Your Complete Christmas Market Guide

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13 Nov 202325 min read

The festive season is fast approaching, and what better way to embrace the yuletide spirit than by visiting some of the most enchanting Christmas markets the UK has to offer? With the convenience of train travel, you can easily immerse yourself in the warm glow of these delightful seasonal events. Explore the twinkling lights, sample the delicious seasonal treats, and find unique gifts for your loved ones, all while enjoying the scenic journey.

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Here are some of the must-visit Christmas markets that are easily accessible by train:

Aberdeen Christmas Village

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Dates: 16th November - 31st December 2023

Location: Broad Street

Nearest train station: Aberdeen

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Excite the entire family with an array of offerings at the Aberdeen Christmas Village, boasting a dazzling outdoor ice rink, a bustling local Christmas Market, an assortment of culinary delights, and an enchanting festive fairground featuring both cherished classics and novel attractions. This year, the newly introduced 'Village Square' lies at the heart of the Aberdeen Christmas Village, drawing inspiration from the enchanting aura of European Christmas markets. Embrace the inviting outdoor space with covered seating, perfect for fostering cherished moments and embracing the festive spirit with loved ones.

The Village Square presents a cosy, relaxed setting to relish a delectable assortment of street food, featuring tantalizing German Bratwursts from the Swing Grill, a selection of mulled wine and festive cocktails crafted by Ten Dollar Shake, and locally brewed craft beer from Fierce. A delightful addition to this year's Village Square includes a delectable culinary lineup from esteemed local food connoisseurs such as Big Manny's Pizza, Hot Chip, and Cookie Cult, while Sweet Haus offers an assortment of seasonal delights, including Dutch pancakes, churros, and the much-anticipated return of the indulgent Bailey's hot chocolate!

Bath Christmas Market

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23rd November to 10th December 2023 

Location: The Bath Christmas Market is centrally located in the heart of the city, encompassing the Abbey Churchyard and offering easy access to top attractions like the Roman Baths, The Pump Room, The Thermae Spa, and the Pulteney Bridge.

Nearest train station: Bath Spa

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The Bath Christmas Market is a quintessential festive experience not to be missed. This enchanting market, set against the stunning backdrop of Bath's Georgian architecture, captures the spirit of the season perfectly. From November 23rd to December 10th, visitors can revel in the magic of the holidays, strolling through chalet-lined streets adorned with twinkling lights.

Discover an array of unique and handcrafted gifts, artisanal delights, and traditional Christmas decorations, all carefully curated to offer a memorable shopping experience. Sip on a warm cup of mulled wine, delight in the scent of roasted chestnuts, and immerse yourself in the joyous atmosphere that fills the air. 

Don't miss the opportunity to enjoy the festive entertainment, which includes live music, carol singers, and street performers, all contributing to the vibrant ambiance. The Bath Christmas Market is truly a seasonal highlight, combining the best of local and international festive traditions to create an unforgettable experience for all.

Birmingham's Frankfurt Christmas Market 

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Dates: 2nd November 2023 to 24th December 2023

Location: Victoria Square and New Street, Birmingham, West Midlands, B1 1BB

Nearest train station: Birmingham New Street (0.18 miles) / Birmingham Snow Hill (0.25 miles)

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Birmingham's Frankfurt Christmas Market, the largest authentic German Christmas market outside of Germany or Austria, presents a delightful array of traditional goods and gifts, along with an enticing selection of food and drink options. The aroma of freshly baked pretzels, schnitzels, bratwursts, and roasted almonds permeates the air, tantalising your taste buds. Don't miss the opportunity to savor the warm, comforting flavors of gluhwein, weissbeer (wheat beer), or a rich cup of hot chocolate.

This festive market serves as an ideal gathering place for both family and friends, offering a vibrant live music program at Victoria Square. Take the chance to explore the diverse stalls and discover a wide range of unique presents for your loved ones. From exquisitely handcrafted wooden decorations and delicate glass baubles to the timeless allure of crystal lamps and the intricate craftsmanship of Sounds of Nature, the market showcases an array of hand-crafted leatherwork, toys, jewelry, and many more enchanting items. It's the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in the spirit of the season and find something special for everyone on your list.

