Manchester, York and Birmingham named as some of the UK’s best Christmas markets

Autumn is nearly over, Halloween decorations are being packed away and we’re now entering into the most magical time of the year: Christmas.

The festive season kicks off in November with plenty of fun events on offer for Brits to get stuck into.

READ MORE: Where to see UK's tallest Christmas tree covered in 1,800 lights at end of glow trail

Here in the UK, we love a good Christmas market and there are plenty that open each winter around the nation to get you in the holiday mood.

After all there’s nothing quite like sipping on mulled wine surrounded by lights, Santa and festive crafts or even sipping a pint in a bierkeller.

But, which are the best Christmas markets on offer?

Christmas Tree World looked at the various events set to take place in the UK in 2022 and has revealed the best markets for you to visit.

In the North, Manchester's Christmas Market came out top of the charts – it will stick around for 40 days from November 12 and the average cost of a three-star hotel in the area is £68.

For Brits wanting to get into the spirit of Christmas there's plenty to do.

There are a whopping 220 stalls dotted around the nine areas of the city that the market stretches into.

One is the iconic ski chalet market stalls over Piccadilly Gardens – which becomes the Winter Gardens for the event.

A magical Christmas lights trail will add a magical glow to the city featuring giant baubles and Father Christmas.

An ice rink will be laid down in Cathedral Gardens where you can glide past a giant Christmas Tree.

You can dine on pancakes, churros, Korean hotdogs and festive tipples and there’s even Nordic tipi bar for over 18s.

Stalls will sell a range of gifts from Christmas decorations to candles, jewellery, cheese, sweets and cocktails.

When you're done with the markets you can branch out in to some of Manchester's exciting venues – head to the Etihad Stadium for a game or learn more about Britain at the People's History Museum.

There's also a bizarre statue dedicated to the drink Vimto at the spot where it was invented and an ancient Ice Age boulder made from lava in the University's Quadrangle.

Tourists in Manchester can eat out at Three Little Words a gin distillery and restaurant rolled into one or grab some grub and party at BLVD which has live entertainment most nights!

In the midlands, Nottingham’s Winter Wonderland came in the second spot.

The city will let celebrants skate for 400m around the Old Market Square.

There’s even a skate-through bar so you can grab a tipple during your session.

When you leave the rink you can head through to the incredible Ice Bar – grab one of the cots provided and head into the sub-10 degree area.

You should book the Ice Bar early though as it’s super popular!

You can also get stuck into the chalet bars and watch live entertainment at Melt & Grill.

After getting your fill of the markets head out into Nottingham and visit The Lost Caves – a drinking spot based in a grotto 26 feet below ground level underneath the George Hotel which once accommodated Charles Dickens and Elizabeth Taylor.

You can also head to the oldest inn in Britain – Ye Olde trip to Jerusalem – or visit the gorgeous Nottingham Castle.

Over in Yorkshire, the Leeds Christmas market came in third – it partners with Frankfurt to bring the true German experience to the North.

Unfortunately, this year the City Council announced it would not go ahead with the market due to "foreign travel work visa costs and complications" after the pandemic.

Luckily, anyone who lives nearby can head to the York Christmas market instead which came in at seventh most recommended.

The St Nicholas Fair is celebrating its 30th anniversary with 70 alpine chalets, artisan shopping stalls and all the classic trappings of a good Christmas market.

This year, you can sup on Yorkshire pudding beer and even dine at The Winter Hutte – a Swiss-style venue from top chef Michelin-starred Andrew Pern.

Those exploring the ancient city of York can explore an underground Cold War bunker, avoid the crowd by using York's medieval snickelways to get around and sip on beer at the iconic House of Trembling Madness which is set inside a house from 1180AD.

Birmingham Christmas market was given the fourth highest recommendation – it's an authentic German Christmas market with pretzels, schnitzel and bratwurst.

Guests can also enjoy live music in Victoria Square and pick up gifts for the family from woodwork to glass baubles.

Why not explore the city before you dive into the markets and visit the UK's answer to Hollywood with the Walk of Stars – an ode to famous Brummies.

There's also Moseley Bog a little further out from the centre and this ancient woodland is thought to have inspired J. R.R Tolkien's Lord of the Rings.

Those looking for an unusual dining experience can tuck into the meals at Albert's Schloss – it's lively with a Bavarian theme, dancing, live music and an Oompah band.

You can check out the top 10 Christmas markets in the new rankings below…

Top 10 Christmas Markets in the UK for 2022:

  • Manchester – November 12 to December 22
  • Nottingham – 15 November to December 31
  • Leeds – Cancelled
  • Birmingham – November 4 to December 23
  • Winchester – November 18 to December 22
  • Edinburgh – November 19 to January 3
  • York – November 17 to December 23
  • Bristol – November 4 to December 23
  • Chester – November 18 to December 22
  • Newcastle – November 2 to December 23

Edinburgh, Bath and Birmingham were found to be the UK’s most Instagrammable Christmas Markets.

So those looking for the best family snaps should head there for the best background.

Meanwhile, Manchester, Edinburgh and London were ranked as the most popular Christmas Markets.

Prepare for crowds if you plane on celebrating at one of those three.


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