Christmas Markets 2016: 5 Of The UK’s Most Festive

Here at Look, we’re totally loud and proud when it comes to our love for Christmas and it seriously doesn’t take much to get us in the festive spirit (no shame!). But there’s always a Scrooge that thinks the countdown can’t start in November or that Christmas songs should be banned or that eggnog is not an appropriate choice of drink with your breakfast and don’t even think about wearing that light-up Christmas jumper to work…

Well what if we told you where they’ve started Christmas early? Yeah, that’s right, we can see the Yuletide joy bubbling inside of you. Christmas markets are magical little wonderlands full of unique gifts, festive feasts, sweets, treats and of course over-spilling with Christmas cheer.

So we’ve had a look and got the low-down on some of the UK’s most festive Christmas Markets or as they’re traditionally called, Weihnachtsmärkte’s. Assured to make even the biggest Grinch ‘wish it could be Christmas everyday’ and although you’ll need spending money for the stalls, entertainment and rides, entrance to every single market is free #bonus.

London Christmas Market

The bustling streets of London have had a serious festive takeover this year. A new Christmas market has hit Leicester Square and it’s everything your festive heart could desire.

What can you expect to see?
There are loads of traditional Christmas market stalls full to the brim with handcrafted goodies, delicious festive food (mince pies, yum!) and drinks (mulled wine, yay!). There’s a Santa’s Grotto where children can meet the man himself and with the return of their award-winning show, La Soirée, there’s something just for the adults as well.

Where and when is it on?
Christmas in Leicester Square is just a minute walk from Leicester Square tube station. The festivities run from Saturday November 11th 2016 – Sunday January 8th 2017 (Except Christmas Day & Boxing Day).

For more information about Christmas in Leicester Square- including what’s on, opening times and prices for events click here.

Manchester Christmas Markets

The Manchester Christmas Markets seem to be getting bigger and better every year. Take a look at what the city has to offer this Christmas…

What can you expect to see?
Manchester’s Christmas Markets are famous for showcasing international dishes and traditional Christmas delights such as bratwurst, Hungarian goulash, a traditional hog roast and an array of sweet treats as well. So with over 300 traders and the opening of a new ice rink at Cathedral Street, maybe Manchester is the new hip and happening North Pole or at least a great place to ease that festive itch.

Where and when is it on?
The Manchester Christmas Markets are open from Thursday November 10th 2016 –Tuesday December 20th 2016 and the market stalls are literally across the entire city, with the main hub of excitement beginning in Albert Square.

For more information about Manchester Christmas Markets – including what’s on, opening times and locations click here.

Glasgow Christmas Markets

The event celebrating the switching on of the Christmas lights in Glasgow was cancelled last year, due to extreme weather concerns but it seems the beautiful city is making up for it this year as they announce the opening of another Christmas market.

What can you expect to see?

This year both St Enoch Square and George Square are twinkling with festive fun as they open their doors to fairground rides, live entertainment, hand crafted gifts and a load more festive surprises. Make your trip unforgettable by trying some international delicacies all the way from Ecuador, Russia and even Lapland. Try a beer at the Bavarian beerhouse bar or a mulled wine at the famous Gluhwein House, as it returns to Glasgow this year.

Where and when is it on?
St Enoch Square: Thursday 10th November – Thursday 22nd December 2016

George Square: Saturday 26th November – Thursday 29th December 2016

For more information about the Christmas Markets in Glasgow- including what else is on and opening times click here.

Belfast Christmas Market

The Belfast Christmas Market has returned to City Hall for its 12th year of Christmas celebrations. As they expand to Donegall Square North, the market proves it has got even more to offer with another 20 stalls and a Twitter countdown, teasing all of the delicious and festive surprises that await us inside. By the way has anyone else noticed that Belfast has the word ELF in it… they’re off to a good start.

What can you expect to see?
Inside you’ll find an enormous selection of unique gifts from Europe and beyond – such as Christmas decorations, hand-painted pottery and festive arts & craft. Not only that but those with a sweet tooth will be delighted to hear that they can take a trip down the fittingly named Candy Alley, and children can visit Santa in his grotto too.

Where and when is it on?
Belfast City Hall from Saturday 19th November – Thursday 22nd December 2016.

For more information about the Belfast Christmas Market- including opening times, Santa’s Grotto and the buddy scheme click here.

Cardiff Christmas Market

Cardiff is a real Christmas crafts market with over 80 stalls offering lotions & potions, jewellery, knitwear, metalwork, gifts, food, drinks and loads more.

What can you expect to see?
Expect endless surprises as the market expands its variety by swapping traders throughout the 44 days. But rest assured Cardiff Christmas Market has a heap of festive treats and loads of entertainment for every member of the family. The market is well known for its unique traders and festive experience, which makes it a hotspot for some serious Christmas shopping.

Where and when is it on?
The Cardiff Christmas Markets are situated within the city centre from Thursday 10th November – Friday 23rd December 2016.

For more information about the Cardiff Christmas Market – including opening times, location and the market trader’s programme click here.

Have you been to a Christmas Market that you think we should know about? Let us know in the comments below…

By Beth Cherry