Bristol Christmas Market

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3rd November to 23rd December 2023 

Location: Broadmead, Bristol, BS1 1UX

Nearest train station: Bristol Temple Meads

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Celebrate the festive season at Bristol Christmas Market, situated in the heart of Bristol City Centre. Explore over 35 unique stalls, enjoy live music, and even have the chance to meet Santa and his elves. Unwind in the cosy Jäger Barn Bar, or opt for one of the private Igloos or Gondolas to escape the bustling market atmosphere.

Experience the all-new enchanting Christmas special escape room, The Candy Factory, where you'll join forces with The Candy Master on a spellbinding journey to create a candy that embodies the wonder of Christmas.

Discover an assortment of seasonal crafts, unique gifts, and mouthwatering food options, including traditional Bratwurst, crepes, churros, and various delectable sweets. The market is open daily from 10 am to 10 pm, with gift and craft stalls operating from 10 am to 7 pm and food stalls serving until 10 pm.

Upon your arrival at Bristol, take a short walk or a brief bus ride from Temple Meads station to the vibrant city center, where the festive ambiance awaits. Delight in the enticing aroma of mulled wine and treats at Bristol Christmas Market in Broadmead, the perfect spot to complete your holiday shopping.

Venture to the Harbourside area for family-friendly attractions such as Brunel’s SS Great Britain, offering a unique Victorian Christmas experience. Make the most of your visit by exploring popular venues like the science museum We The Curious and Bristol Aquarium, or enjoy the Vintage Winter Wonderland at Millennium Square.

For theatre enthusiasts, catch Snow White at Bristol Hippodrome or the captivating new production, Robin Hood: Legend of the Forgotten Forest, at Bristol Old Vic. There's no shortage of festive fun and entertainment in Bristol this Christmas season!

Chester Christmas Market

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17th November to 21st December 2023 

Location: Town Hall Square, Northgate Street, Chester, Cheshire, CH1 2HJ

Nearest train station: Chester

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Chester Christmas Market is set to delight once again, situated outside Chester Town Hall on Northgate Street, surrounded by the twinkling allure of Chester's magnificent Christmas tree.

The market is scheduled to operate from Friday 17th November until Thursday 21st December, offering extended hours on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, from 10.30 am until 8 pm, and from 10.30 am until 6.30 pm on Sundays through Wednesdays.

Why not plan a full day of festive indulgence? Explore the market's offerings, relish a delightful festive lunch or dinner, and make the most of the fantastic food and drink promotions available. Chester embodies the spirit of Christmas, boasting a vibrant atmosphere enhanced by the glimmering lights, the allure of Santa's impending arrival, and an abundance of delectable Christmas dinners. And for the ultimate festive experience, reserve your spot to witness the enchanting performances of Cinderella and The Snowman shows.

Embrace the vivacity of Chester's culinary scene during this season. Discover a range of top-tier restaurants catering to various tastes, along with plenty of family-friendly options. Additionally, revel in the city's array of lively bars and pubs, perfect for enjoying a festive drink or perhaps a couple of expertly crafted cocktails. Chester offers an unparalleled Christmas experience, making it an ideal destination to immerse yourself in the magic of the season.

Edinburgh Christmas Market

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17th November 2023 to 6th January 2024

Location: Princes Street Gardens and George Street

Nearest train station: Edinburgh (2 minutes walk to the entrance to East Princes Street Gardens) The most direct route is via the Waverley Bridge exit, which is also step-free.  

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The internationally acclaimed festivities of Edinburgh's Christmas infuse the Scottish capital with a contagious spirit of merriment. Embrace the seasonal warmth with a variety of delights, ranging from the unique mulled Irn Bru to delectable vegan pigs in blankets. Traverse the stalls adorned with an array of offerings, including Harry Potter-themed trinkets and locally crafted treasures, at the picturesque Christmas Market nestled within East Princes Street Gardens.

The much-loved Santa Land is back in East Princes Street Gardens, offering an assortment of rides catering to all age groups. Additionally, Santa's Grotto has once again found its place on Castle Street, welcoming visitors into its magical realm. Experience the revamped Light Night, heralding the commencement of Edinburgh's Christmas, with an extravagant event along the Royal Mile on Sunday. Furthermore, the inaugural Community Christmas initiative will spread the festive joy across twelve locations throughout the city, featuring captivating projections and performances that bring together the finest local talent.

