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Best Christmas Markets in the UK 2021

Plan your festive break using this handy guide


Parkdean Resorts by Parkdean Resorts on 25/10/2021
Mother and child enjoying a Christmas market

With the festive season fast approaching, there’s no better time to start making plans for over the Christmas period. Christmas is a magical time of year for kids and adults alike, and a visit to a Christmas market is one annual tradition that can’t be beaten. At Parkdean Resorts, we aren’t strangers to a bit of Christmas cheer, with lots of exciting festive activities and holidays available over the Christmas period. If you’re not up for venturing into the city for your winter break this year, then fear not because we’ve got our very own amazing Festive Winter Wonderland right on park!

Where in the UK has the best Christmas markets?

There are wonderful Christmas markets popping up all over the UK during the festive period, all filled full of excitement and seasonal fun. You can expect similar festive themes at which ever UK Christmas market you choose to visit, however they all have their own unique characteristics which attract thousands of visitors year after year. You’ll find the best Christmas markets in all of the biggest cities, which can make it hard to decide on just one to visit it, so we’ve selected some of our favourites to tell you about.

1. Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park, London

19th November 2021 -3rd January 2022

Located in the heart of London, Hyde Park Winter Wonderland is a truly enchanting day out for all of the family, where you can enjoy endless festive fun. There’s fairground rides, food, drinks, spectacular shows and let’s not forget, the amazing Santaland. Whoosh down the real ice slide before boarding the famous Munich Looping rollercoaster. Marvel at the Christmas lights glistening in the winter moonlight as you enjoy a delicious bite to eat from one of the many street food market stalls. Enjoy a winter skate around the iconic Victorian bandstand or the immense view of London’s epic skyline from the Giant Wheel.

Hyde Park's Winter Wonderland

The kids will love visiting Santa’s Grotto where they can meet, greet and get given their very own present – but only if they’ve been good! And before the day is done, don’t forget to check out Santa’s Parade, before waving him off as he heads back to the North Pole with Mrs Claus to check on the elves. During off-peak periods you can enter the Winter Wonderland for free and at peak periods it costs just £5 or £7.50 - once you’re in you can stay as long as you want!

2. York Christmas Markets

November 18th 2021 - December 23rd 2021

As already one of Britain’s most spectacular cities, bursting with history and stunning architecture, when the York Christmas Market rolls into town, the place is transformed into an even more wonderful place to visit. Enjoy delicious street food in Thor’s Tipi or a traditional winter warmer such as mulled wine or a luxury hot chocolate in front of a real log fire. Take a stroll through the festive market stalls, admiring the twinkling lights and taking in the seasonal smells of food that fill the air.

Friends enjoying some mulled wine together

Don’t miss out on visiting Santa’s grotto if you’ve got young kids - it’s a magical experience which they’ll love. With lots of Christmassy stalls lining the streets, visiting York at Christmas time is sure to get you in the festive spirit. You’ll find plenty of food stalls selling street food, cheeses, chutneys and chilli jam! In Kings Square, there's a vintage funfair with a helter-skelter and other fun kids’ rides. York Christmas Market festival is free to visit and you can stay for as long as you like!

3. Edinburgh Christmas Markets

19th November 2021 – 1st January 2022

Head to the Scottish capital for some festive fun this Christmas 2021 where you’ll find markets in an impressive 3 different locations. East Princes Street Gardens will be lined with beautiful wooden market stalls and twinkling lights as well as West Prince Street Gardens and The George Street market. The Edinburgh Christmas Market is one of the few places in the world where you can enjoy a mulled Irn Bru whilst waiting in line to meet Santa himself at his Grotto on Castle Street. Take a ride on the Christmas wheel to enjoy great views of the city before visiting Santa Land and the ice rink.

