5 Christmas Markets That You Don’t Want to Miss This December

Thursday 20th October 2022

It’s almost time to untangle those fairy lights and snip off some sprigs of holly! With December on the horizon, you may be craving a little festive magic. And what better way to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year than with a trip to a Christmas market?

The North and Scotland are blessed with some truly fantastic options, all of which provide you with the perfect opportunities to sample a few festive delights and pick up some gorgeous gifts for your loved ones. Some are set to open as early as the first week of November this year, so now’s the time to start planning a visit. To get into the festive spirit, here are five of our favourite Christmas markets to add to your bucket list in 2022.

  1. Leeds' Chow Down Winter Village

    When: 10th November – 31st December

    Sadly, due to budget cuts, Leeds’ huge German-style Christkindelmarkt is yet again cancelled this year. It’s not all doom and gloom however, as you’ll still be able to tuck into all kinds of festive delights and drinks at the city’s Chow Down Winter Village.

    A mecca for food lovers, Chow Down’s winter market will be lodged inside its revamped venue at the Temple Arches on Globe Road (just 15 minutes by foot from Leeds station). It’s set to be bigger and better than 2021’s edition, with several bars serving up appropriately Christmassy drinks, plus a mini food village with rotating pop-up stalls from some of the city’s best-loved eateries.

    Highlights include the Bavarian-inspired Hütte Beer Hall, which will be decked out with sparkling lights and lush garlands, and cosy Christmas tipis where you can sip, snack and socialise with friends around a roaring firepit. How’s that for a winter wonderland?
  2. Manchester Christmas Markets

    When: 10th November – 22nd December

    As the host of the largest Christmas market in Northern England, it’d be impossible not to include Manchester on our list! The city never fails to wow with its festive offering which takes place at locations across the city centre from mid-November.

    One of the most popular Manchester Christmas Markets zones is the super central Piccadilly Gardens and it’s where you’ll be able to pick up homemade gifts, plenty of tasty grub and, of course festive mugs filled with mulled wine. Elsewhere, you’ll typically find a variety of high-end gifts for sale at the stalls around the sleek Spinningfields neighbourhood, plus vendors selling authentic European Christmas treats along King Street.

    Want to combine your market wanderings with a festive activity? Make a beeline for Cathedral Gardens where an outdoor ice rink will be open until the 3rd of January.

  3. York's St Nicholas Fair

    When: 17th November – 23rd December

    Thanks to its winding, cobblestone streets and medieval monuments, York always looks like a postcard regardless of what time of year it is. But the city is particularly photogenic by the end of November thanks to its glittering festive lights and lively Christmas market.

    York’s St Nicholas Fair is charmingly traditional and will be marking its 30th anniversary in 2022. Prepare to browse 70 alpine-style chalets jam-packed with shops and tempting street food stalls. They’ll all be spread out along St Sampson’s Square and Parliament Street – you’ll also find plenty of local sellers taking part in the festivities.

    For something extra special, why not book a table at The Winter Hütte? New for 2022, this larger chalet will feature a Swiss-inspired, pop-up dining experience that’s been curated by Michelin-star chef – and Yorkshire native – Andrew Pern. Think sizzling schnitzels, melted raclette and cinnamon-spiced apple strudel.

  4. Edinburgh Christmas Market 

    When: 19th November – 3rd January

    Edinburgh famously pulls out all the stops for Hogmanay – but that doesn’t mean the Scottish capital scrimps when it comes to Christmas. The entire city looks like something out of a festive film come December, with the majority of its decorations and seasonal attractions concentrated around its two major shopping streets.

    For a host of colourful stalls selling artisan gifts and exquisite edible treats, check out the main Edinburgh Christmas Market around East and West Princess Street Gardens. You’ll find several funfair-style rides for kids to enjoy, plus a full programme of free shows and other family-friendly entertainment at the gardens’ Ross Bandstand.

    Ice skaters will find the usual rink set up on bustling George Street in the New Town. The popular shopping destination will also be brightly decorated with a brand-new light projection display. Speaking of lights, don’t skip strolling past Edinburgh Castle during your visit. The city’s central monument will be enchantingly illuminated throughout December as part of the annual Castle of Light festival.

  5. Malton Christmas Festival

    When: 19th November – 3rd January

    When: 3rd and 4th December

    Foodies rejoice! This charming Yorkshire market town has long been famed for its culinary offering and come December it will host a two-day-long event that’s almost entirely dedicated to delicious Christmassy treats.

    The festive version of Malton’s regular monthly food market will take place on the first weekend of December in 2022. Malton Christmas Festival will set up shop in the town’s attractive Market Place, with stalls selling a huge array of scrumptious edible and non-food items and gifts. You’ll be able to savour some of the town’s best street food and enjoy free entertainment from a handful of local brass bands.

    Feeling inspired to visit one of the above festive markets this Christmas season? Remember to check before you travel and book your tickets in advance on our website or using the TPExpress app.

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