Christmas markets: Our top 5 picks for the best in the UK

Christmas markets

Our top 5 picks for the best in the UK


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Mulled wine, sweet and savoury nibbles and musical jingle cheer – there’s nothing to beat a Christmas market for lifting your festive spirits.

And 2021 will be twice as fabulous seeing as we missed out on last year’s fun, open-air shopping extravaganzas. 

Here at Parsley Box we’ve been researching the topic and have come up with our top five best Christmas markets in the UK, all of which we plan on attending (although maybe not necessarily this year). Anyway, here’s our five fab picks:

Edinburgh Christmas Market

(19 Nov to 2 Jan)

Held at the top of the picturesque East Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh Christmas Market boasts a big wheel, ice rink, Christmas tree maze and more than 60 stalls filled with food and crafts.

What’s that? You’d like a mulled Irn Bru, you say? Certainly.

This year the event is bigger than ever, spreading through to West Princes Gardens, Castle Street (where you’ll find Santa’s Grotto) and George Street. It’s going to be huge.

best christmas markets in the UK

York St Nicholas Fair

(18 Nov to 23 Dec)

Enjoy a traditional medieval Christmas in the fairy light-bedecked Shambles, Parliament Street and St Sampson’s Square in lovely York.

There you’ll find lots of Alpine chalets proffering gifts, drink (do visit Thor’s Tipi) and the latest in tasty street food trends. And don’t forget to take a ride on the vintage carousel in Kings Square. For Christmassy local produce, check out the Made in Yorkshire Yuletide Village.

Cardiff Christmas Market

(11 Nov to 23 Dec)

There’s no excuse for not being able to find all your Christmas pressies at Cardiff’s Christmas celebrations, considering there are more than 200 alpine-style stalls and cabins.

Look for unusual gifts made from Welsh slate and aim to sample some Snowdonia cheeses.

This not-to-be-missed Christmas market is now in its 20th year and set in the pedestrianised heart of the city, including Trinity Street, St John Street, Working Street and the Hayes. 

Winchester Christmas Market

(19 Nov to 22 Dec)

Set in the grounds of breath-taking Winchester Cathedral, the city’s Christmas market is special for the location alone. Browse the 100 or so wooden chalet stalls and admire the life-size nativity scene (complete with er, live animals).

If you’re feeling energetic, try a bit of ice skating at the open-air rink. Just make sure you have the chocolate crepe and chestnuts afterwards.

Whichever one – or two – of the above Christmas Markets you choose to visit in 2021, we’re sure ‘yule’ have a fabulous time.

Do you have a favourite Christmas market in the UK?

Let us know and we can add it to our list.

Jill Stevenson

Jill is a writer and Parsley Box reader from Ayrshire in Scotland. She loves nothing better than exploring the coast with her dog Sox, every afternoon – even when it rains and snows.