The top 10 UK Christmas markets with cheap places to stay nearby for a festive weekend break

WITH Christmas markets cancelled last year due to lockdown, Brits will be out in force this festive season to make up for lost time.

Major towns and cities from Edinburgh down to Bath will start gearing up for Christmas in late November, festooning the streets in lights and setting up seasonal markets.

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Birmingham and Manchester will start even earlier, with Christmas markets set to open at the beginning of November.

There’s no better way to get into the Christmas spirit than a weekend break to visit one of these beautiful bustling markets in pretty cities such as Chester, Edinburgh, Winchester or Bath.

To get in some serious Christmas shopping, big city breaks to Manchester, London and Birmingham are an absolute must.

Here’s our pick of the best markets and places to stay for a festive weekend break in the UK:

Blenheim Palace

The Oxfordshire country estate becomes the home of Christmas from 19 November for a whole month, with an open-air market set within its grounds and a wonderful illuminated trail of Xmas lights.

Stay in the nearby historic city of Oxford are from £44 per night.

Premier Inn’s newly opened Oxford hotel is currently offering rooms in December from £29 per night.


Chester’s Victorian Christmas fair feels like a scene from Charles Dickens,open for rides from 18 November until 22 December when the market closes.

The 2,000-year-old city with chocolate box houses is ideal for a short UK winter break, and stays in smart town guesthouses cost from £51 per night.


An enchanting scene greets visitors to Bath’s big Christmas market, set in the ancient streets around the Roman Baths and Bath Abbey from 25 November until 19 December.

Its little wooden chalets are stuffed with Christmas treats from decorations and pine-scented candles to cookies and craft beer, with a traditional festive soundtrack provided by carollers and brass bands.

It’s well worth visiting for a mini break, with stays from £29 per night.


Manchester goes all out for Xmas with no less than eight markets dotted around the centre including a traditional German Christmas market and one especially for kids from 8 November until 19 December 2021.

If you fancy a weekend of festive cheer in Manchester, you can bag a hotel from this December from a very reasonable £34 per night.


Christmas markets abound in London from South Bank to Trafalgar Square, but none can match the size and scale of Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park, running this year from 19 November through to 3 January 2022.

The festive extravaganza features traditional wooden chalets selling seasonal snacks and crafts, an ice rink and a huge fair complete with a big wheel and rollercoaster.

Make a weekend of it with stays in London from £47 per night.


Maybe it’s the castle overlooking the old town, its links to Harry Potter or the Hogmanay celebrations in Princes Street, but there’s something particularly magical about Christmas in Edinburgh.

The Scottish capital opens its Christmas markets from 20 November and they run until New Year’s Day to make the most of Hogmanay festivities.

Stays in the city are from just £29 per night this December.


Combine a seaside break with a seasonal shopping trip in Southampton when its German Christmas market bursts into life from 18 November until 23 December.

Traditional arts and crafts such as tree decorations and wooden toys are on offer from its Alpine style huts, plus you can munch on hot waffles and wash it all down with mulled wine or a stein of German beer.

Stays in Southampton this December start from £27 per night.


The grounds of Winchester’s famous cathedral lend a traditional air to the city’s festive market so it feels as if you’re steeping back in time.

Held from 19 November until 22 December, there couldn’t be a better setting for Christmas carols and shopping for traditional crafts, plus there’s an ice rink for an extra helping of winter cheer.

Stays in the city start from £34 per night this December.


St Nicholas Fair brings mince pies, roasting chestnuts and that warm and fuzzy festive vibe to the centre of York from 18 November until 23 December.

Take in the traditional market around St Sampson’s Square and stock up on yuletide treats before heading back to a cosy guesthouse or cottage, with stays from £46 per night.


Birmingham proves there’s no need to leave the UK to experience a traditional German market as it hosts the Frankfurt Christmas Market from 4 November until 22 December.

Dozens of wooden chalets lining Victoria Square are a feast for the senses filling the air with the scent of toasted marshmallows, hot chocolate and mulled wine.

Once you’ve had your fill of Christmas treats you can head back to a hotel from £27 per night this December.

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