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12 of the best Christmas markets near Berkshire

Is it even Christmas if you haven't eaten scalding chestnuts from a chalet hut? Do your festive shopping right this year with these 28 merry markets worth a visit in Berkshire and beyond.

It’s Christmaaaaaaaaassss! OK, not quite, but the wish lists for Santa are being written and some of us coughs are already mainlining mince pies with a Baileys chaser. But before we get to Christmas parties, carol services and panto, it’s all about festive fairs and markets. Here’s our guide to the best in Berkshire and beyond.

Victorian Christmas Fayre, Newbury, Berks 3-5 Dec

Newbury Victorian Christmas Market vintage carousel

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.

Marlborough Christmas Cracker Fair, Wilts, 18 Dec

Marlborough’s town hall is being transformed into a winter wonderland, complete with over 80 stalls of gift inspiration. Just a week before Christmas, this is the perfect event for anyone who has left present buying until the same minute (no judgement!)

Winchester Cathedral’s Christmas Market, Hants, 19 Nov – 22 Dec

Winchester Christmas market
Pic: Annie Spratt

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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!

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