Quaint wooden chalet stalls brimming with colourful crafts, scrummy food, steaming cauldrons of mulled wine, and much more, all lit by flickering fairy lights and lanterns. There really is nothing quite like a Christmas market to get you in the festive spirit. If you happen to be touring the UK in your motorhome in the lead up to 25th December, these are the best Christmas markets to visit this year. Ah, we’re feeling all toasty and snug inside just thinking about it!
Touring at winter time has lots of benefits but also brings a range of risks for travellers and their vehicles. A key way to keep your adventure on the straight and narrow is by having the right motorhome insurance for your needs. The team of insurance specialists at Motorhome Protect are here to guide you through any questions you have about getting the most out of your policy. Give us a call today!
With the pandemic at the front of many people’s minds during 2020, most Christmas markets were cancelled last year. However, it’s a different story in 2021 with the majority of markets back on track. If you’re planning on visiting a great Christmas market this year, please check the relevant websites before you travel to check whether they are taking place. But then again, when you’re a motorhome owner, you could just cruise on by and find the next adventure!
Best Christmas markets in England
Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, London
Opening dates: 19th November 2021 – 3rd January 2022
London never does things by halves, and Christmas markets are no exception. Arguably the most famous and most popular Christmas event in the capital, Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park is great fun for the whole family.
Running over six exciting weeks, this annual event has plenty of festivities, attractions, live shows, street food and more. Not to mention the UK’s largest open-air ice rink and ice slide! There are over 100 rides and attractions on site, and more than 200 stalls offering an array of fine foods and gifts to tempt even the most jaded West End shopper. For older attendees there are many opportunities to indulge in German beer, DJ sets and even an ice bar! Winter Wonderland will also play host to Zippos Christmas Circus, where visitors can be dazzled by world-class aerial acrobatics.
As with so many Christmas markets this year, you need to book tickets in advance. Entry is free during off-peak periods and costs £5 or £7.50 during peak times. But once you’re in, you can stay as long as you like! And if you spend £20 on any of the attractions online and in advance, entrance is free.
Where to stay: One of the best motorhome sites in London, Crystal Palace Caravan and Motorhome Club Campsite has a forest-like feel to it. Perfect for access to Central London locations like Hyde Park.
Winchester Cathedral Christmas Market, Hampshire
Opening dates: 19th November – 22nd December
It’s easy to see why this Christmas event attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors every year to this bustling and handsome cathedral city. Sitting in the heart of the stunning Winchester Cathedral grounds, under the shadow of its spire, you’ll never get closer to the true spirit of Christmas. There’s around 125 chalet stalls brimming with a high-quality array of Christmas goods, food and drink. And when you’re all shopped-out, head over to the community stage and prepare to be entertained by a fabulous array of performers. Also keep an ear out for the world-famous Winchester cathedral’s choir services throughout December.
Where to stay: Escape from the hustle and bustle of modern life at the charming Yew Tree Cottage camping and caravan site. This rustic site has great access to Winchester and offers picture perfect sunrises!
Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market, West Midlands
Opening dates: 4th November – 23rd December
Birmingham’s Frankfurt Christmas Market in Victoria Square and along New Street attracts a mind-boggling 5 million visitors every year. Making it the largest authentic German market outside of Germany and Austria. So, if you really want to experience the Christmas buzz without travelling to Europe, this is the place to come. Enjoy a mug of glühwein or glass of German weissbier, hot bratwurst and giant pretzels while listening to live music and traditional carol singers.
Over the years, Birmingham's singing Christmas moose (also known as Chris Moose) has become a big Christmas draw in his own right. Serenading visitors in need of Christmas cheer directly in front of the Council House entrance. Be sure to take a spin on the big wheel or ice rink and maybe take a one-horse ride through the German Market on the fantastic ornate carousel. You’re guaranteed an unmissable Christmassy atmosphere and a lot of fun for both young and old.
Where to stay: Just to the south of Birmingham and very conveniently located, Chapel Lane Caravan and Motorhome Club campsite is very rural with a countryside feel. Why not pop into Cadbury World on the way into Birmingham to really complete the magical experience?
Manchester Christmas Markets, Lancashire
Opening dates: 12th November to 22nd December
Unarguably one of the UK's largest and most beautiful Christmas markets, Manchester Christmas Markets are an ideal destination for a festive outing. First arriving in the city in 1999, the Christmas markets have grown every year since. This year the markets are spread across six city centre squares where you can stroll past hundreds of beautifully crafted stalls. From finely-crafted Yuletide goods to mouth-watering food and drinks the markets create an incredible festive buzz in the heart of the city. From food and drink in St Ann’s Square and gifts in Market Street to the French-themed King Street and the family-focused Cathedral Gardens, each has its own distinctive character and offers something for every festive visitor.
If you’re visiting with family then be aware there’s a new family-friendly Winter Gardens attraction in the heart of the city at Piccadilly Gardens. This will run beyond the closing of the Christmas Markets until 3rd January 2022.
Where to stay: From relaxing walks through the winter countryside to the nostalgic East Lancashire Steam Railway nearby there’s lots to see and do at Burrs Country Park Caravan and Motorhome Club campsite. Very handy for trips into Manchester using the direct tramlink.