Edinburgh Christmas Markets

At the Edinburgh Christmas markets you can get lost in the Christmas tree maze, ride the bumper cars and, if you’re feeling daring, board the Star Flyer. As you stroll through the streets, admiring the beautiful decorations, you’ll be able to hear Christmas carols and other festive music. Don’t miss out on the delicious food made fresh in front of you by many of street food stalls that the market brings. While Edinburgh’s Christmas markets are free to enter, some attractions such as ice skating and the Christmas tree maze that have an entry fee.

4. Manchester Christmas Markets

12th November 2021 – 22nd December 2021

Voted one of the best Christmas markets in the UK, the Manchester Christmas markets are back for 2021 and better than ever! With over 100 market stalls packed full of Christmas cheer, the kids will love every minute of being here. Moving from its historic home in Albert Square, this year the heart of the markets will be located in bustling Piccadilly Gardens, which will be transformed into the Winter Gardens come mid-November. You can look forward to festive food stalls and bars, as well as markets offering up and array of unique gifts. The giant Santa will be back for 2021 with the Christmas Light trail and the ice rink in Cathedral Gardens - this year the ice rink will be almost twice the size of previous years!

Manchester Christmas Markets

Not only will the markets feature in Piccadilly Gardens but there’ll also be stalls at another six locations in the city! These will include the aforementioned Cathedral Gardens, Exchange Square, New Cathedral Street, St Ann’s Square, Kings Street and Market Street. For the first time the markets will see live music and DJs performing along with marquee seating. The kids will be able to meet Santa and enjoy a hot chocolate under the Christmas lights – you can even keep the mug as a festive souvenir!

Christmas 2021 at Parkdean Resorts

If you fancy something a little different this year, a Christmas break with Parkdean Resorts is guaranteed to get you in the festive spirit. We’ve got everything from ice skating to breakfast with Santa to make your Christmas holiday magical from start to finish.

Family enjoying a cosy lodge holiday at Christmas time

Which Parkdean Resorts’ have Christmas Markets?

For Christmas 2021, Warmwell Holiday Park, Ruda Holiday Park and Camber Sands Holiday Park welcome the Festive Winter Wonderland which will include a beautiful pop up Christmas Market. They’ll have all of the lovely traditional festive treats on offer including delicious hot chocolate, melted marshmallows, crepes and mulled wine. Enjoy browsing the stalls filled with local goods before gliding around the skating rink and then finish off your fun-filled day by meeting Santa's reindeer.

When can I visit Parkdean Resorts during the Christmas period?

You can visit selected parks and dates throughout December to enjoy some festive family fun. There’s plenty of Christmas Breaks, New Year breaks and breaks for the nights between Christmas and New Year. We’ve got plenty of exciting Christmas activities happening throughout December including shows, markets, concerts, pantomimes, live music and so much more. New Year’s Eve breaks with the family are always a night to remember, with lovely dining packages, family parties and live entertainment.

What’s On at Parkdean Resorts this Christmas 2021?

We’ve got even more festive activities lined up for you this year and they’re better than ever! Wake up on Christmas morning in your cosy lodge surrounded by your family, before exchanging gifts and heading to the Boathouse Restaurant for your Christmas Dinner. Visit the Christmas Movie Theatre where you can watch all of the best Christmas films whilst enjoying cinema snacks like popcorn, sweets and soft drinks. You can even meet Santa’s reindeer, skate and join the Elf Academy where you’ll work with Santa’s elves, making toys and having indoor snowball fights.

Ice rink at the festive winter wonderland

You can enjoy some extra exciting festive arts and crafts activities over Christmas with the chance for kids to create their own Christmas pottery and Christmas bears. Everyone loves a pantomime at Christmas, right? Well we have a classic Aladdin themed panto showing at selected parks this winter 2021 for the whole family to enjoy. Once done with all of that excitement, get down to the Showbar for some evening entertainment and Cash Bingo where you could win an extra special Christmas treat. Eyes down!

Chocolate Academy at Parkdean Resorts

Do you agree that these are the best UK Christmas Markets? Let us know your festive plans for 2021 by following us on Instagram and liking us on Facebook!