6 Top Christmas Markets in the UK and via Eurostar 2014

Edinburgh Christmas Market

Written by Isabel Clift

Warm your belly with copious amounts of mulled wine, bite the heads off gingerbread men and browse baubles to your heart’s content… it’s Christmas market time again.

If you don’t want to fly all the way to Germany, there are plenty of markets in the UK to get you in that Christmassy mood. Christmas markets in Belgium or France are also just a zip away on the Eurostar. Here’s our pick of the six best Christmas markets just a train ride away…

UK

1. London

Southbank Centre Winter Festival, 5th November 2014 to  11th January 2015

Southbank Winter Festival

Stretching alongside the twinkling Thames, the Southbank Centre Christmas Market specialises in artisan stocking-fillers from handmade soaps to wooden toys.

With 60 chalets, a kids’ carousel and traditional treats like Bratwurst sausages, mulled wine and gingerbread hearts, it gives you a little taste of traditional Germany without having to fork out for the plane ticket.

Where do I stay? Safestay a 10-minute tube ride away in Elephant & Castle has dorms from €29.51pppn. Or see more hostels in London.

See also: Ultimate guide to London NYE

2. Edinburgh

Edinburgh Christmas Market, 21st November 2014 to 4th January 2015

Edinburgh Christams Market

Found at East Princes Street Gardens between the Edinburgh ferris wheel and outdoor ice rink, this Christmas market lets you choose from a range of traditional Scottish treats.

Sip on a hot toddy and check out the locally-procured meats (including veal), cheeses, jewellery, clothes and craft gifts.

Where do I stay? Smart City Hostels Edinburgh is a two-minute walk from the Royal Mile, with rooms starting at €12.83. Or, see more hostels in Edinburgh.

See also: Ultimate guide to Edinburgh NYE

France

3. Lille

Lille Christmas Market, 19th November to 30th December 2014

Lille Christmas Market

The closest Christmas market in Europe by rail from London, Lille’s Christmas market at Place Rihour is made up of more than 80 chalets and strung with twinkling fairy lights.

As well as tucking in to usual suspects gingerbread and mulled wine, you can pick up local crafts from Russia, Poland, and Québec, as well as Native American crafts.

Where do I stay? Inter-Hotel du Parc des Expositions near Lille’s major train station has private rooms from €45.50. Or see our hostels in Lille. Paris

4. Paris

Trocadero Christmas MarketNovember 15th to January 6th 2015


Paris Christams Market

In the shadow of the Eiffel Tower, Paris’s Christmas market on the Trocadero gives a magical setting for family trips and couples alike.

Wooden chalets sell toys and decorations as well as regional French cheese, wine and chocolate, and there’s an ice rink and carousel to keep kids (and big kids) happy.

Where do I stay? St Christopher’s Inns – Paris has rooms from €22.90. Or see more hostels in Paris.

See also: Ultimate guide to Paris NYE

Belgium

5. Brussels

Brussels Christmas Market, 28th November 2014 to 4th January 2015

Brussels Christams Market

A great Christmas shopping bonanza, with over 200 chalets stretching across the Grand Place and Place Sainte-Catherine, Brussels Christmas Market also incorporates an outdoor ice rink and Ferris wheel.

Chalets are decked out to represent different countries and there are regional craft gifts on offer from all over the world, plus enough food stalls to feed the whole family for every day of Christmas!

Where do I stay? 2GO4 Quality Hostel has dorms from €24.00. Or see more hostels in Brussels.

6. Bruges

Bruges Christmas Market, 21st November 2014 to 2nd January 2015
Bruges Christams Market

Set in Bruges’ beautiful medieval main square, this petite Christmas market sits around an outdoor ice-rink with traders selling a range of local crafts, clothes and sweet treats.

It’s not nearly as extensive as markets elsewhere, but worth a stroll as you pop in and out of the town’s enchanting collection of chocolate, lace and perfume shops.

Where do I stay? Snuffel Backpacker Hostel has rooms from €16.00. Or see more hostels in Bruges.

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Thanks to Heather Cowper, Chris Flemming, Eduardo M C, Gary Bembridge and C.M.FRIESE photography for the images from Flickr. Please note, all images were held under the creative commons licence at the time of publication.

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