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10 most wonderful christmas markets to visit this year in the UK

a couple looking at a christmas market stall together

If you need foodie inspiration this winter, get yourself down to one of the UK’s best Christmas markets. Here we round up 10 of the best. Why not book your mobile catering van a pitch for next year?

Taking your mobile catering business on the road at winter time has lots of benefits but also brings a range of risks for business owners and their vehicles. A key way to keep your business profitable is to have the right insurance for your needs and budget.

The team of specialists at Mobilers are here to guide you through any questions you have about getting the right for your business. Give us a call today before securing your next market pitch.

You may also want to take a look at some of the best UK cities that you can set your business up at to try and drive up your revenue throughout the year. We've written a piece of which cities are the best for food trucks to trade in and why, check it out and see if your city is on the list.

Our festive countdown of Christmas markets to visit

There’s really nothing quite like a Christmas market to inspire a mobile caterer with the festive spirit. With flickering fairy lights and lanterns festooned over quaint wooden chalet stalls, it’s so easy to imagine your own business at home among the delicious delicacies and steaming cauldrons of mulled wine.

Never considered a Christmas market before? The first step would be to get in contact with your local council to see who’s organising them, and then call the team at Mobilers to find the right market traders insurance for your needs.

If you’re still in the planning stages of where to pitch next year, we’ve put together this nice but naughty list of the best Christmas markets to visit in 2022.

1. Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, London

When: 18th November 2022 – 2nd January 2023

Opening times: Open seven days a week from 10am to 10pm.

Entrance fee: Pre-booking essential. Free during off-peak periods. £5 or £7.50 during peak times. Spend £25 in advance on any of the attractions online and entry is free.

When it comes to a great day out, there are few better places to visit than London, and the Christmas season is no exception.

Alongside the Oxford Street lights and Christmas displays at Harrods and Hamleys, one of the most famous and most popular Christmas events in the capital is the Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park.

Billed as the world’s best destination for festive fun, the annual event runs over six incredible weeks. With plenty of festivities, attractions, live shows, street food and more, it’s perfect fun for everyone, not just foodies.

But talking of food, street food vendors include a BBQ twist on classic Christmas dishes at Crackling Shack, Indian style fish and chips at The English Indian, German sausages at Santa’s Grill and artisan Mac n’ Cheese at The Mac Daddy.

You’ll also find the UK’s largest open-air ice rink, an ice slide, ice sculpting workshops, Zippo’s Christmas Circus, and an array of stomach-churning fairground rides. Although it might be best to leave eating and drinking until after riding the Munich Looping roller coaster!

2. Winchester Cathedral Christmas Market, Hampshire

When: 18th November – 22nd December 2022

Opening times: Sunday to Thursday 10am to 6pm, Friday to Saturday 10am to 8pm

Entrance fee: Free

Sitting beneath the shadow of the stunning Winchester Cathedral, a visit to this Christmas market is bound to bring you closer than ever to the true spirit of Christmas.

With over 100 chalet stalls offering a fabulous array of high-quality goods you might even find something worth adding to your own menu next year.

In terms of street food vendors, there will be burgers and bratwurst, churros and chestnuts but also a hog roast from Wild Garlic Catering.

And when your stomachs are full and bags are brimming with goodies, head over to the community stage for entertainment by a fabulous array of performers.

Applications to trade here closed in April. Prices for a catering chalet for the full duration of the 2022 market cost from £7,980 for a small catering chalet up to £14,700 for an extra-large catering chalet.

Better start saving for 2023!

3. Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market, West Midlands

When: 3rd November – 23rd December 2022

Opening times: Open daily from 10am to 9pm

Entrance fee: Free

A firm fixture in the city calendar, every year Birmingham’s Frankfurt Christmas Market in Victoria Square and along New Street attracts millions of revellers seeking festive fun. By far the largest authentic German market outside of Germany and Austria, if you love to offer a Teutonic twist to your food then this is a great place to set up.

While checking out the competition, why not enjoy hot bratwurst, schnitzel, and giant pretzels washed down with a mug of traditional glühwein, glass of German Weissbier or even a steaming cup of hot chocolate? All while listening to live music including traditional carol singers.

4. Manchester Christmas Markets, Lancashire

When: 10th November - 22nd December 2022

Opening times: Food and drink stalls across all locations open from 11am to 9pm every day, Monday to Sunday. Craft stalls across all locations open from 10am to 8pm every day, Monday to Sunday.

