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Guide to the United Kingdom Christmas Market Scene

The holiday season has finally descended upon us! The past two years have seemed to dampen the excitement of even the most festive days of the year. However, Christmas 2021 seems to be more lively than its predecessor, and as close to back to normal as one could have hoped. Over the past few weeks, I have witnessed this myself as I embraced the holiday spirit and visited some of the UK’s most bustling Christmas hotspots. Below, I have put together a list of the best markets I have been lucky enough to experience and a few of the major ones on my bucket list! 

Christmas at Harrods

London, England

Located in London, Harrods’ Christmas pop-up market does not disappoint. You will find gifts for just about anyone here — the bookstore section was my favourite of all. The decor, christmas tunes, and holiday ambience beneath the bustling city of London had my serotonin levels spiking. 

More details can be found here

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland 

London, England

The Hyde Park Winter Wonderland is arguably one of the most picturesque Christmas events in the world. Not only is it famous for an incredible Christmas Market, but also for the skating rink, shows, and amusement rides. The Hyde Park Winter Wonderland was one of my best memories as a kid, and visiting it again with friends now was a whole new experience. The pop up bars and the Christmas themed nightlife were the perfect way to kick off the start of the holiday season. 

More details can be found here.

Bonus: Mayfair, London 

London, England

Mayfair, though not a Christmas Market, is definitely an area to hit if you are in search of holiday-related activities in London. I recommend driving through Bond street at night to admire the Hallmark movie set-like setup. 

More details can be found here

Edinburgh’s Christmas 

Edinburgh, Scotland 

Scotland’s beloved Princes Street converts into a blissful Christmas Market during the holiday season that attracts visitors from far and wide every winter. Between the vendors, rides, and drinks — I was so excited I was there that I barely noticed the fact I couldn’t feel my hands in the cold! Trust me, there is no better way to celebrate the end of finals and beginning of the holidays than grabbing your friends for a quick trip to Edinburgh’s Christmas Market. 

More details can be found here

Nottingham Christmas Market 

Nottingham, England

Though I have not yet visited myself, many of my English born and bred friends have let me in on the gem that is the Nottingham Christmas Market. One of the biggest Christmas Markets in the UK, it hosts vendors from all over England, as well as rides and pop-up bars throughout the market. With so many keen to attend the annual holiday even last year, it was shut down after just 1 day as it was impossible to control the crowds amid a Tier 3 lockdown. However, with no current restrictions in place the festivities are back again, and is definitely a spot worth visiting.

More details can be found here

Sophia Khan

St Andrews '24

Hi there! My name is Sophia and I am a Canadian studying at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. I'm currently studying Sustainable Development and Management. I love to travel and have visited over 20 countries! I enjoy any topics in the sphere of health, wellness and fitness.
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