At the time of writing this article there is only a week to go until Christmas day, and so it could be the perfect time to check out some Christmas markets. I suspect there are plenty of people out there still (myself included) who could do with finding some outside-of-the-box inspiration for present buying this year. That's why I wanted to give a little rundown on the very best Xmas markets to check out this year, if you are looking to find that perfect gift for a friend or loved one.
London is well-known for its markets, and markets in London are full of multi-cultural gems! Plenty of tourists and Brits alike will be visiting London this Xmas period to check out the city center's bustle and atmosphere, and there will be and are plenty of Xmas markets to keep you entertained and occupied. London in Winter is actually a pretty good Xmas destination, as it is cold, has a nice river to walk along and also has plenty of people looking to be outside sharing the festive spirit. Christmas in warmer countries with inhabitants who tend to hide away from the cold in Winter don't normally make great Christmas cities, and during cold weather these places can seem somewhat deserted. London is nothing like that, and everyone is out and wanting to get that festive feeling!
The Winter Wonderland market in Hyde Park, right in the centre of the city, is my favourite, and probably the largest Xmas market in London this year. The market offers rides for kids, a huge Ferris wheel to get a stunning aerial view of the city and countless food and gifts stalls.
There are also some fantastic markets in the cold northern streets of Manchester, one of the largest cities in the UK. The best ones to check out are the European market in Albert Square, the German market in St Anne's Square and the French market on King Street. Manchester is certainly a pretty cold place in December and January, but for me this only adds to the fun and atmosphere of a Christmas market. Most of these place open in mid-November and will stay open until the first days of January, so there is still plenty of time to check them out and do some last-minute Christmas shopping.
There is something incredibly cosy about Christmas markets, and I think it comes from the way that everyone walks around in their own little world. Wrapped up in coats, hats and gloves, you feel insulated from the world, and you and your partner, friend or even alone, can enjoy the sights and sounds
There are also brilliant Christmas markets in Edinburgh in Scotland in the East Princess Street Gardens, Frankfurt Christmas Market in Birmingham in the centre of the country in Victoria square and a beautiful market in the grounds of Cardiff Castle.
Check out the link below to see a summary of all the best and biggest markets happening all around the United Kingdom this year!
Cover picture credit @ Adrian Hancu
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