In the lead up to Christmas, you can’t get a better day out than travelling to one of our country’s fabulous Christmas Markets. In the last few years they have really taken off and now we are spoilt for choice when it comes to where to go. All these markets are accessible by train, in fact, it really is the best way to travel as opposed to crawling into a city centre and spending hours trying to park!
We’ve compiled a list of some of this year’s biggest markets, what to expect and how to get there which we hope you find useful. Don’t forget to use our best fare finder widget to make great savings on advance tickets.
Bristol German Christmas Market
If you are heading for Bristol, why not make for the Broadmead part of the shopping quarter and their 6th annual German Christmas Market. From 7th November right up until 22nd December you can experience a very realistic take on a traditional German market.
Complete with traditional chalets and Bavarian style beer gardens, the smell of the Gluhwein lingers in the air as the Bratwurst sausages sizzle on a traditional Schweken grill. The 38 wooden chalets are chock full of Christmas gifts and decorations, wooden toys, soaps, nativity scenes and baskets not to mention the food – waffles, liquorice, mince pies, stolen and gingerbread to name a few.
Throw in an entertainer called Der Alpen Klaus singing traditional Bavarian Christmas songs as well as old favourites, a Christmas nativity scene and a giant advent calendar and it’s a brilliant day out for the whole family.
If travelling by train, Bristol Temple Meads station is a 20 minute walk away or alternatively there are buses every 7 minutes from the station to Broadmead shopping centre and it’s a 10 minute ride. Use our best fare finder widget to plan your journey and try to book as far in advance as possible to make some great savings.
Bath Christmas market
Perhaps you’re staying the weekend in Bristol and fancy a quick 15 minute train ride to Bath to compare markets. Set in the shadow of the imposing Bath Abbey and beyond, with over 180 traditional chalets, Bath may just edge it over Bristol! Bath Christmas Market prides itself on its reputation for selling only locally sourced and produced products, making it the only noticeably British Christmas market in the country.
Running from 27th November until 14th December, you can expect to immerse yourself in an utterly festive environment. With the emphasis on Christmas presents and food and drink, wander around the market sipping a warming mulled wine whilst finding unique presents for friends and family. There are also some wonderful charity chalets selling fabulous gifts all vying for your custom. So not only does the market indulge us, it also reminds us that there are those who are considerably less fortunate and may find Christmas a struggle.
Bath Spa train station is a five minute walk from the city centre and the market, with trains coming in regularly from London Paddington and London Waterloo as well as Bristol Temple Meads. If travelling from further afield we would highly recommend looking to see if splitting your ticket can make you any savings.
Because the season gets so busy, there will be extra services laid on to cater for the demand however to ensure you get a seat, we would recommend booking your ticket in advance. Use our best fare finder widget to get the best price.
With a full programme of entertainment including carol singers, children’s entertainers and musician not to mention the services running through December in Bath Abbey providing a haunting musical backdrop, there really is no place better to be this year.
If you’re sold, why not download the free app which will help you plan your visit and ensure you get as much out of it as possible. You won’t want to miss a thing!
Edinburgh Christmas Markets
Yes plural! That’s because Edinburgh host three markets, two can be found in east Princes Street Gardens and one can be found in St Andrews Square. And the good news is they’re all less than a ten minute walk from the train station. In fact, St Andrews Square couldn’t be closer.
The Scottish Market in St Andrews Square, open from 21st November to 4th January and from 10am until 10pm every day, is a showcase of the best crafts, food and drink that Scotland has to offer. From fabulous fresh seafood to locally made cupcakes to Scottish brewed craft beer. Whether you are visiting Scotland and want some souvenirs as well as presents, or you are Scottish and want your presents to be a reflection of the pride you feel for your country, you need look no further than right here.
Not only good for shopping, it also boasts the Spiegeltent, home to a full programme of shows and productions, a helter-skelter, carousel, ice rink and bars.
Five minutes away you will find the European Christmas Market. This stretches from the mound, along East Princes Street Gardens and around the Scott Monument. This is home to crafters, gift shops and food and drink stalls.
Here you will also find Santa Land, undeniably a huge hit with the children and parents alike. With Santa’s grotto, face painting, crafts, rides and little shopping stalls, it’s a (albeit mini) market in its own right.
Use our handy best fare finder widget and book your tickets now to make great savings in advance. Edinburgh Waverley Station is the second largest station in the UK and is accessible from almost anywhere in the country. You would do well to consider splitting your ticket to make even further savings. See our useful guide (LINK) to further assist you.
If it’s the capital city you’re after, then the Christmas Market at the Southbank Centre could be just the ticket. Wooden chalets dotted along the river selling food, warming drinks, gifts and seasonal ingredients as well the RealFood Christmas Market at Southbank Centre Square with its selection of street food, ingredients and gifts, shows that the emphasis is really on the tummy here!
With Waterloo station less than a 4 minute walk away and the opportunity to carry on further and walk across Waterloo Bridge into the centre of London for more high street based Christmas shopping, the market really is a great addition to your festive day out in London.
Use our best fare finder widget to plan your journey and decide whether you need a one day travel card, which we can also hook you up with. A one day travel card can be used not only on the trains and tubes, but on unlimited bus journeys too, ideal if you’re planning to pack lots into your day.