Christmas is just around the corner. It's a time of celebration, magic and laughter. Here's our Islander list of the top markets to visit this year if you're wanting to avoid the high street chaos and have a Christmas shopping experience that's full of festive spirit.
Sip Eggnog in Edinburgh.
Being one of the most festive cities, the Scottish capital has expanded it's celebrations in to three beautiful markets. If you're seeking a traditional Christmas experience, head to the East Princes Street Gardens. For more of a unique market to get your hands on some handmade presents, take a trip to the West George Street Market where you will find all sorts of crafted delights.
PS. Don't forget to visit the Christmas Tree maze whilst your there, for an unforgettable (and hilarious) experience!
Experience the magic in Manchester.
One of the biggest and best in the UK, Manchester boasts an award-winning Christmas market that stretches over 10 sites, attracting millions of visitors each year. The main market hub can be found at Albert Square in front of Manchester Town hall where you can join in the celebrations whilst sipping on a warm mulled wine and browsing the stalls for an eclectic mix of gift ideas.
Wrap up warm for Hyde Park's Winter Wonderland.
London's borough-sized Christmas festival is taking over Hyde Park until January 1. There is so much to enjoy here, from a ferris wheel offering spectacular views of the park and London skyline to a showcase of incredible ice sculptures. A guaranteed great day out and one of our personal favourites!
A White Christmas in Winchester.
The Winchester Christmas Market is a German-style fair with glowing chalets and an impressive ice rink. If you’re looking for Christmas gifts that you won’t find on the high street, from jewellery and paintings to fancy wines and food, this market has everything you need.
Ring the Bells in Birmingham.
One of the best markets for last minute gifts, as it's open daily right up until Christmas Eve. Birmingham's Frankfurt Christmas Market can be found in the city centre with hundreds of stalls offering a wide range of delights such as quirky gifts and mouth-watering refreshments. Take the celebrations in to the evening and enjoy a mulled cider at their Christmas bar whilst listening to the live local music.
Christmas in Cardiff.
A fairy-tale scene can be discovered in the heart of the city centre at Cardiff this Christmas. The city hosts 80 independent stalls where you will discover a rolling programme of hundreds of artists and craftspeople, whose hand-made gifts feature alongside artisan food and drink.