10 of the best Christmas markets

10 of the best Christmas markets

We love a good Christmas market…there’s something about wandering those shimmering stalls with your hands around a cup of Gluhwein that just makes it feel like Christmas. So, here are 10 of our favourite markets to stock up, tuck in and just enjoy all the best things about the season.

1. Exeter Christmas Market, 19th Nov - 18th Dec

Held right on the green in the shadow of Exeter’s cathedral, Exeter Christmas market draws festive foodies from all over the county. With cobbled streets to wander and the sound of buskers in the air, this one's right in the heart of the city.

2. Padstow Christmas Festival, 1st -4th December

It's hard to imagine a prettier setting for some festive shopping than the harbour town of Padstow in North Cornwall, and with Rick Stein on hand to oversee the foodie side of things this is one of the best for chef demonstrations and Christmassy nibbles.

3. Cirencester Christmas Market, 3rd - 4th December

Listed in The Telegraph's Best Christmas Markets, this one goes all out. Choirs belt out carols and the Corn Hall finds itself bustling with shoppers looking for those unique little gifts that make a Christmas stocking extra special.

4. York Christmas Market, 17th Dec - 23rd Dec

The Shambles looks like a scene from a Christmas card the whole year through, so just imagine the atmosphere when the Christmas market comes to town. With a nostalgic feel to it that makes it one of the best, the St Nicholas Fair sees gorgeous wooden chalets line York's streets.

5. Candlelit Dartmouth, 25th - 28th November

Ok, so this one's more of a tradition than a Christmas market, but we know you'll love it if you love all things festive. Held in the historic town of Dartmouth, this event sees local children parade through the streets with the glowing lanterns they've made by hand.

6. Sherborne Festive Shopping Day, 6th December

It all happens in Sherborne on its annual Festive Shopping Day. Cheap Street closes to traffic, stalls welcome shoppers and orchestras, dancers and bands provide the entertainment. Best of all, Cheap Street Church holds the Christmas Tree Festival, so expect to see more twinkling trees than you could wish for.

7. Cowes Christmas Festival, 17th - 18th December

This one's perfectly timed for those of you who like to leave your shopping until the last minute. With Santa waiting to welcome visitors in his grotto, live music and those all-important cookery demonstrations The Cowes Christmas Festival's perfect for stocking up on those festive gifts.

8. Fowey Christmas Market, 9th - 11th December

Fowey’s one of those traditional Cornish towns that’s all about slowing down and enjoying life – and it’s Christmas market’s the perfect way to experience it. You’ll find Santa’s grotto in the Butter Market, and traditional Cornish traders will be out in force with those traditional crafts and goodies.

9. Skipton Christmas Market, 4th and 11th December

It’s Skipton Market’s 22 nd anniversary this year, and what better place to start feeling festive than in the town that’s known as the Gateway to the Dales? The market takes over the whole of the High Street, and you’ll find live entertainment while you browse.

10. Totnes Evening Christmas Market, 6th, 13th and 20th December

When Tuesday evenings roll around in December, it feels like everyone in Devon finishes work and heads to the market town of Totnes for the much-loved Christmas market evenings. Stalls line the sloping High Street, the streets' cobbles welcome traditional entertainment and everyone just has a festive good time.
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