With winter fast approaching and the skies throughout Europe taking on a permanent shade of grey, the promise of Christmas, and Christmas Markets, is the only thing keeping our seasonal affective disorder at bay for the moment. Weihnachtsmärkte are popping up everywhere and we couldn’t be merrier. Though originally a German tradition, the Glühwein and Lebkuchen have quickly spread through Europe. If the shortened days and dreary drizzle are getting you down, get a healthy dose of yuletide cheer from our favourite UK Christmas markets of 2016.

Belfast Market

Belfast Continental Christmas Market

What: An International Christmas fair with authentic European delicacies. Don’t miss the paella, bratwurst, or impala. Colorful flowers, live music, and of course, drinks are also not to be missed.
When: 19th November to 22nd December.
Where: Belfast City Hall, Donegall Square
Do: Besides gorging on the cuisine, don’t forget to post a letter to Santa. Leave it by the 17th of December in order to get one back from the big man himself.
Try: An authentic Irish jig in the local bar, where live music and Irish drink will keep you warm from the cold.

What’s the best way to get to Belfast? You can find direct flights from the UK to Belfast international airports. If flying ain’t your thing, you can catch a train and ferry to Belfast from the UK too.

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Birmingham

What: A traditional German Market in the heart of the UK. Enjoy a true German Christmas market, complete with cuisines and traditional Bavarian music and beer.
When: 17th November – 29th December (except Christmas day)
Do: Check out the gingerbread creations—with German terms of endearment, such as “Schatzi” written across them—while listening to the sounds of traditional music. Oh, and don’t miss the carousel!
Try: Bratwurst, brezel (pretzels) and glühwein–a traditional Christmas drink of mulled red wine, spices, and raisins—are not to be missed.

What’s the best way to get to Birmingham? Birmingham is well connected with both trains and buses from across the UK. See the best routes here.

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London, Southbank

What: London loves to be festive and the Christmas market on the Southbank is one of the more atmospheric Christmas markets in the country.
When: November 11th all the way to the 8th January – plenty of time for glühwein!
Do: Check out the many arts and crafts stalls here, a great place to pick up last minute gifts.
Try: Have a German beer in the wooden hut by the river full of fireplaces.

What’s the best way to get to London? One of the most well connected cities, find out the best way to travel by flight, train or bus.

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Manchester

What: Manchester’s Christmas markets are award winning, people come from all over the country to see one of the more authentic German markets.
When: November 10th to December 21st.
Do: If you’ve seen everything at the Christmas market, head over to one of the others Manchester has on offer. The French market can be found on King Street.
Try: The ice skating rink! 2016 is the first year Manchester’s Christmas market will have one.

What’s the best way to get to Manchester? The city of Manchester is easy to get to from almost everywhere in the UK and fast trains travel there several times a day. Check out cheap tickets here.

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Leeds

What: The German Christmas market in Leeds is one of the most established in the country with hundreds of thousands of visitors every year.
When: 11th November – 18th December
Do: If you’re going with kids, Leeds Christmas market is great for entertainment. Have a ride on the festive carousel!
Try: The delicious and traditional German candied fruits.

What’s the best way to get to Leeds? If Leeds is quite a distance to travel the bus and train routes are both good options. Compare modes of transport here.

If you fancy going further afield to get some Christmas cheer then head over to see our favourite European Christmas markets.

Madeline Sinclair

Madeline Sinclair is a Canadian expat living in Berlin who loves cooking and travelling more than anything. She once missed a flight and spent 30 hours in Gatwick airport - a mistake she's sworn never make again.