Glasgow Winterfest 2023

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Dates & Location:

  • George Sq - 25th November 2023 - 7th January 2024 
  • St Enoch Sq - 10th November - 30th December 2023

Nearest train station: Glasgow Queen Street

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Glasgow Winterfest at George Square invites you to revel in the holiday spirit from Saturday 25th November to Sunday 7th January.

Here are some of the highlights at George Square:

  • Ice Rink: Delight in gliding through our magnificent ice rink in the heart of the winter wonderland.
  • Festival Bar: Cozy up with a warm beverage at our festive bar.
  • Silent Disco: Dance to the beats of your choice with our immersive headphone experience.
  • Festive Rides and Attractions: Enjoy the excitement of the big wheel, helter-skelter, traditional carousel, and attractions for the little ones.
  • Sensory and Quiet Zone: Find solace in our tranquil space specially designed for those with sensory needs.
  • Community Hub: Discover a new addition for Christmas 2023, showcasing local talents, from dancers to singers and musicians.
  • Festive Stalls: Browse through a variety of festive products from local businesses.

Stay tuned as the much-anticipated ice rink tickets will be available soon for an unforgettable skating experience.

Glasgow Winterfest at St Enoch Square, open from Friday 10th November to Saturday 30th December, offers its own enchanting offerings including:

  • Festive Bar: Indulge in your favorite seasonal drinks in a cozy and joyful atmosphere.
  • And Much More: St Enoch Square promises a host of surprises and activities to make your winter festivities complete. 

Hay Winter Weekend

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Dates: 23rd to 26th November 2023

Location: Hay Castle and St Mary's Church in the centre of Hay-on-Wye

Nearest train station: Hereford (20 miles away)

The nearest bus stop to the Festival site is at the Oxford Road Bus Stop in Hay. 

On Mondays to Saturdays, take the scheduled T14 bus from Hereford to Hay-on-Wye. For real time bus info, download the Sojo app.

On Sundays, take the 39A bus service from Hereford to Hay-on-Wye. 

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Hay-on-Wye, situated at the convergence of the Wales-England border, boasts a distinct character and an intriguing history. Despite its playful declaration of independence from both countries in 1977, the town retains a unique charm that is unmistakable as you wander through its shops and streets. The shopping experience in Hay-on-Wye is a testament to its ethos of valuing high-quality, independent thinking, creating an ideal atmosphere for an enriching Christmas shopping adventure. With its collection of artisanal offerings and free-spirited individualism, the town provides a delightful and distinctive shopping experience that sets it apart from more conventional destinations.

To add to the seasonal festivities, Hay-on-Wye hosts the renowned Hay Festival Winter Weekend every November. This event not only showcases the town's literary heritage with its traditional literary events but also includes a vibrant and diverse food festival, offering an array of tantalizing culinary experiences. Additionally, visitors can explore the vintage fair, adding a touch of nostalgia and history to the festive atmosphere. The Hay Festival Winter Weekend serves as an enriching celebration of culture, literature, and gastronomy, making it a must-visit for those seeking a unique and immersive winter experience in the heart of this charming border town.

Kingston Christmas Market

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16th November to 31st December 2023 

Location: Ancient Market Place in the centre of the town between Clarence Street and High Street. The area is fully pedestrianised.

Nearest train station: Kingston rail station, situated in TFL Zone 6, is a convenient 25-minute train journey from London Waterloo. Upon arrival, it's just a short 7-8 minute walk from the station to the enchanting Ancient Market Place.

Here are the directions from Kingston Train Station to the Ancient Market Place: When leaving the station, you'll need to cross over the road and proceed down Fife Road. Take a left turn by Bentalls Centre, followed by a right onto Clarence Street adjacent to Hema. Just before the grand Christmas tree, take a left turn, and you'll soon spot the festive vintage carousel leading you towards the vibrant market stalls.

