Fairy lights, fine gifts, and a mug of mulled wine (or two...)
As the nights draw in, our city centres begin to light up with the midwinter magic of Christmas markets.
Up and down the country you'll find bustling squares filled with wooden chalets, festooned in fairy lights, and offering everything from artisanal crafts and gifts, to mouthwatering treats and live entertainment - and what better way to complete a Christmas market visit than with a celebratory stay at a nearby Macdonald Hotel?
Let's take a jolly journey through the very best Christmas markets across the UK, paired with luxurious stays courtesy of nearby Macdonald Hotels & Resorts.
Each December Glasgow Winterfest makes Buchanan Street shine bright. You'll find the quaintest crafts and plenty of naughty-but-nice treats (hot chocolate and churros anyone?) and you can even glide around the winter wonderland on an ice rink. After a day of exploration, get your skates off and find solace at Macdonald Crutherland House, a mere drive away. Its refined rooms and spa facilities offer the perfect retreat from the frosty air.
Edinburgh's Christmas Market, set against the dramatic backdrop of the Edinburgh Castle, captures the essence of the season like no other. Don't miss a spin on the Forth 1 Big Wheel to take in a unique perspective of this spectacular city. Just outside the capital, the warm welcome of Macdonald Houstoun House beckons. Indulge in some exquisite festive dining and relish the spirit of the season.
Situated beneath the gothic grandeur of Marischal College, Aberdeen's Christmas Village twinkles with joy. Take a turn on some festive fairground rides before browsing for those perfect gifts at the Curated In The Quad Market. For an unparalleled stay, Macdonald Norwood Hall Hotel on the edge of the city offers a blend of classic elegance and modern comfort, making your visit suitably merry.
North West and Central England
Find Christmas all wrapped up at Chester Christmas Market. A handmade, historical, and magical experience awaits against a backdrop of Tudor architecture, with over 70 specially-selected traders in the Town Hall Square. Complete this experience with a stay at the Macdonald New Blossoms Hotel, seamlessly merging sophistication with Chester's timeless charm.
Or do bratwurst, weissbiers and a big wheel hold appeal? Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market is the largest authentic German Christmas market in the country, with stalls offering wooden carvings, handcrafted leatherwork, and perhaps a shot or two of schnapps to make you warm inside. A stone's throw away, Macdonald Burlington Hotel has its halls decked and ready to offer you a splendidly festive city centre stay.
Don't miss the four-day Victorian Christmas Market (December 7-10) in the picturesque setting of Stratford Upon Avon. With 300 stalls adorned with handmade treasures and unique gifts, plus traders trimmed in Victorian attire, it's the place to be for Dickensian delights. Enhance this historic experience with a stay at Macdonald Alveston Manor Hotel, offering an exquisite blend of heritage and modern luxury - as well as our legendary Christmas party nights.
Shop amidst the dreaming spires with Oxford City Christmas Market. Browse through locally-made arts and crafts, stock up on delicious festive food and drinks, and find the perfect gifts for the ones you love. Elevate your visit with a fabulously festive break at Macdonald The Bear Hotel, where history meets luxury, in nearby Woodstock.
Combine the enchantment of Bath Christmas Market (running until 10th December) with the opulent hospitality of Macdonald Bath Spa Hotel for an unforgettable festive experience. Perhaps you'll purchase alapaca knitwear, divine handmade chocolates or some crafty colouring-in gift sets? Either way, Macdonald Bath Spa offers the most luxurious location in town for you to drop after you've shopped.
Southampton Christmas Market offers no end of authentic gifts - including candles, clothing, decorations and jewellery - but the magic begins at sunset with a light projection show, high-octane rides and even a Christmas Fun House too. Complete the experience with a New Forest retreat at Macdonald Botley Park Hotel & Spa, where all the comforts of Christmas await.