Entrance fee: Free

Wow, what a destination for a winter adventure! One of the UK's biggest and best Christmas markets, Manchester Christmas Markets has been running for over 20 years now.

With over 200 stalls spread across nine city centre sites, it’s no wonder that it draws in so many Mancunians and visitors alike to the city. From beautifully-crafted Yuletide goods to mouth-watering food and drinks the markets create an incredible festive feeling throughout the city.

This year you’ll find stalls and attractions at Piccadilly Gardens (renamed the Winter Gardens), Market Street, Cathedral Gardens, Exchange Street, New Cathedral Street, St Ann's Square, Exchange Square, The Corn Exchange, and King Street. Each having its own distinctive character and offering something entirely unique for the festive visitor.

When it comes to food and drink such a large event will have countless highlights. But we’re looking forward to salt and pepper chicken fries from Yard & Coop, Bar 3’s famous Instagram-worthy smoking cocktails, and mouth-watering currywurst from The Witch House in New Cathedral Street.

Oh, and we can’t forget the deep-fried Korean half n’ half hot dogs from Crunch at Piccadilly Gardens. They’ll keep you coming back for more.

5. Bath Christmas Market, Bath, Somerset

birdseye view of bath christmas market in the afternoon

When: 24th November - 11th December 2022

Opening times: Monday to Wednesday 10am to 7pm, Thursday to Saturday 10am to 8pm, Sunday 10am to 6pm.

Entrance fee: Free

Back after a two-year pause for COVID-19 and celebrating its 20th anniversary, the 2022 Bath Christmas market is set to be a real treat. Over 150 vendors selling seasonal food, drinks and gifts will be filling the historic city of Bath with a wonderful range of scents and flavours.

You’ll feel like you’ve walked straight into a scene from a Christmas rom com when wandering the stunning cobbled streets of this Somerset gem. Although munching on a large wurst smothered in sauce might dispel some of that Hollywood glamour.

Be sure to grab some handmade samosas from Punjaban to snack on later with their famous Boxing Day curry sauce with cranberries. A heavenly twist indeed to the traditional festive fare!

Bath Christmas markets always attract thousands of visitors so if you’re thinking of pitching up here, make sure your catering market trader insurance quotes include cover for public liability.

6. St Nicholas Fair, York

When: 17th November - 23rd December 2022

Opening times: Monday to Sunday 10am to 7pm.

Entrance fee: Free

Yet another chocolate box affair, the wildly popular St Nicholas Fair celebrates its 30th anniversary this year with a Christmas experience second to none. This year, as well as all the usual festive street food options, there’s the two-storey Winter Hutte.

This traditional Swiss chalet has a spectacular view over the Christmas market and promises to deliver Yorkshire food with a ‘Swiss Twist’ from Michelin-starred chef Andrew Pern. For a more informal dining experience, head downstairs to The Dog Haus for bratwurst and other tasty bites.

7. Victorian Christmas Market, Stratford-on-Avon

When: 8th December - 11th December 2022

Opening times: Thursday to Saturday 10am to 8pm, Sunday 10am to 5pm.

Entrance fee: Free

Looking for something a little bit different for your mobile catering business in 2023? Then the Victorian Christmas Market in Stratford-on-Avon provides a historical twist to the festivities and is well worth checking out.

This four-day themed event sees the whole town transformed into a Victorian winter wonderland. Be warned, if you want to be a stallholder here then you’ll need to dress up in Victorian costume including lace bonnets and stick-on sideburns – although not necessarily worn together!

This year, street food traders can be found on Wood Street, while there will also be a traditional funfair, carousel and a programme of live entertainment. The perfect place to soak up the festive spirit while planning next year’s business goals.

8. Cardiff Christmas Market, Wales

When: 10th November – 23rd December 2022

Opening times: Monday to Saturday 10am to 6pm, Sundays 10am to 5pm.

Entrance fee: Free

Running for nearly 30 years now, the Christmas market in Cardiff City Centre is the biggest event of its kind in Wales. You’ll find more than 200 stalls filling St John Street, Working Street, Trinity Street and the Hayes pedestrianised areas.

Local Welsh crafts and produce are the order of the day here, so if you’re a mobile catering business in the area then it’s certainly an event worth considering. While you ponder that question, pick up a mug of mulled wine and soak up the wonderful Welsh atmosphere and smells.

