The UK’s Best Christmas Markets of 2016
One of the great things about living in a university city in the UK during the winter months is that you’re likely to find a Christmas Market nearby. These are some of the best highlights of the festive season, especially if you’re a student with lots of time to spare to peruse the quaint stalls and fill up on Christmas treats; read our guide on the best Christmas Markets in the UK to know where to head to this winter.
Manchester Christmas Market – November 10th to December 20th
Students meandering around Manchester won’t be able to miss the Christmas Market between November and December, as the festive stalls take over every street and square in the heart of the city. Its main location is in Albert Square, where a huge collection of wooden stalls will be set out, along with food and drink establishments serving traditional German Christmas offerings, including gluhwein, sausages, pretzels and beer.
You can find a huge variety of gifts and decorations here, which is particularly useful if you’re looking to top up your Christmas presents or add some festive cheer to your student accommodation. The Manchester Christmas Markets, which are also located around St Ann’s Square, Exchange Square, King Street and New Cathedral Street, among other areas, is also a great place to hang out on a Friday or Saturday evening, with many people braving the cold weather to warm themselves up with a bowl of goulash, some fried potatoes with cheese and a warm glass of punch.
Bristol Christmas Markets – November 11th to December 24th
Bristol’s Christmas Markets open early for keen shoppers, with stalls being ready to serve customers from November 8th. The bazaar replicates a traditional German Christmas Market, with wooden stalls lit up with fairy lights filling the heart of Broadmead, in the centre of Bristol.
Traditional German decorations are on sale at this event, including nativity scenes, wooden toys and handmade items to hang on the Christmas tree. There’s also the chance to stock up on delicious treats at the market, which is open every day until December 24th, including cakes, chocolates, bottles of gluhwein, chutneys, cheese and biscuits. You can also enjoy some waffles, bratwurst and Irish coffee while meandering through the busy maze of stalls here.
Students may be a bit too old to visit the Santa’s Grotto in The Galleries or hop on the children’s carousel, but there’s still plenty to see and do at the Bristol Christmas Market, whether you visit once or pass through every day on your way to university.
Frankfurt Christmas Market, Birmingham – November 17th to December 29th
Birmingham is well known for its Christmas market, hosting perhaps the largest event of this kind in the UK. The Frankfurt Christmas Market shadows traditional Christmas fairs in Germany and will open on November 17th in 2016.
It has been going for the last 12 years and attracts visitors from all over the country and the continent for its huge variety of stalls and activities available. It is held in Victoria Square, Centenary Square, Chamberlain Square and New Street, taking over much of the city until December 29th between 10:00 and 21:00 GMT.
Birmingham is the ideal UK city to host the most famous Christmas market in the country, as the university city has been twinned with Frankfurt for more than 40 years. More than 180 chalets are set up offering visitors the chance to buy glasswork, handmade jewellery, ceramics and festive decorations. It is also a great place to attend if you love German food, as stalls upon stalls serve up pretzels, gingerbread, crepes, marzipan chocolates and – of course – grilled sausages.
If you really want a taste of German Christmas markets, this is the best place in the UK to head to – lucky for those students studying in the city who can visit anytime they want to outside of lecture hours.
Taste of London Winter – November 17th to November 20th
For many people, one of the best things about Christmas is festive food, in which case, Taste of London Winter 2016 could be the ideal event to head to. Tobacco Dock will host the food weekend, opening on November 17th and closing on November 20th.
While the other markets present lots of stalls selling a variety of Yuletide offerings, this event is solely concerned with wintery food. Traditional Christmas dishes such as cheese and wine are given a modern twist here, while there is a number of food gifts available that you can buy for your loved ones from the Christmas Food & Drink Market.
Chocolate fans will love the Taste Chocolate section, where attendees can sample lots of free chocolates at tastings and demonstrations held by award-winning chocolates. You could also eat out at one of the several restaurants set up, from Disco Bistro to The Cinnamon Club. The whole event comes together with the Dickensian atmosphere, as Tobacco Dock boasts beautiful Victorian architecture while the scent of delicious Christmas food floats through the air.
About the author
This blog post was written by Natasha Al-Atassi a travel and property blogger, she’s also blogs on her own wedding blog as well as writing for Vita Student Accommodation, thanks for your post!