For those arriving at Surbiton Train Station, the journey to the Ancient Market Place takes approximately 27 minutes on foot. Exit the station towards Surbiton town centre, and proceed straight across the road. Follow Claremont Road and turn right at the traffic lights onto Maple Road. Take the second left onto Surbiton Road, and you can opt to walk into town along the river or continue along the main road onto Penrhyn Road. Turn left at the roundabout, then right into St James’s Road, followed by a left onto Eden Street, and finally the second right into the Ancient Market Place, where the Christmas Market awaits your arrival.

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Indulge in the enchanting ambiance of the festive season at Kingston Christmas Market, where the traditional British town of Kingston-Upon-Thames comes alive with a delightful European-style celebration. Take a leisurely stroll among the market's charming stalls, adorned with twinkling fairy lights that infuse the atmosphere with a sense of enchantment and warmth.

Savour the delightful fragrance of mulled wine drifting through the air, inviting you to enjoy a comforting cup of this seasonal favourite, perfectly accompanied by an array of delicious culinary delights. Whether you're tempted by traditional Christmas treats or international cuisine, there's something to satisfy every taste and ignite the joy of the season within you.

While you explore the market, take a moment to peruse the handcrafted gifts and unique trinkets, ideal for finding that special present for your loved ones. Immerse yourself in the sounds of cheerful carollers, adding an extra layer of merriment to your visit as you soak up the festive cheer. Don't forget to capture these magical moments, creating enduring memories in this captivating Christmas wonderland nestled within the heart of Kingston-Upon-Thames.

Leeds Christmas Market

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Dates: 24th November 2023 - 22nd December 2023

Location: Various locations across Leeds City Centre

Nearest train station: Leeds

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This Christmas, Leeds is gearing up for an even grander celebration! Expect a spectacular traditional Christmas Market experience spread across various locations in the city centre, featuring approximately 120 Bavarian-style timber stalls adorned with festive lighting. Take a stroll along Lands Lane, The Headrow, Dortmund Square, and more to indulge in the delightful offerings from international, UK, Yorkshire, and Leeds traders. Additionally, be sure to explore the Windmill Bar on Briggate and Apres at Sally’s on Quebec Street, both providing a cozy atmosphere for enjoying seasonal beverages.

The festivities don't end there! Numerous family-friendly events and experiences are scheduled alongside the market, perfectly complementing the traditional Christmas attractions at Millennium Square and Victoria Gardens. To assist you in navigating the Christmas Markets, a special Christmas Markets trail will be available, ensuring you don't miss any of the festive highlights. Embrace the creative spirit of Leeds with its thriving independent scene, where artisan fairs throughout the festive season showcase the finest local artists and makers offering a variety of unique and thoughtful gifts.

Don't forget to mark your calendars with the full opening hours of the Leeds Christmas Markets, ranging from 10 am to 7 pm on weekdays and extending until 9 pm on Thursdays and Saturdays. The Kirkgate Market Christmas offers a unique indoor market experience with various events scheduled throughout November and December, while the Briggate Farmers Market on the first and third Sundays of the month provides a delectable selection of Yorkshire's best local produce. Moreover, the Leeds Winter Market and Artisan Winter Market at Harewood House present an assortment of handcrafted goods and delectable treats, making it an unforgettable winter shopping extravaganza. Finally, the Christmas Art & Maker’s Market 2023 at Sunny Bank Mills promises a delightful experience for all with its diverse stalls and engaging activities for the entire family.

London Christmas Markets

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Hyde Park Winter Wonderland

Dates: 17th November 2023 - 1st January 2024

Location: Hyde Park, London

Nearest train/ tube stations: 

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland is a short walk from the following London Underground stations:

Green Park – Step free access. (Victoria, Jubilee and Piccadilly lines)

Victoria – Step free access. (Victoria line and National Rail)

Paddington – Step free access. (Bakerloo, Metropolitan, Circle & District lines and National Rail)

Please note: Hyde Park Corner and Marble Arch tube stations get very busy during peak times, please use alternative stations.

Green Park is a step-free station with lift access so those with children or with mobility impairments may find it easier using this station.

