There are plenty of things to look forward to this Christmas. For those wanting to curl up in front of the telly, there’s the Doctor Who Christmas special and a new adaptation of Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol starring Olivia Colman.

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For those of you who want to brave the cold, there are the much-loved Christmas markets, too. So, in the words of Elton John, welcome to our Christmas market list! We’d like to thank you for being here.

Once the weather's turned colder, there’s nothing better than wandering round Christmas stalls and warming ourselves up with mulled wine and churros with melted chocolate.

There’s always something for everyone at Christmas markets, too, like decoration and present stalls, activities such as ice skating, and plenty of food and drink.

We’ve included the top Christmas markets in the UK and given them 'best for' ratings. So, if you’re looking for amazing food, for example, or the best ice skating rink, you'll know where to go.

We’ve also taken into careful consideration Forbes Advisor’s most Christmassy destination categories: Christmas shopping opportunity, spend on Christmas lights and decorations, Christmas market reviews, and the likelihood of a white Christmas.

So without further ado, here’s how to have a simply wonderful Christmas market time this winter.

For more Christmas activities, take a look at the best pantomimes, best Christmas days out in the UK, and the best West End shows to see this winter.

If it's ice skating you're after, check out the best London ice rinks.

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Best Christmas markets at a glance:

The best Christmas markets in the UK

Birmingham’s Frankfurt Christmas market

Birmingham’s Frankfurt Christmas market best christmas market uk 2022
Wrap up warm! Birmingham’s Frankfurt Christmas Market

Best UK Christmas market for traditional German food

Birmingham Christmas market dates: 3rd November 2022 to 23rd December 2022

If you can’t get to Germany or Austria this winter, Birmingham’s Frankfurt Christmas market is the next best thing: it’s the largest authentic German Christmas market outside of Germany and Austria. It has stalls of delicious food such as pretzels, schnitzels, bratwursts and roasted almonds, which can be washed down with a pint of Glühwein.

Fancy making your own Glühwein? Check out this BBC Good Food Glühwein recipe

Find out more about Birmingham’s Frankfurt Christmas market at The BFCM

Edinburgh Christmas market

Edinburgh Christmas market best christmas market scotland 2022
It'll be hard to beat Edinburgh on decorations. Edinburgh Live

Best UK Christmas market for a white Christmas

Edinburgh Christmas market dates: 19th November 2022 to 3rd January 2023

Edinburgh Christmas market is back this year and it’s bigger than ever. This winter, the market will span the traditional locations in Princes Street Gardens and The Mound, as well as to new parts of the city centre. Expect arts and crafts as well as food and drink stalls with homegrown Scottish produce, and we’re hopeful the northern city will deliver us a white Christmas.

Thinking of booking a weekend away in Edinburgh this winter? Prices start from £79 at Wowcher

Read what people have said about Edinburgh Christmas Market on Tripadvisor

Nottingham Winter Wonderland

Nottingham’s Winter Wonderland best christmas market uk 2022
We're walking in a winter wonderland. My Nottingham News

Best UK Christmas market for date night

Nottingham Christmas market dates: 15th November 2022 to 31st December 2022

If you need something to fill the void Goose Fair has left in your heart (if you know, you know), head into the centre of town for Nottingham’s Winter Wonderland. Located on Old Market Square, this Christmas market has everything from fairground rides to cosy bars, and delicious food to Christmas decoration stalls.

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Read what people have said about Nottingham Winter Wonderland on Tripadvisor

London Hyde Park Winter Wonderland

London Hyde Park Winter Wonderland best christmas market uk 2022
You'll love the ice skating rink at this Christmas market. LSE Blogs

Best UK Christmas market for ice skating

London Christmas market dates: 18th November 2022 to 2nd January 2023

Happy Xmas (summer is over)! When the photos start rolling in on social media from couples and groups of friends at Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, you know Christmas is around the corner.

This huge Christmas market boasts an ice-skating rink, an ice kingdom, a giant wheel amongst other rides, an ice slide, an ice sculpting workshop, and plenty of food and drink stalls.

Buy London Hyde Park Winter Wonderland tickets from £5 at See Tickets

London is home to plenty of exciting things to do this Christmas. Be sure to take a look at the best London experience gifts, top London walking tours, and best immersive experiences.

Manchester Christmas markets

Manchester Christmas markets best christmas market uk 2022
Manchester has multiple Christmas markets. Visit Manchester

Best UK Christmas market for variety

Manchester Christmas market dates: 12th November 2022 to 22nd December 2022

The Manchester Christmas markets span almost the entirety of Manchester city centre, from Victoria to Deansgate, and it includes The Winter Gardens in Piccadilly Gardens. But if you’ve been to Manchester, you’ll know that the city is walkable, and with a German hotdog and mulled wine in hand, you’ll have plenty of fuel to see the whole city.

The Christmas markets run from the 12th November to 22nd December, however The Winter Gardens stay open a little later, until the 3rd January 2023. There’s plenty of bars, food stalls and craft sellers, plus a stage with live music and DJs.

