One of the joys of December is being able to spend an afternoon, or early evening, wandering around a traditional Christmas market. Whether you’re browsing handmade crafts, feasting on toasted almonds or enjoying a hot cup of mulled wine. Luckily, there are plenty of places to do just that across the UK during the festive season.

The traditional Christmas market originated in Germany – where you can still find some of the best Christmas markets in the world. The opening of the December market marks the start of Advent in Germany, Austria and Switzerland where winter festivals and festive tradition are defining cultural features.

Christmas markets in the UK get better every year, so you won’t have to travel as far as Vienna or Dresden to experience the glorious Yuletide spirit of the traditional German Christmas market!

Bath

Starting with perhaps the most famous Christmas market in England, Bath is the perfect host for such a festive event. With its splendid Georgian architecture, quaint boutiques and cobbled streets, Bath truly shines at Christmas time, with the award-winning Christmas market as its glistening centrepiece.

Browse handmade jewellery, unique homeware and hundreds of other kinds of artisan gifts that will delight your relatives this Christmas.

Head over to Cote Brasserie in Bath after you have filled your bags with gorgeous goods from the market, where you can relax in the warm, away from the crowds.  We are situated just by Bath Abbey so make sure you look out for the carol singers who perform frequently outside.

Chester

This bustling historic city is a fantastic place to visit in the run up to Christmas as the streets come alive with Christmas cheer. In Chester, a city soaked in Roman, Saxon and Victorian heritage, you can really enjoy that old-time festive atmosphere that makes Christmas feel extra special.

There are over 70 lovely wooden chalets housing the local artisan goods and foods, weaving around a large sparkling Christmas tree in the heart of the city. Twinkling fairy lights dangle above this festive market scene, so late afternoon or dusk is the perfect time to visit to fully enjoy its sparkling charm.

Afterwards, come and warm up at Cote Brasserie Chester and sample our Christmas menu in a restored Grade II listed building. The perfect December day out!

York

York takes Christmas so seriously that they have a whole Christmas festival dedicated to transforming this medieval city into a ‘festive fairytale’ in the run up to Christmas. This includes the St Nicholas Fair (the Christmas market) with the Yorkshire Barn next door where you can enjoy some festive themed Yorkshire fare.

You can also go ice-skating, slide down an old-fashioned helter-skelter or enjoy a series of festive theatrical spectacles across York theatres that will delight the whole family.

Once you have exhausted these fun winter festive attractions, head over to Cote Brasserie York for a French bistro meal in an elegant setting, to round off a perfect festive day.

Birmingham

Birmingham’s Frankfurt Christmas market is now legendary and ‘the largest authentic German Christmas market outside of Germany or Austria’, according to their webiste. You will find a wide variety of traditional gifts, goods and festive foods for sale across this huge sprawling German market. There’s also live music on Victoria square, as well as plenty of gluhwein and weissbeer to consume under the fairy lights.

Once you’ve had enough of the crowds, head to Cote Brasserie Birmingham, centrally located a few minutes’ walk from the O2 Academy, and sample our French inspired Christmas menu.

Leeds

The annual Christkindelmarkt in Leeds takes place on Millennium square, and is full of the joys of Christmas. You can shop for handcrafted Christmas presents, festive produce, enjoy warming drinks and let the kids loose on the carousel or even have breakfast with Santa Claus in the Alp chalet.

This magical winter wonderland also comes alive with costumed characters and a variety of creative arts performances so there is something for everyone there this December.

Cote Brasserie Leeds is conveniently situated inside Trinity shopping centre, just half a mile away from this bustling festive market, making it the perfect place to go and relax after an afternoon of Christmas shopping.

Oxford

Here’s another enchanting city where the festive season cheer and traditional Yuletide scenery looks as at home there as its libraries and old university buildings.

Wander through this traditional market with the sound of carol singing and the aroma of mulled spices drifting through the air. There will be near daily performances from choirs from in and around Oxford so make sure you catch at least one.

End your day at this magical Christmas market at Cote Brasserie Oxford, where you can shelter from the chilly air and indulge in our Christmas menu full of authentic French dishes.

Cirencester

Who wouldn’t want to visit a Christmas market in a historic town in the Cotswolds? Is there a more idyllic festive outing?

There isn’t just one festive market in Cirencester, but a series of arts and crafts markets, farmers markets, gift markets and sparkling advent markets. The festive market diary is packed right up until the 22nd of December so be sure to come down and have a proper festive shopping experience in this pretty town.

Of course, no trip to Cirencester is complete withut a trip down historic Black Jack Street where you will find Cote Brasserie Cirencester, a traditional French brasserie in amongst the small boutiques on this famous old street which may date back as far as 1509.

There are many other places across the UK where you will find a traditional Christmas market this month. We hope you enjoy visiting one or two of them this year!