Experience a festive shopping extravaganza coupled with exhilarating rides, captivating theater performances, and a delightful ice rink at Hyde Park Winter Wonderland. This year, the Christmas market has been revamped by Underbelly, the renowned organizers of Christmas in Leicester Square, introducing a new Scandinavian-themed Market Square in place of the traditional German-style chalets. Prepare for the bustling atmosphere, particularly during evenings and weekends closer to Christmas. If you're solely interested in the Christmas market, make your way through the Blue Gate entrance. Remember, the entry guidelines implemented in 2021 remain in effect, including an entry fee of £5-£7.50 during peak hours (off-peak entry remains free). Operating from 17th November to 1st January.

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Southbank Winter Market

28th October 2023 - 7th January 2024

Location: Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London, SE1 8XX

Nearest train station: The nearest National Rail train stations are Waterloo, Waterloo East, Charing Cross, and Blackfriars, while the nearest tube stations are Waterloo (Northern, Bakerloo, Jubilee, and Waterloo & City lines) which is 200 meters away, and Embankment (District and Circle lines) which is 600 meters away.

Explore the enchanting Winter Market by the Thames, where shimmering lights set the scene for delightful culinary experiences and festive shopping. Discover the joys of alpine-themed curling at The Curling Club, relish the warmth of Fire & Fromage's toasted marshmallows, and treat yourself to delights from Beltane & Pop, Choco Fruit, and The Thirsty Farrier.

Manchester Christmas Market

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Dates: 10th November - 21st December 2023

Location: Piccadilly Gardens ManchesterGreater ManchesterM1 1AF

Nearest train station: Deansgate and Manchester Victoria train stations.

Within the city centre, Metroshuttle provides a free ‘hop on, hop off’ bus service linking all of the main rail stations, shopping districts and business areas. There are three services which operate on circular routes.See for more information.

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This year marks a special milestone for Manchester's festive spirit as it commemorates 25 years since the city's inaugural Christmas market in 1998. Continuing to draw crowds in their thousands, the market boasts over 225 stalls across nine locations throughout the city centre, including the iconic ski chalet market stalls at Piccadilly Gardens, Market Street, Cathedral Gardens, and various other prominent spots.

Also making a return is the beloved Manchester Christmas Parade, set to enchant attendees of all ages on Sunday 3 December, along with the much-loved Festive Sundays, featuring family-friendly entertainment pop-ups on 26 November, 10 December, and 17 December, in partnership with Manchester Business Improvement District.

Additionally, the Manchester Christmas lights trail will illuminate the city centre with an array of festive displays, including giant walk-through baubles, the iconic Manchester bee, and the ever-watchful Santa Claus stationed in front of Central Library on St Peter's Square.

Skaters can revel in the seasonal spirit at Skate Manchester's ice rink in Cathedral Gardens, surrounded by twinkling lights, Christmas melodies, and the scent of gingerbread. The enchanting Winter Gardens at Piccadilly Gardens will be brimming with craft stalls, gift shops, and delightful food and drink options, including winter tipples, exclusive cocktails, fresh churros, Korean corndogs, and more delectable treats, all set against the warm glow of the Scandi-style tipi and its traditional log fires. You won't want to miss the iconic Manchester Christmas Windmill, standing tall at an impressive 4 meters high, creating a truly enchanting winter wonderland experience for all.

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Newcastle Christmas Markets

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Dates: 18th November 2023 - 23rd December 2023

Location: Around Grey's Monument, Grainger Street & Old Eldon Square

Nearest train station: Newcastle

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Discover the vibrant hub of the city, Grainger Market, housing an impressive array of over 100 local traders catering to all your festive food and gifting needs, all conveniently housed under one roof.

Whether it's a succulent turkey for your Christmas feast, handcrafted treasures for your loved ones, or a quick cuppa and some delectable street food to refuel during your shopping spree, Grainger Market is an essential stop for your festive errands.

The market operates from Monday to Saturday until Christmas Eve, with additional opening hours on Sunday 26th November, 3rd, 10th, and 17th December, creating ample opportunity for your seasonal shopping delights.

Moreover, don your warmest winter attire and head to the Quayside Sunday Market, a historic institution along the scenic riverfront. Embracing a rich legacy spanning centuries, the market extends from the Swing Bridge to the Millennium Bridge, hosting an eclectic mix of regional traders offering an assortment of delectable food, trendy fashion, and intricately crafted handmade goods, including jewelry, ceramics, and art.