The Melted Cheese Company specialises in raclette cheese, Minot Crepes focus on French crepes and savoury galettes, while Hot Welshcakes by Mum and Me serve up hot Welshcakes and buttered Bara Brith.

A useful point to remember about this event is that there is no cut-off date for receipt of applications to take part. And the organisers also offer part periods if you don’t want to trade for the full event schedule.

9. Edinburgh’s Christmas, Scotland

When: 25th November 2022 – 3rd January 2023

Opening times: On most days the markets will open from 10am to 10pm. There are slightly different opening times for 25th November, 24th-26th December, 31st December, 1st and 4th January 2023

Entrance fee: Free, although you’ll need to buy tickets for many rides and attractions.

When it comes to the winter season, few places in the world go for it quite like Edinburgh. And at the heart of the city’s world-famous festive celebrations, you’ll find the iconic Christmas Market.

Running all the way through to January, you should have plenty of time to try most of the tasty treats on offer here. And with popular attractions such as Santa Land, Forth 1 Big Wheel and Lidl’s ice rink you should be able to burn off some of those extra calories, too.

Bavarian produce and Scottish delicacies such as sweet-scented Gluhwein, crepes and sizzling venison sausages are the main foodie highlights here. Although if past years are anything to go by, you’ll also have the chance to try mulled Irn Bru and vegan pigs in blankets!

Named the ‘most Instagrammable’ Christmas market in the UK, Edinburgh may be the perfect place to try out your mobile photography skills. If you need a bit of guidance then first read our Instagram best practice tips for mobile catering vans.

10. Belfast Christmas Market, Northern Ireland

When: 19th November – 22nd December 2022

Opening times: Monday to Wednesday 10am to 8pm, Thursday to Saturday 10am to 10pm, Sunday 12 noon to 6pm.

Entrance fee: Free

Set against the stunning illuminated backdrop of Belfast City Hall at Donegall Square, the Belfast Christmas Market is regarded as one of THE places to get your fill of international cuisine – while also grabbing a couple of Christmas gifts into the bargain.

With over 100 stalls, an incredible food court, vintage helter skelter and carousel and plenty of local entertainment, you’ll have a great time ‘researching’ next year’s must-visit event.

Tasting some of the foodie treats on offer here will take you through the foods of an incredible 32 countries from all over the world. For example, a tasting tour could include crêpes from France, gluhwein from the prize-winning Kochem vineyard in Germany, Dutch pancakes, Belgian chocolates, exotic ostrich and crocodile burgers, Spanish paella and sweets from Italy.

When you’re busy enjoying yourself, be sure to check out the range of kitchen equipment these Christmas market traders need to keep their businesses running smoothly. If you think you might need some expensive appliances then it’s definitely worth looking at what catering market trader insurance quotes will cover you for.

No matter what time of year, if you’re arranging catering market trader insurance quotes in the UK then you really need to speak to the team at Mobilers to make sure everything’s covered.

Which Christmas market could be right for your street food business? 

birdseye view of christmas market at night

The 10 markets we’ve listed above are just a small selection of the many Christmas markets that fill the streets of the UK during the months of November and December. From Aberdeen and Andover to Swansea and Salisbury, almost every town and city you can think of will have its own plans for a Christmas celebration.

There are so many different issues to weigh up when considering if a Christmas market is right for your business. For example, if you have your own catering van then you might think it’s better to travel to a smaller market where you can trade from your vehicle rather than paying extra to rent a chalet.

Be aware that while many of the more established markets attract large numbers of visitors, this might not always be ideal for your business. A big increase in your sales is great news, but this can also lead to organisers charging stallholders more and having restrictive terms about how your stall should look and what equipment you can have on site.

You might also want to decide whether to go for just one large market that lasts for the whole period, such as Edinburgh’s market, or take in several markets that last a shorter amount of time. Some areas have a whole series of Christmas markets and events running during the season.

And remember, Christmas is not the only gig in town during the winter months. There’s a wide variety of local events that go on throughout the season. For just a few examples, take a look at our Mobilers guide to some of the best winter events for food trucks.

Before signing up to an event, always ask what the market’s insurance covers. Catering catering market trader insurance quotes can cover a range of different options and you want the policy you choose to fit right in.

The team at Mobilers is always keen to be of service during the winter season, and not just to help find you the best catering market trader insurance quotes. Other helpful articles worth reading on our blog include:

When preparing your mobile catering business for Christmas be sure to get a range of catering market trader insurance quotes before you start.

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