland. If you’re not, it’s well worth planning a visit especially! Full of festivity, there’s nothing that you and your family can’t do at this market in Hyde Park, from ice skating to going to the circus and even Cinderella on Ice. Booking is strongly advised in advance.
There’s plenty of time to attend Winter Wonderland, as it’s open until 1st January. Remember to take your camera and capture plenty of selfies, you don’t want to miss the moment where your little one’s face light up when meeting Santa Claus himself. Once you’ve tackled the magical kingdom of Winter Wonderland, why not take a stroll to Buckingham Palace to take photographs outside of the iconic landmark – you might even see the Queen if you’re lucky!
Open: 17th November – 1st January
Experience the enchanting atmosphere of Exeter Christmas market, nestled towards the West Front of the Cathedral. With the cathedral towering over, it’s a beautiful site to wander around and experience something from a huge range of different countries and cultures.
Local bands, singers and choirs will be adding to the magical atmosphere this year, taking centre stage on the new bandstand — who can resist a Christmas carol? If you can’t get enough of Christmas markets in Exeter, there’s two more – one on Castle Street and Fore Street.
Open: 16th November – 17th December
It’s no wonder Birmingham’s German Christmas Market is so popular. Now in its 12th year, the Victoria Square market makes a beautiful setting for any family photograph – lights descend down the centred fountain and the iconic carousel is at the top of the steps creating an uncanny version of Santa Claus’ Village.
If you still have some presents to tick off your list, the market’s 180 stalls could be the place to find the perfect present. Why not grab a hot chocolate with marshmallows and have a stroll around the village too?
Open: 17th November – 29th December
Visit Lincoln to experience some 280 stalls positioned near the iconic castle and cathedral – allowing your little ones to have a real sense of magic on your family trip out. From freshly cooked food to some of the most exceptional gifts, you’ll be able to experience something different from the market and definitely want to return the next year.
Sellers in the city’s shops get involved in the Christmas market, taking their goods to the cobbled streets. When you’re not shopping for hot food or baked treats, you can also take a trip on the big wheel and other fairground rides. Once you get high enough, you might be able to spot one of Santa Claus’ elves in the crowd – so make sure you’re on your best behaviour to remain on this year’s good list. Although the duration of this market isn’t long, it’s worth going!
Open: 7th December – 10th December
Which Christmas market will you be visiting with the family this year?