The Quayside Sunday Market welcomes visitors every Sunday from 9:30 am to 4 pm, inviting you to revel in the joys of a delightful and diverse marketplace experience.

Nottingham Winter Wonderland 

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Dates: 7th November to 31st December 2023 

Location: Old Market Square, Nottingham, NG1 2DT 

Nearest train station: Nottingham

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Nottingham Winter Wonderland is a captivating destination situated in the heart of the city, drawing in visitors of all ages with its enchanting lights, festive decorations, and lively ambiance. The centerpiece of the Wonderland is its ice skating rink, offering a picturesque setting for delightful glides on the ice. The Christmas market stalls add an extra touch of magic, showcasing an array of seasonal delights and unique gifts, perfect for picking up something special for your loved ones.

As you wander through the Wonderland, be sure to immerse yourself in the warmth of traditional holiday treats and beverages that are sure to tantalise your taste buds. The atmosphere is filled with joy and excitement, making it an ideal place to create cherished memories with friends and family. From the charming décor to the vibrant energy, Nottingham Winter Wonderland is a must-visit destination that truly encapsulates the spirit of the holiday season.

Norwich Christmas Market

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Dates & location:

  • Norwich Festive Fair at The Forum: November 23 - 26, The Forum, Norwich
  • Fierce Babe Christmas Market: November 26, The Assembly House, Norwich
  • Global Village Christmas Market: November 30 - December 2, The Forum, Norwich
  • Clutter City Winter Market: December 9, Norwich Arts Centre, Norwich
  • Norfolk Festive Gift & Food Show: November 10 - 12, Norfolk Showground, Norfolk
  • Sparkle at Roarr! Event: Select dates across November & December, Roarr! Dinosaur Adventure Park, Norfolk.

Nearest train station: Norwich

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Experience the festive enchantment of Norwich and Norfolk at their bustling Christmas markets, brimming with a plethora of delightful activities and heartwarming seasonal shopping. Delight in the lively ambience of Norwich's Festive Fair at The Forum, where you can immerse yourself in the merry atmosphere from November 23 to 26 and discover a variety of local treats and one-of-a-kind festive treasures.

On November 26, the Fierce Babe Christmas Market at the Assembly House offers a unique space to explore distinctive creations by diverse makers, fostering an inclusive and welcoming environment. Discover the Global Village Christmas Market starting November 30, where you can embark on a journey of global flavors and vibrant cultural experiences, complemented by live music and an array of international goods.

Additionally, the Clutter City Winter Market at the Norwich Arts Centre on December 9 showcases a selection of local talents and festive indulgences, promising a delightful day out filled with artistic delights and delicious seasonal treats. In Norfolk, the Norfolk Festive Gift & Food Show at the Norfolk Showground, running from November 10 to 12, presents an exceptional opportunity to discover unique Christmas gifts and delectable culinary delights, creating the perfect festive shopping experience for the whole family.

Enhance your festive celebrations at Roarr! with the Sparkle at Roarr! event, a magical experience featuring an array of engaging activities, including a synthetic ice skating rink, enchanting workshops, and captivating festive happenings, ensuring a memorable and joyous time for all. Embrace the spirit of the season with your loved ones, reveling in the joy and wonder of these remarkable festive occasions.

Oban Winter Festival

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Dates: 17th - 26th November 2023

Location: Oban, Argyll and Bute, PA34 5DJ

Nearest train station: Oban

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Embrace the festive spirit in the coastal town, as it gears up for a series of enthralling activities, enchanting film screenings, and mesmerizing light displays, bringing a delightful conclusion to the year. Keep your eyes peeled, as there's a possibility of a special visit from Santa himself, taking a breather from his tireless gift-making duties!

In a splendid expansion for 2023, the beloved Winter Woods extravaganza will now span six delightful days, treating visitors to an immersive journey into the nearby woods via a convenient bus ride. Be prepared to be spellbound by a captivating light show, guided by actors leading you through an illuminated forest trail, promising an enchanting and unforgettable experience for all.

Not to be missed are the captivating performances, lively dances, an array of delectable culinary delights, and an extensive collection of stalls offering the perfect opportunity for everyone to either get a head start or put the finishing touches on their Christmas shopping spree!

