On the sixth day of Blogmas... I’m off to Brussels later on in the week as I love a little winter break and Ash wanted to go to the Christmas Markets. There’s no better way of getting into the festive spirit than by wrapping up warm, having a little mooch and drinking copious amounts of mulled wine and boozy hot chocolate. I’m honestly so excited, not least because we are spending FOUR days together!
The last two years, I have had little winter breaks and have managed to get my Christmas Market on. Last year, I went to Vienna which was truly magical. If it isn’t the Christmas Market capital of Europe, it should be. There was so much going on and I could have done with an extra day to explore further. The year before that I was in Bruges and it was all about fruity beer and chocolates – but the Ice & Snow Festival was also on and that’s a must-see.
When I’m back from Brussels, I’ll be blogging about my time there and I also hope to post about the restaurant we are going to for dinner – it looks so fancy! In the mean time, if you’re unable to hop on a plane (or jump on the Eurostar), I’ve got the best of the Markets in the UK for you.
Bath Christmas Market (open until December 11th)
With over 170 wooden huts lining the streets of this spa town, you are guaranteed a magical experience. With stall holders specialising in local food & drink, handcrafted toys, gifts and trinkets, it’s certainly very traditional. Expect carol singers and other entertainment.
Belfast Christmas Market (open until December 22nd)
Providing a truly European extravaganza, the market in Belfast is influenced by those in France, Germany, Belgium and Holland to name but a few. With a wide range of culinary delights to sample, of course, there’s also a traditional Irish bar – so you can’t go wrong!
Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market (open until December 29th)
I know loads of people that have been to the Birmingham Market already this year and it looks and sounds absolutely incredible. Dubbed the ‘Largest German Market outside Germany or Austria’, with over 120 stalls, it’s easy to make a day out of a visit here.
Leeds Christkindelmarkt (open until December 18th)
The Christmas Market in Leeds may be on a smaller scale to some of the other bigger cities in England, but it’s by no means less spectacular. Specialising in traditional German cuisine, handicrafts and more, it won’t be long before you’re feeling festive. There’s even a carousel!
Winter Festival at Southbank (open until January 25th)
Forget Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park, head down to London’s Southbank for the festivities. Transforming this arts centre into a Nordic wonderland, there’s free and ticketed entertainment options – and of course food, drink and shopping opportunities. The location is fab and it’s also a great place to begin or end your evening.
Manchester Christmas Market (open until December 20th)
The largest of all the Markets, Manchester impresses with over 350 stalls in 10 different locations. It’s a truly European affair with a number of influences and is everything you’d expect a Christmas Market to be – and more. What I love most is the reusable mug scheme which I saw in Vienna. You put a deposit down on the mugs/glasses and if you don’t return them to get your money back, you are welcome to keep them. It’s a great concept and I love my Vienna mug.
Have you been to any Christmas Markets this year? Which ones would you recommend?
Love, Lucy xx