German like Christmas markets have become more and more popular and more and more plentiful in the UK. In London alone, there are new ones every year. The market at Hyde Park is still the number one site to visit. Unlike most markets this one includes a skating rink. There is also an observation wheel and circus shows as well as a huge Christmas market selling a variety of things including wooden toys and hot chocolate. Usually there is a carousel and of course Santa's grotto.
Kingston in south west London has had a Christmas market for a number of years. Buy a bratwurst and a mulled wine and then you can wander around the town. Being from North America this was great as where I come from, you have to stay in a fenced in area when you consume alcohol.
Christmas markets have sprung up on London's Southbank, beside London Bridge in the City and at Leicester Square. At Leicester Square, as well as the traditional stalls selling hand made goods and Santa's grotto, there are a lot of activities including shows for adults and children. Children can make a radio show, attend a dance workshop or direct their first play! There is stage box and Shlomo's Beatbox Adventure of Kids as well.
Throughout England, there have been terrific Christmas markets for years in Bath and Birmingham. There you can purchase typical German Christmas ornaments such as hand painted carousel that turn around by the candles in them. Other markets that are well worth going to are in Manchester, Winchester, Portsmouth, Lincoln, York, Rochester, Norwich, Skipton, Padstow, Leeds and Stratford-upon-Avon. Rochester also has a Dickensian Christmas Festival during December where people dress up in Victorian dress and do carolling.
Some of the markets are open for just a few days (as the one in Portsmouth) and some from a date in November until just before Christmas or into January.
Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland all take part in this newish Christmas tradition. Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Glasgow, Inverness all have markets but the one in Inverness is just for a few days whereas Aberdeen's runs from November 21st until December 31st. Cardiff's Christmas markets runs until December 23rd but Llandudno's finished already (November 14-17). Swansea's also runs until January 5th. Belfast enjoys in the festivities until December 22nd. They have French crepes, Dutch pancakes, Belgian chocolates and exotic burgers! At Portstewart, there are handicrafts to view and buy. The market here runs until December 19th. Dromore's Christmas Wonderland ends on December 12th. There are various other markets that are just for a day or two throughout the season.
The Christmas markets are free to go into and go along way in making dreary November and December a cheerful season! Enjoy the food, go on some rides, and buy a few handicrafts. It is such a fun activity for one and all. Happy Christmas!