Padstow Christmas Festival

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Dates: 7th - 10th December 2023

Location: The Red Brick Building North Quay , Padstow, United Kingdom

The nearest train station to Padstow is Bodmin Parkway, situated approximately 24 miles away. A convenient means of transportation from Bodmin Parkway to Padstow is the regular service provided by Plymouth Citybus, specifically the number 11 route, which travels through Wadebridge en route to Padstow.

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At the heart of Padstow's Christmas Festival lies a celebration of exquisite cuisine, spearheaded by renowned local chefs including Rick Stein, Nathan Outlaw, and Paul Ainsworth. With over 60 culinary experts offering insights and demonstrations over the course of four days, you'll undoubtedly gather invaluable tips for your festive cooking endeavors. Moreover, the Christmas marquee serves as a haven for sourcing premium West Country delicacies, encompassing a diverse array of offerings ranging from artisanal beers, cheeses, and pickles to alluring beauty products, captivating artwork, and freshly harvested seafood. After indulging in these culinary delights, make your way to the festival's engaging literary talks and book signings, providing the perfect opportunity to secure an early Christmas treat for yourself or a loved one.

Rochester Christmas Market

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Dates: 25th November - 10th December 2023

Location: Rochester Castle

Nearest train station: Rochester

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Start your festive shopping spree with a jolly twist at the Rochester Christmas Market, offering free entry for all. Hosted over three consecutive weekends in the stunning Rochester Castle gardens, this market provides the perfect setting to peruse a variety of craft and trade stalls for that special gift and charming stocking fillers. Additionally, indulge in the culinary delights from an array of food and drink stalls, serving up a tempting selection of hot and cold beverages, mulled wine, roasted chestnuts, and more. Excitingly, this year introduces the delightful 'Children's Christmas Village,' nestled amidst the lively Rochester Castle Christmas Market from Saturday, 25 November to Sunday, 10 December. Organized by Mrs. Claus and her team of elves, the village promises a magical Christmas experience for children, including captivating Christmas stories in Mrs. Claus' snug, creative crafting sessions in the Elves' workshop, and the chance to decorate a sweet festive treat to take home. Tickets for this enchanting village adventure are priced at £10 per child (ages 4-11) and can be conveniently booked online. Entry to the market remains free, with an additional charge applicable for access to the Children's Christmas Village.

Stratford Upon Avon Victorian Christmas Market

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Dates: 7th - 10th December 2023

Location: Stratford-upon-Avon Town Centre 

Nearest train station: Stratford upon Avon

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Discover the enchanting allure of the Stratford-upon-Avon Victorian Christmas Market, a delightful 4-day festive celebration not to be missed! Immerse yourself in the timeless charm of over 300 stalls featuring captivating gifts and treasures, all beautifully presented by traders adorned in authentic Victorian attire, bringing the spirit of bygone eras to life.

Treat your taste buds to a feast of traditional culinary delights, from roasted chestnuts and mulled wine to the irresistible Baileys Hot Chocolate, offering a sensory delight at every turn. Delight in the sounds of the season with live music, captivating choirs, and engaging dance performances on the main stage. Don't miss the iconic Victorian Carousel, a must-visit for both the young and the young at heart. Encounter stilt walkers and Victorian characters meandering through the bustling streets, creating a lively and immersive ambiance for visitors of all ages. 

Recognised with the prestigious title of 'Best Large Specialty Market' at the Great British Market Awards 2021, the Stratford-upon-Avon Victorian Christmas Market stands as a testament to its impactful contributions to the local economy, vibrant entertainment, and community engagement, solidifying its position as an exceptional celebration of the festive spirit. Accessing the market is hassle-free with convenient park and ride facilities, accessible bus routes, and nearby train services.

Extend your festive experience by securing accommodation in a local hotel and relish the magic after dusk, when the market's stalls come alive with enchanting illumination, adding an extra touch of wonder to the atmosphere. Embrace the holiday magic as entry to this mesmerising event is entirely complimentary, inviting families and friends to revel in the joy of Christmas.

The Royal Welsh Winter Fair in Builth Wells

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Dates: 27th - 28th November 2023

Location: Royal Welsh Showground, Llanelwedd, Builth Wells, LD2 3SY

Nearest train station: Builth Wells, just over a mile away from the showground. 

