14 best Christmas markets near Bucks & Oxon
Is it even Christmas if you haven't eaten scalding chestnuts from a chalet hut? Do your festive shopping right this year with these 14 merry markets within an hour of Bucks & Oxon
Christmas Fair, Waddesdon Manor, Bucks, 13 Nov – 23 Dec
This bustling market, with its fairytale Rothschild manor backdrop, boasts charming wooden chalets, fragrant festive food, and an array of local artisan gifts. Don’t miss the amazing light trail in the grounds, while you’re there.
Christmas Market, Blenheim Palace, Oxon, 19 Nov – 19 Dec
Blenheim Palace’s whole Christmas experience this year is well-worth a visit — think an illuminated trail and The Nutcracker re-imagined within the Palace’s rooms — but the market is always a dead cert. Expect boutique, artisan chalets, and plenty of refreshments.
Oxford Christmas Market, 9-19 Dec
The city of dreaming spires will be dreaming of a white Christmas at this bustling market, packed with carol-singing choirs, artisan gifts, and plenty of mulled wine. Pick up some unique local gifts, catch a glimpse of Father Christmas, and enjoy plenty of festive treats.
Victorian Christmas Fayre, Newbury, Berks 3-5 Dec
Dig out your crinolines, hat, furry muff, Newbury’s going back in time to create a Christmas Card pretty vision of the festive season. OK so you don’t have to go in fancy dress unless that’s how you roll. But expect 100+ retailers, stall holders, pubs, restaurants and entertainers to be channeling A Christmas Carol. This is a traditional Christmas market with all jingle bells on. Choirs, vintage carousel, mulled wine and the chance to smash through your gift list.
Christmas Market, Cheltenham, Glos, 20 Nov – 19 Dec
The yuletide market in Regency Cheltenham is back and bigger than ever for 2021. Expect twinkling stalls festooning the pedestrianised Promenade streets, and stalls packed with unique treats, gifts and handmade Christmas decorations. Once you’ve shopped your fill, feast on giant Bratwurst, or an exotic selection of ostrich and crocodile burgers (no lie!), macaroons from Italy, local fudge, and the very best cheeses. There’s also a Christmas Craft Market on the High Street from 11 – 23 December.
Frankfurt Christmas Market, Birmingham, 4 Nov – 23 Dec
Pretzels, bratwursts and schnitzels washed down with steins of beer and mugs of steaming gluhwein – is it even Christmas until you’ve been to a German market? You can’t miss this one: it’s the largest outside of Germany and Austria, smack in the middle of Birmingham, and is generally blasting traditional Bavarian music. You can stock up on quirky gifts, glass baubles and wooden decorations — who are we kidding, though? We’re just there for the food, drink, and festive vibe.
Festive Fayre, Hampton Court Palace, 3-5 Dec
What royal surroundings for a market! Enjoy singalong festive classics from the East Front Bandstand, indulge in Christmas-style street food and festive drinks, and make plenty of time to browse the unique gift stalls.
Winchester Cathedral’s Christmas Market, Hants, 19 Nov – 22 Dec
Hampshire’s biggest and most atmospheric, German-style Christmas Market is back at Winchester Cathedral. Sip mulled wine and have a good old mooch around the alpine-style chalet stalls around the inner close.
Tewkesbury Christmas Market, Tewkesbury, Glos
Historic Tewkesbury is the backdrop for this Christmas market, which this year will be taking over parts of the High Street, Church Street and Barton Street. Filled with fairground rides , a performance stage, various activities and 100 Christmas market stalls, it’s one not to be missed. You’ll get the chance to feed reindeer, meet the cast of The Roses Pantomime who’ll be all dressed up, and there’s even free parking in town. A Christmas miracle!
Hertford Castle Christmas Market, Herts, 26 Nov and 27-28 Nov
For the first time, the grand Hertford Castle will be the backdrop for a Festive spectacular. The Castle Lawn will be filled with market stalls, festive entertainment and food to warm those cockles. And don’t miss the Christmas Gala on 26th where you can shop local ’til you drop in the town centre and soak up the atmosphere.
Tring Christmas Festival, Herts, 27 Nov
Tring’s Christmas Festival is the town’s biggest free event – the High Street is closed off to traffic and becomes jam-packed with stalls offering gifts and food as well as mulled wine and gin cocktails from the likes of Puddingstone Distillery. There’ll be funfair rides and Tring’s schools and dance academies will be out in force singing their hearts out in the church square as the shops keep their doors open for some late night shopping, discounts and often free nibbles, too. And don’t miss the light display and Christmas tree comp in the Memorial Garden.
CHRISTMAS IN THE CITY
Winter Wonderland, Hyde Park, 19 Nov – 3 Jan
Back for its 15th year, Winter Wonderland is more Christmas microcosm than market, but it has that too! Then once you’ve suitably shopped, sampled, and perused, you can head onto the fairground rides, ice sculpting workshops, Santa Land, and ice rink. New for this year is the obligation to book ahead which – fingers crossed – will reduce the mega crowds.
Winter Market, Southbank Centre, until 23 Dec
Wander along the Thames and revel in twinkling lights, indulgent street food, and giftable goodies. Tip: don’t miss the gooey fondue eaten out of transparent snow globes, from Jimmy’s Lodge. Insta-catnip!
Kingston Christmas Market, Kingston-upon-Thames, 18 Nov – 24 Dec
It’s the outskirts of London, but this European-style Christmas market makes Kingston well worth a visit. Thing hog rolls, twinkling lights, a vintage carousel, and gorgeous gifts to buy from Alpine cabins. See you there!