The best UK Christmas markets have been revealed – and London’s not on the list

Although originating in Germany, Christmas markets are now a firm tradition here in the UK, and can be found in cities all across the country in the lead up to Christmas. They’re great for finding handmade Christmas presents or for just getting yourself in the festive mood – just the smell of roasted chestnuts, Glühwein and bratwurst is enough to cheer even the biggest of scrooges out there.

Manchester christmas market
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But which is the best UK Christmas market? To answer that question, independent holiday cottage agency My Favourite Cottages analysed the latest available Google and social media data to discover which are the best UK Christmas markets to visit this year – and the results may surprise you.

They analysed 30 of the most popular Christmas markets around the UK and gave each a score out of 10, taking into account all manner of factors, including the expected number of stalls, number of days the market is running in 2021, typical visitor numbers, entrance fee and if there is the opportunity to meet Santa.

Manchester christmas market
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Given that it’s the capital, you might be surprised to learn that London does not appear on the list. In fact, it’s Manchester that tops the charts for 2021. With an overall score of 8.39 out of 10, the Manchester Christmas Market scored highly across all eight factors analysed, including having 300 stalls, running for one of the longest periods of almost six weeks and recording approximately 9 million visitors at its last event.

‘Manchester’s Christmas Market is arguably the most popular online, garnering the most online interest in the last year with over 114k Google searches, surpassing the ever-popular Winter Wonderland in London’s Hyde Park, which saw just 82k searches in comparison (total Google searches October 2020-September 2021) and only scored 5.82 overall – placing it 12th out of the 30 markets analysed,’ reads the report.

Manchester christmas market
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The top 10 best UK Christmas markets are as follows (with scores out of 10):

  1. Manchester Christmas Market (8.39/10)
  2. Birmingham Christmas Market (8/10)
  3. York Christmas Market (6.68/10)
  4. Glasgow Christmas Market (6.57/10)
  5. Bristol Christmas Market (6.47/10)
  6. Blackpool Winter Gardens Market (6.38/10)
  7. Canterbury Christmas Market (6.28/10)
  8. Brighton Christmas Market (6.18/10)
  9. Sheffield Christmas Market (6.14/10)
  10. Stratford Upon Avon Victorian Christmas Market (6.12/10)

READ MORE: This surprising city has the cheapest Christmas markets in Europe