Thursday 2nd December 2021
December signifies the official start of the festive period and throughout the UK towns and cities come alive with events and activities, the most popular of which are the Christmas markets which are always full of delicious festive food and drink.
Christmas markets have become a key tourist attraction bringing both jobs and visitors into local economies. They increase footfall, spend and repeat visits to towns people have perhaps not considered before. They boost local economy in the immediate area at a time of year when traditionally people tended to stay closer to home.
Christmas markets generate at least £500 million* to the UK economy and are a key contributor to footfall and activity in towns and cities at Christmas. Many are structured as traditional European markets like those seen in France and Germany, and use temporary structures such as alpine chalets and marquees for retailers to sell products from.
Food and beverage is one of the biggest drivers of footfall particularly at the larger markets and due to the portable nature of LPG it is the natural choice for cooking and heating. If you’re visiting a Christmas Market this year it is very likely to be powered by LPG.
At a time when much of the Christmas shopping will be done online, it’s clear that Christmas Markets will remain very popular. We have listed below some of the best Christmas markets in the UK for if, like many of the population, you fancy getting out and about to visit one this year:
Lincoln Christmas Market
Lincoln Christmas Market was the first in the UK and was inspired by Neustadt market in Germany. It started with just 11 stalls and now has almost 200.
Lincoln is a contemporary Cathedral city with over 2,000 years of history.
The Lincoln Christmas Market runs from Thursday 2nd December until Sunday 5th December.
Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market
Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market is the largest authentic German Christmas market outside of Germany or Austria. It brings a large number of visitors to the city many of which stay locally in one of the many Birmingham hotels. Food and drink is a big focus of the Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market with lots of stalls offering a wide selection of continental food and drink.
The Birmingham Christmas Market runs from 4th November until Christmas Eve.
Manchester Christmas Markets
Manchester is host to one of the largest Christmas markets in the UK, which has won a number of accolades. It has been running for 18 years and features 230 stalls across 10 city locations. This year it will showcase a new family-friendly winter gardens attraction at Piccadilly Gardens where locally brewed ales, food stalls, craft sellers and live music will be on offer.
The Manchester Christmas Markets are running from 12th November until 22nd December with the Winter Gardens open until 3rd January.
Winter Wonderland, Hyde Park, London
Hyde Park is transformed to a winter wonderland of activities, entertainment and food and drink. Mulled Wines, hot chocolate and other festive treats are available and powered by LPG. What began as a small open-air Christmas market is now a huge event featuring ice skating, live shows, street food and music.
Winter Wonderland is open from 19th November until 3rd January.
Bath Christmas Market
Bath Christmas Market has been taking place in the historic city of Bath for many years and attracts some 400,000 visitors. This year the event will be taking place online with 160 artisan makers and crafters showcasing their unique products.
Bath Christmas Market can be found at www.bathchristmasmarket.co.uk
St Nicholas Fair, York
Wintery alpine chalets are stocked with all sorts of unique gift ideas, stocking fillers and of course delicious food and drink. International street food is hugely popular at this event and supplied by a number of outlets selling everything from Moroccan to Far Eastern cuisine.
St Nicholas Fair takes place between 18th November and 23rd December
Edinburgh Christmas Market
The Edinburgh Christmas Market is a fantastic family event taking place for six weeks each year and featuring everything from fairground rides, ice skating rinks and even a Christmas tree maze!
Edinburgh Christmas Market runs from 20th November until 4th January
Belfast Christmas Market
The Belfast Christmas Market takes place in City Hall Grounds and has a big foodie focus with its famous food court playing host to a number of artisan food and drink suppliers. As well as locally produced products there are also continental foods on offer including French crepes, Belgian chocolates, Spanish paella and Italian sweets.
Travellers to the Belfast Christmas Market will need to provide a Covid passport, proof of vaccination and proof of a negative Covid test.
The Belfast Christmas Market is taking place from 29th November until 23rd December
Exeter Christmas Market
Exeter Christmas Market is set against the beautiful backdrop of Exeter Cathedral and is made up from a series of traditional alpine style wooden chalets with local artisan producers showcasing their products and gift ideas.
Exeter Christmas Market runs from 18th November until 18th December
Glasgow Christmas Markets
Glasgow Christmas Markets offer a wide variety of gastronomic treats from around the World with warming festive drinks and foods such as local crispy duck, crepes and hog roasts. All of the iconic Glasgow buildings are illuminated creating a spectacular backdrop to the markets.
The Glasgow Christmas Markets open on 21st November until 23rd December
Cardiff Christmas Market
Cardiff Christmas Market has been supporting artists, food producers and crafts people for almost 20 years. It’s a key focus for the event and exhibitors are encouraged to provide demonstrations to show off their skills. The event is held in the centre of Cardiff and features over 200 businesses showcasing their arts and crafts and seasonal food and drink.
Worcester Victorian Christmas Fayre
The Victorian Fayre was originally started by market traders on New Street and Friar Street, two very picturesque areas of the city. The market has grown a lot since then but still features Victorian themed characters, festive treats, local arts and delicious food and drink
Worcester Victorian Christmas Fayre takes place 2nd – 5th December
*Figures taken from Local.Gov.uk
The trade association for the LPG and bioLPG industry in the UK