Where to visit a traditional Christmas market

Christmas markets in the UK have become extremely popular over the last 15 years, following the European tradition of small stalls selling gifts, crafts, food and drink. Most big cities and towns now boast their own, many in the same areas as our A-Plan branches. Here is a list of our favourites:

Bath – A city of culture and history with a fantastic Christmas market. Included this year will be 200 wooden chalets selling a wide range of gifts, food and decorations. Over 80% of produce comes from the local area and the market runs from 23rd Nov – 10th Dec. Top tip: parking is difficult so let the train take the strain!

Bristol – There will be a traditional German food and drink market in Broadmead with a new Jägerbarn bar and beer garden. In addition, Corn Street will host the St Nick’s Christmas Market from 19th Nov to 24th Dec. Click here for details.

Birmingham – A German-style Christmas market right in the heart of the city centre. This market is open daily till Christmas Eve.

Cheltenham – A series of wooden chalets along the famous Promenade make up the Christmas market in Cheltenham offering a range of seasonal arts and crafts, paintings and hand-crafted jewellery. Top tip: have a well-deserved break with afternoon tea in Huffkins – a hugely popular Cotswold Bakery & Tearooms.

Chester – Wander through over 70 decorated wooden chalets in the picturesque city centre, all wrapped around a sparkling Christmas tree. There will be plenty of festive gifts and treats on offer, including quality local and regional produce.

Gloucester Quays – The Victorian Christmas Market and ice rink are worth a visit if you are in the area. There’s plenty to see and do and lots of authentic food on offer.

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland – Hugely popular in the centre of London, Winter Wonderland combines a traditional Christmas Market with a large funfair. The Magical Ice Kingdom is worth a visit as well but make sure you book your visit in advance. Top tip: take a trip on the ferris wheel for spectacular views.

Leamington Spa – This smaller town houses a vibrant annual Christmas Market on Sundays, known as the “Yuletide Fayre”. There are over 100 stalls to explore and there is a farmers market as well on the final Sunday (Christmas Eve).

Worcester – The Victorian Christmas Fayre is extremely popular with locals and visitors alike and this year celebrates its 25th anniversary. Stall-owners dress up in Victorian costumes and shoppers are entertained by choirs and dance displays.

Sources: The Mirror; Visit Chester; BBC News