The best Christmas markets to visit in the UK

  • City guides
  • Seasonal events
3 min read

‘Tis (almost) the season to be jolly and what better way to get yourself into the festive spirit than with a visit to one of the UK’s best Christmas markets. We’ve cased out the markets near our Roomzzz aparthotels to help you find the perfect place to get your Christmas on.


16th November to 22nd December, 10am – 6pm (Sunday to Wednesday), 10am – 8pm (Thursday, Friday and Saturday), Town Hall Square, 9 min walk from Roomzzz Chester.

With its black and white Tudor buildings and imposing Town Hall, Chester’s Town Hall Square is the perfect spot for a festive market. With 70+ alpine chalet-style stalls set beneath twinkling Christmas lights, it’s one of the smaller UK markets but its compact size is actually part of its appeal. Filled with the usual food, drink and craft stalls, with local makers aplenty, all set around an imposing Christmas tree, Chester Christmas Market has all the festive cheer without the crowds you might face in bigger cities. Plus, it’s only a nine-minute walk from your Roomzzz aparthotel, so you can get your shopping bags back to your room and head back out for an evening on the gluwein. 

Leeds Christkindlmarkt

8th November to 22nd December 10.30am – 9.30pm (7.30pm on Sundays), Millennium Square, 15 min walk from Roomzzz Leeds City West, 15 min from Roomzzz Leeds City, 40 min walk from Roomzzz Headingley (or hop on the train from Headingley station, a 15 min walk away).

In the heart of the city, Leeds Christkindlmarkt is small but perfectly formed, bursting with more than 40 festive stalls. Styled on a traditional German market, with log cabin stalls, evergreen boughs and twinkling nights, it’s a great spot to pick up crafty gifts like candles, ornaments and Christmas decorations. It’s free to get in, which leaves you more to spend on festive treats and eats. Pop into the Ski Hutte bar for a couple of steins, fill up on fried potatoes and gravy and warm your cockles with a mug of gluwein as you browse. There’s also a traditional carousel, festive rides and sweet treats. If you’re visiting with the kids, you can book in for a buffet breakfast with Santa and on Sundays, get stuck in with face painting, balloon modelling, interactive games and sing-alongs with appearances from the Winter Wonderland Princesses. All shopped out? Head around the corner to the Headrow, where you’ll find a big wheel, fairground rides and festive pop up bars, plus a great view of the fairy light-strewn Town Hall.

Manchester Christmas Markets

November 9th to December 22nd (December 23rd for Albert Square), 10am to 9pm, Albert Square, M2 5PF, 6 min walk from Roomzzz Manchester City, 8 min walk from Roomzzz Manchester Exchange Square.

Come November, the whole of Manchester gets festive with more than 300 stalls spread across 10 locations throughout the city centre. Start off under the watchful gaze of the giant light-up Santa in Albert Square, then wander to your heart’s content around a range of log cabin stalls stocking everything from soap to handmade jewellery. There are loads of bars and food stalls in Albert Square, so it’s a great place to fuel up ahead of your big Christmas shop-a-thon. If you’re visiting with the kids, Cathedral Gardens has loads of family-friendly activities, including an ice rink and fun fair, with mulled gin and prosecco stalls to keep the parents entertained. If festive food’s what you’re after, head for St Ann’s Square to find the market’s oldest gluwein stall, plus cheese, charcuterie and sweet treats, or walk over to Brazennose Street for hot food from fish and chips to bratwurst and schnitzel, and even Spanish paella. And there’s no need to feel bad about plastic waste – the markets use returnable glasses and mugs so you can pay a deposit and then just top up as you go. Manchester’s Christmas Markets can get really busy on a weekend, so if you’re staying during the week, you’ll find it easier to browse without the crowds. 

Nottingham Winter Wonderland

15th November to 31st December, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday 10am to 6pm, Thursday, Friday and Saturday 10am to 8pm, Sunday 11am to 6pm, 7 min walk from Roomzzz Nottingham City

At Christmas, Nottingham throws down the gauntlet to the other UK cities, seeing their Christmas markets and raising them a full-on Winter Wonderland. Selling itself as the biggest event in the East Midlands, it has all the alpine chalet stalls you’d expect, an ice rink, the cheekily named Sur La Piste bar, plus the Ice Bar featuring intricate ice sculptures and lashings of schnapps served in shot glasses made from solid ice. But it’s not just fun for the adults, there’s loads for the kids too, including a toboggan slope they can slide down in rubber rings, fairground rides and a traditional helter skelter. There’s plenty to keep you entertained aside from shopping, eating and drinking, with live acts performing across the market, plus artificial snow, and it’s the longest running of our Christmas market picks, staying open right up until New Year’s Eve.

Ready to book your Christmas market Roommzzz stay? Check your dates now and enter code UPANDAWAY for 10% off your stay. 

Related Articles

  • City guides
  • Seasonal events

New Year's eve in our cities

You’ve booked your Roomzzz aparthotel, picked out the perfect outfit and you’re ready to party, but...

Read Article