Discover the UK’s best Christmas Markets by train

14th December 2016

Travel to London with Virgin Trains and experience Winter Wonderland

Days are shorter. Nights are cooler. Can you hear those sleigh bells ring-a-ling? Cities and towns all over the UK are brimming with merriment, excitable crowds, and faces all aglow with the anticipation of Christmas.

So leave your passport at home and grab those magazines, because we’re taking you directly to the festive focal points up and down the country. 

Travel to the finest markets on offer – no passport required

The popularity of German markets in the UK has grown at a rate of knots – so you don’t have to go far to enjoy their beautiful charm.

Charming destinations like Cologne at Christmas can be a sure-fire ticket to festive cheer. But take the train with us for a day trip to destinations such as Glasgow, Birmingham, London, and Manchester and you can shop ‘til you drop, and won’t even have to give cabin baggage allowance a second thought. And because we know that you need your energy for Christmas shopping, not city centre parking hopping, we’ll take you straight to the heart of the action at 125mph.

Travelling with little ones? There’ll be no more “are we there yet?” moments with the latest blockbusters on our free onboard entertainment app, BEAM. Quiet kids and a well-deserved mid-journey Christmas tipple from The Shop for you. You’ll soon be engulfed by the aroma of fir trees, tasty treats, and dazzled by the magic of twinkling lights. 

Our top choices for festive markets

Manchester Christmas Market

The city of the North is well known for its Christmas markets, where hundreds of traders come from all over Europe bringing traditional goods, gifts and food to sell in the market over a period of eight weeks. Some have been coming since the market was a small collection of stalls in Albert Square – and with the number growing every year, it certainly gives Manchester’s Christmas market the seal of authenticity.

Been before? This year the market promises to be bigger and better than ever before so it’ll feel like you’re experiencing Manchester’s Christmas Market for the first time, a second time round. The stalls wind their way through the centre of the city, each area with its own personality. All our Manchester-bound trains arrive at Manchester Piccadilly station, giving you the chance to explore all the market zones and snap up the best deals in record time. 

Manchester Christmas Market

Birmingham Christmas Market

New Street station is only a hop, skip and jump away from the legendary Bullring Shopping Centre and the largest authentic German market outside of Germany. We spoke to your car. It is happy staying at home.

The Frankfurt market is the crowning jewel of Birmingham’s Christmas attractions, and has been wowing the crowds since 2000. A wide range of beautiful gifts and traditional crafts take centre stage, alongside a feast of spectacular food and warming drinks for all to enjoy.

Glasgow Christmas Market

Glasgow’s George Square and St Enoch Square host traders and their stalls from across the globe. After arriving at Glasgow Central, you can taste real Bavarian beer in the German pop up bars, while taking in warm Scottish hospitality and enjoying live festive entertainment. 

London Christmas Markets

The Southbank market is a picturesque scene – perfect for taking those essential selfies against the backdrop of the famous skyline. Picture London at Christmas: the chimes of Big Ben echoing round cobbled streets, cups of fragrant, mulled wine so rich and vibrant it matches the hue of your cosy festive jumper. The capital gets wrapped in Christmas warmth from corner to corner, so there’s a magnitude of shopping destination choices.

Go east and your inner hipster will love to browse through unique local and handmade crafts and trendy brands in the East Village Makers Market (shoes without socks, actively encouraged). Or if you prefer to go all out, Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland is packed to the rafters (or tree tops) with festive fun. Ice skating, exhilarating rides and over 200 fairy light-adorned huts make this an iconic Christmas attraction not to miss.

Book a train to London with us and we’ll get you to Euston station faster than you can say ‘Glühwein.’

London Christmas Market

Need more than a day trip? Why not make a weekend of it with a Virgin Trains Escapes package

You can pack a lot into 24 hours. But we know that time can be a gluttonous, speedy thing when encouraged by festive snacks and gift-wrapping. So, our travel experts in the Virgin Trains Escapes team are at hand to help you craft the perfect Christmas market package including train travel and hotel accommodation to suit you, whatever your budget. Call 01904 431333 to speak to one of the team for the ultimate package fitted with extra bells and whistles. So the only time you’ll need to focus on is having a good one.