Thinking of booking an overnight stay in Manchester this winter? Check out Manchester Christmas market deals at Wowcher

Bath Christmas market

Bath Christmas market best christmas market uk 2022
Step back in time. The Windsor

Best UK Christmas market for stepping back in time

Bath Christmas market dates: 24th November 2022 to 11th December 2022

It’s the fairytale of Bath this winter as the city celebrates its 20th year of hosting a Christmas market. Bath is known for its beautiful Abbey, stunning architecture and old-worldly feel, and during Christmas, you’ll truly feel transported back in time.

Book an overnight stay in Bath from £119 at Wowcher

Find out more about Bath Christmas market at Bath Christmas Market

Newcastle Christmas market

newcastle christmas market best christmas market uk
It's the best time of the year! Mellors Group Events

Best UK Christmas market for atmosphere

Newcastle Christmas market dates: 2nd December 2022 to 24th December 2022

Newcastle Christmas market is fantastic for the whole family: it brings together local vendors and breweries with the farmer’s market, and there’s a Santa’s Grotto where Santa Claus will make a very special appearance after travelling all the way from the North Pole.

Buy Santa’s Grotto tickets from £13.37 at Eventbrite

Thinking of booking an overnight stay in Newcastle this winter? Book an overnight stay from £79 at Wowcher

Padstow Christmas Festival

padstow christmas market best market uk
The amazing firework display at Padstow Christmas Festival. Cornwall Live

Best UK Christmas market for food

Padstow Christmas market dates: 1st December 2022 to 4th December 2022

This Padstow Christmas Festival may just be on for a few days, but it sure does pack a lot in. Expect celebrity guests like Rick Stein, Paul Ainsworth and Nathan Outlaw, cooking demonstrations, a fantastic food market, and a brilliant firework display.

Find out more about Padstow Christmas Festival at Padstow Christmas Festival

Belfast Continental Christmas market

belfast continental christmas market
There's something for everyone at Belfast Continental Christmas market. The Guardian

Best UK Christmas market for the whole family

Belfast Christmas market dates: 19th November 2022 to 22nd December 2022

Located at Donegall Square in Belfast, this continental Christmas market has something for everyone (and we mean everyone). The food court is home to cuisines from 32 nationalities from around the world, so expect everything from crêpes and pancakes to ostrich, wild boar and crocodile burgers.

There’s also plenty to keep the kids entertained, like a vintage helter-skelter, a Santa train, an Olaf ride and more.

Fancy making your own crêpes? Here’s how to make crêpes with BBC Good Food

If you’re travelling to the Northern Irish city, why not make a few days of it? Book an overnight stay from £89 at Wowcher

Lincoln Christmas market

lincoln christmas market best market uk
Incredible views of Lincoln Cathedral. City of Lincoln Council

Best UK Christmas market for size

Lincoln Christmas market dates: 1st December 2022 to 4th December 2022

Now Lincoln isn’t exactly known for being a huge city, but its Christmas market is pretty ginormous. What started off as an 11 stall event now spans over 150 stalls full of food, drink, crafts, decorations, and more.

Find out more about Lincoln Christmas market at Lincoln Christmas Market

How to travel to Christmas markets on a budget

best christmas markets uk and europe
Prague's Christmas market is a must-visit. Getty / Westend61

Now that you've picked the Christmas market of your winter wonderland dreams from the list above, you'll need to figure out how to get there. Driving is always an option, but with the current cost of petrol and potential traffic jams, taking public transport is possibly the simplest way to get to your destination.

How to get cheap train tickets

Unlike Chris Rea, we have no desire to sit in traffic. So we’re taking public transport to a Christmas market this year, primarily trains.

Train operators offer timetables 12 weeks in advance, so it's best to book tickets as close to this 12 week window as possible.

Railcards are a fantastic way to save money on train tickets; they help you save up to ⅓ of the cost, with an average saving of £142 per year. There are Railcards for lots of different people, from the 16-25 Railcard and Senior Railcard, to Two Together Railcard and Disabled Persons Railcard.

For more top tips on how to travel on a budget, check out our how to get cheap train tickets article.

Buy a Railcard from £30 at Railcard

Buy train tickets at Trainline

How to get cheap coach tickets

Travelling by coach is one of the RadioTimes.com team’s favourite ways to get around the UK. It’s cheap, there’s a toilet, and hardly anyone travels by coach (probably because it adds time to your journey in comparison to taking the train) so you usually have two seats to yourself.

In our experience, Megabus is the cheapest coach company to use, especially if you’re booking tickets last minute. Megabus travels between over 90 intercity destinations across the UK, and there’s the option to reserve your seat, too, just like on a train.

Buy coach tickets at Megabus

Christmas market breaks

If you’re travelling from city to city for a Christmas market, you may want to consider an overnight stay. Plus, if you haven’t visited that city before, it’s a great way to pack in some sightseeing.

Wowcher and Airbnb are great places to look for overnight stays in your chosen city. Wowcher usually offers an overnight stay at a top four star hotel, plus breakfast, whereas with Airbnb, you can choose what kind of home you'd like for the night.

Check out Christmas market breaks 2022 at Wowcher

Book an overnight stay at Airbnb

If you’re planning on venturing further afield, for example to somewhere in Europe, lastminute.com and EasyJet offer Christmas market packages, too.

Shop Christmas market breaks at lastminute.com

Shop Christmas market breaks at EasyJet

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For more fun things to do this winter and into next year, stay up to date with our Going Out section where we have Winnie the Pooh: The New Musical Adaptation tickets and Blur concert tickets.

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