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Renowned as one of the premier prime stock shows in Europe, the Winter Fair entices visitors from all corners to immerse themselves in a two-day extravaganza brimming with spirited competitions, jubilant festivities, and delightful Christmas shopping. In addition to its bustling lineup of competitions, exhibitions, and displays, the Winter Fair presents a splendid opportunity for attendees to acquire distinctive and exclusive Christmas gifts. The Food Hall, adorned with an array of top Welsh producers, beckons visitors to indulge in an assortment of delectable culinary treasures, making it a delightful prelude to the festive season. Why not mark the beginning of the holiday celebrations with a visit to the esteemed Royal Welsh Winter Fair?

Ulverston's Dickensian Christmas Festival

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Dates: 25th - 26th November 2023

Location: Ulverston Town Centre

Nearest train station: Ulverston

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Ulverston is gearing up for its much-anticipated 2023 Christmas festival, set to take place in the traditional Ulverston Dickensian style. With multiple performance stages, roving street performers, and the delightful aroma of hot mulled wine, visitors can fully immerse themselves in the festive atmosphere. Attendees are encouraged to dress up and join the lively costume parades that wind through the historic town streets. The festival boasts a diverse range of entertainment, including brass bands, singers, magicians, fire eaters, jugglers, and stilt walkers, all of which are provided free of charge. Moreover, fairground rides will be available for a separate fee. This vibrant event is not just about the festivities; it also provides an excellent opportunity to explore Ulverston's traditional and specialist local shops, cafes, and pubs, which contribute to the town's unique charm. As a picturesque historic market town situated on the outskirts of the scenic Lake District, Ulverston provides the perfect backdrop for this celebrated Christmas extravaganza.

Winchester Cathedral Christmas Market

Trains to Winchester
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Dates: 17th November to 21st December 2023

Location: The Close Winchester SO23 9LS

Nearest train station: Winchester

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Experience the enchanting atmosphere of the approaching Advent and Christmas season at Winchester Cathedral. Indulge in the vibrant festivities of one of the most exceptional Christmas Markets in Europe. Make sure to venture inside the cathedral to delve into its rich history spanning over a millennium. Attend the exquisite Advent and Christmas services, featuring performances by an internationally renowned choir, for an unforgettable holiday experience.

York Christmas Market

trains to york
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16th November to 22nd December 2023

Location: Parliament Street and St Sampson’s Square

Nearest train station: York

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Step into a whimsical winter realm illuminated by a myriad of twinkling lights, resonant carols, and the irresistible scent of seasonal delicacies. York's transformation into a festive paradise, running from November 16th to December 22nd, sees over 75 charming alpine chalets bedecking Parliament Street and St Sampson's Square. These delightful stalls will showcase an assortment of locally crafted wonders and artisanal treasures, courtesy of the region's skilled traders.

Uncover a world of distinctive gift ideas at this year's Christmas market. Whether you're seeking luxurious stationery or indulgent Yorkshire delicacies, there's a special something for everyone on your shopping list. Make holiday shopping a joyful experience as you peruse the exceptional offerings.

Top Tips for Train Travel and Cheap Train Tickets:

  • Book in Advance: Secure your tickets early to take advantage of discounted fares, especially for long-distance journeys or during peak travel times. Many rail companies release cheaper fares up to 12 weeks in advance.
  • Be Flexible: Consider traveling during off-peak hours or on less popular travel days to access cheaper ticket options. Weekday travel outside of rush hours typically offers more affordable fares.
  • Use Railcards: Invest in a railcard that aligns with your travel needs, such as the 16-25 Railcard, Senior Railcard, or Family & Friends Railcard. These cards often provide substantial discounts on fares.
  • Split Ticketing: Explore the option of splitting your journey into multiple segments and booking tickets for each leg separately. Websites like Trainsplit, with its clever algorithm, do all the work for you, helping you identify potential split ticketing options and maximizing your savings on train travel. 
  • Avoid Peak Travel Times: Try to avoid traveling during peak hours when fares are typically higher. Opt for traveling during the middle of the day or in the late evening for more cost-effective options.

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