Best Christmas markets in Wales
Cardiff Christmas Market, Wales
Opening dates: 11th November – 23rd December
Running for over 20 years now, the Cardiff organisers have got plenty of treats in store for visitors this year. More than 200 stalls fill the pedestrianised streets of Cardiff city centre, showcasing unique gifts, local crafts and produce. Pick up a mug of mulled wine and soak up the wonderful Welsh atmosphere. There’s also an ice rink and ice walk at the nearby Winter Wonderland site at Cardiff Castle. While at City Hall Lawn you can find family funfair attractions, a ski lodge bar and an ice bar. With sub-zero temperatures and everything made out of ice, it’s an Instagrammers’ dream!
Where to stay: A rural setting in the heart of the Welsh capital, Cardiff Caravan and Camping Park is an ideal base from which to explore the city and surrounding areas. Be aware that during the winter season some roads can prove difficult. Make sure you’ve got motorhome insurance to deal with any winter driving risks you might encounter.
Swansea Christmas Market, Wales
Opening dates: 26th November – 21st December
Strolling around the streets and shops of Swansea at this time of year is a truly magical experience. Think talented crafters and traditional traders, the perfect place for a Christmas shopping expedition to get something for that special person.
Where to stay: The award-winning 5-star River View Touring Park boasts an enviable rural setting, perfectly placed to explore the beauty of south Wales.
Best Christmas markets in Scotland
Edinburgh’s Christmas, Scotland
Opening dates: 20th November – 4th January 2022
Edinburgh's Christmas celebrations are renowned throughout the world, and at their heart is the iconic Christmas Market. Running for six weeks, all the way into the new year you’ll have plenty of time to try the tasty treats on offer here. We’re particularly intrigued by the prospect of mulled Irn Bru and vegan pigs in blankets!
And it’s not just your stomach that will be well taken care of. You can hopefully strike a few things off the Santa-list, too. From Harry Potter-themed gifts to local handmade produce, there’s something to stick in the stocking of every member of the family. This year the event is being held at East Princes Street Gardens where visitors can also enjoy the big wheel, ice rink and even a magical visit to Santa’s Grotto.
Where to stay: The brilliantly convenient Edinburgh Caravan Club site is located within easy reach of the city centre and its seasonal delights. It’s perfectly placed for you to enjoy the fun but not be troubled by big crowds and noise when you want to get some rest in time for Santa’s visit.
Aberdeen Christmas Village, Scotland
Opening dates: 18th November – 31st December
This spectacular family event takes place in Broad Street and the Upperkirkgate area of the city and features a remarkable range of attractions. A spectacular open air ice rink, local Christmas Market, delicious food and drinks in the Village Square, and a wonderful festive fairground with both new and returning attractions!
Not forgetting that at certain peak times in the run up to Christmas, the popular Curated in the Quad market returns to Marischal College Quadrangle. Curated by local children’s charity Charlie House, each week this special event will showcase a unique line up of local crafts, arts and gifts, along with gourmet food and drink.
Where to stay: After all that fun and excitement you’ll probably be in need of a well-earned rest. Award-winning Deeside Holiday Park is a tranquil retreat in a valley location, providing the perfect winter holiday getaway.
Best Christmas market in Northern Ireland
Belfast Continental Christmas Market, Northern Ireland
Opening dates: 20th November – 23rd December
The continental-themed Belfast Christmas Market set in the grounds of City Hall is the perfect place to get your fill of international gifts, food and drink. With over 100 chalets, a food court, vintage helter skelter and plenty of local entertainment you’ll have a great time! There are foodie treats arriving from an incredible 32 countries from all over the world. A tasting tour could include crêpes from France, Dutch pancakes, Belgian chocolates, an exotic range of ostrich, wild boar and crocodile burgers, giant bratwurst, Spanish paella and sweets from Italy. Just remember, don’t scoff it all at once!
Be aware, it was recently announced that all visitors will need to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test before entry.
Where to stay: Just 15 minutes outside Belfast city centre, Dundonald Touring Caravan Park is a calm and peaceful location from which to explore Belfast and the scenic County Down coast.
When you’re busy shopping-‘til-you’re-dropping it can be all too easy to forget how much you’re spending. If you are in the market for expensive Christmas gifts then it might be worth looking at what contents insurance your motorhome insurance policy covers. Speak to the team at Motorhome Protect to make sure everything is covered.
Best Christmas markets in Europe
From Bruges in Belgium and Leipzig in Germany to Vienna in Austria and Budapest in Hungary there are some truly fantastic Christmas markets to visit further abroad. If you fancy a longer trip then make sure your motorhome insurance covers you for travel to Europe – Motorhome Protect’s does!
Protecting your motorhome the right way
Just like Santa’s team of elves, our insurance specialists are dedicated to finding cover that’s just right for you.
Our motorhome insurance can include benefits such as:
- Cover for vehicles valued up to £120,000
- Cover for camping personal effects up to £3,500
- Unlimited mileage cover
- Up to 6 months to complete a self-restoration
Call us for a quote for motorhome and campervan insurance today.