Christmas markets in the UK have made a comeback in recent years and there are plenty to satisfy your kitschy Christmas cravings.
Bath Christmas Market
When: Nov 25 – Dec 12, 2010
What: Between the Bath Abbey and the Roman baths, 123 traditional wooden stalls will be selling unique and traditional gifts. The crafts are made in the local and the South West area and the homemade food ranges from sausages to pancakes to organic soups and broths.
The abbey also hosts carollers and specially suited programmes for shoppers looking to rest their feet. Three other performance areas in the market will set the stage for local musicians and children’s entertainers.
Get more info: bathchristmasmarket.co.uk
Cologne Christmas Market at Southbank Centre
When: Nov 19 – Dec 23, 2010
What: For those who can’t make it to the real thing, this German-style market in the heart of London will more than do. It runs from the London Eye to the Royal Festival Hall and has over 60 chalets with unusual gifts and goods. Roasted almonds, traditional Bratwurst and gingerbread hearts are among the many snacks sold.
Find old-fashioned fun by taking a spin on the carousel or visiting Santa’s grotto. On Friday, November 19 the market will open with live music and celebrations at 5pm.
Get more info: southbankcentre.co.uk
Oxford Christmas Market
When: Nov 26 – Dec 12, 2010
What: It’s a German affair at the Oxford Castle. The stalls feature local goods like handmade scarves, Nepalese clothing and fair-trade gifts, among many more. As you wander through the college town’s cobbled streets, sip mulled cider to keep warm and munch on handmade German sausages and English fruit liqueurs.
Brass bands and local choirs provide entertainment and a Father Christmas grotto will be set up in the castle.
Get more info: oxfordchristmasmarket.com
Gloucester Christmas Market
When: Nov 25 – 28, 2010
What: It’s a “very Victorian Christmas” at Gloucester, perfect for all you Downtown Abbey fans. Characters in Dickensian costume will be promenading through the streets, among decorated stalls selling hand-made gifts, food and real Ale.
Head down a week early on November 18 to see Santa’s grotto lit up by Britain’s Got Talent runners-up Twist and Pulse who will flip the switch.
Get more info: thecityofgloucester.co.uk
Bristol Christmas Markets
When: mid-November to late December
What: Bristol offers a choice of markets, including a new one this year. The German Christmas Market has all that traditional fare as well as a Christmas pyramid and a bar and café where you can meet up with friends for a holiday drink. The Bristol Christmas Market is the newest addition and will have a strong local influence among its stalls. Skate at the new ice rink in the city centre, which will be romantically decked out in lights and decorations.
Get more info: visitbristol.co.uk
Words: Heather Vandenengel