Christmas Markets in the UK have roots as far back as the Middle Ages but they died out when Oliver Cromwell forbid the celebration of Christmas. Over the last few years there has been a revival in the traditional English Christmas market and today most towns and cities have one. Some UK Christmas Markets mimic their continental cousins and there are many who invite traders from France, Germany and Italy.
The Cologne Christmas Market in London takes place between the Southbank Centre and the London Eye with stalls selling handcrafted jewellery, toys and ornate Christmas decorations as well as German gingerbread hearts and roasted almonds. In the middle of the market there is a children’s carousel surrounded by stalls selling German Glühwein and Kölsch, Cologne’s local beer. The Cologne Christmas market at the Southbank is open from 21st November until 23rd December from 10 am until 10 pm every day.
London is also home to another wonderful Christmas Market in Hyde Park, which opens on the 22nd November and runs through until the 4th January. It consists of around 50 wooden stalls located around the bandstand on Serpentine Road. There is plenty to keep young children entertained with regular visits by Santa as well a variety of fairground rides. The market is open from 10 am until 10 pm every day.
The city of Bath hosts its annual Christmas Market in the churchyard of Bath Abbey next to the Roman Baths. The market starts on 27th November until 7th December from 10 am until 7 pm Monday to Wednesdays with extended opening from Thursday until Saturday until 9 pm. There are around 123 traditional wooden stalls selling a variety of Christmas gifts. More information is available at www.bathchristmasmarket.co.uk.
The Leeds Christkindelmarkt Traditional German Christmas Market in the North of England is held in the Millennium Square from 14th November until 21st December from 10.30 am until 9 pm every day except Sundays when it is open until 8 pm. It is one of the UK’s most established German Christmas markets with traditional wooden chalets selling decorations and gifts and German snack food and drink. There is also a range of children’s carousel rides and an adjoining funfair suitable for all ages. More information is available at www.festiveleeds.com.