Although a trip to a European Christmas Market is a great opportunity for students to explore and learn in unique surroundings, you don’t have to go further afield when there are so many great Christmas Markets across the UK.
A trip to a Christmas market will not only encourage social bonding but it is an excellent way to reward your pupils at the end of a long term. The WST team have got into the festive spirit and found some of the best Christmas Markets to visit throughout the UK, which are easily accessible.
Manchester Christmas markets
There really is something for everyone at the Manchester Christmas Market, with mouth-watering delicacies from all over Europe. From Dutch mini pancakes, to Hungarian goulash, Spanish paella and French profiteroles, your students can practice their language skills on the market traders whilst ordering their festive food.
With over 300 stalls, your students can soak up the atmosphere of a truly international event with a uniquely Northern twist. Dates for 2016 are yet to be confirmed.
Truro Christmas markets
Across November and December Truro offers a wonderful Christmas atmosphere with a wide variety of market stalls covering food, drink, gifts, arts, crafts etc. You can be sure to find some of the best food in the country with the team from Jamie Oliver's "Fifteen Cornwall" exhibiting in recent years.
The annual Truro Victorian Christmas market, however, is what makes this event stand out from the crowd. From 13th -18th December 67 traders, producers and exhibitors are housed in a huge heated marquee. There is likely to be entertainment for the children with theatre perfomers entrancing young and old alike, as they walked around the marquee with their interactive performance art.
Exeter Christmas markets
Exeter Market offers visitors a journey around the globe with over 50 different traders. To celebrate the arrival of the Christmas market there are free tours for school and community groups available, lasting up to 45 minutes, providing a unique and entertaining insight into the world of Christmas Markets.Dates for 2016 are yet to be confirmed.
Edinburgh Christmas markets
Edinburgh Christmas market features a special market just for children,
situated in its Santa Land. From the 20th November - 4th January, you'll find the magical children's market playing host to a selection of festive, child-friendly festive experiences perfect for primary school aged children. Or for the older pupils, there’s the European Market in the heart of the city offering up various crafts, gifts and gastronomic surprises.
Bath Christmas markets
With over 170 traditional wooden chalets lining the streets, Bath Christmas Market is regularly voted amongst the most popular events within the UK and is one not to miss. With over 70 percent of the stallholders being businesses from Bath and the surrounding regions, this offers a real British twist on the traditional European Christmas market. Held from the 24th November to 11th December, it’s definitely worth a visit.
London Christmas markets
You're spoilt for choice with London's offering of Christmas markets! Often London's independent designers are out in force, with all manner of handmade crafts and gifts.
To help you whittle down your choice, we recommend a visit to Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park, London's largest Christmas market. With rides, Christmas markets, an ice rink, circus shows and even an Ice Kingdom, it is a great place for school groups to visit. It does tend to be very busy at weekend so we would suggest visiting during the week to ensure you get to make the most of it.
European Christmas markets
If you're interested in going somewhere a bit further afield we also offer trips to Lille, Aachen and Cologne Christmas Markets.
Some of the unique trips include the Rudolfplatz market, known for its fairy-tale theme and the Alter Market, which is great for primary aged children with its many rides, puppet shows, toy stalls and Santa’s grotto. Smaller Christmas Markets include, the Medieval market and Cologne Harbour market located within the city’s famous chocolate museum. Or visit the truly unique floating Christmas market which is on board a KD cruise boat.
The Cologne Bimmelbahn Christmas Express is one of the best ways to visit the different markets as it takes you through the city of Cologne to see the sights whilst travelling from one Christmas Market to the next. Stops include the Cathedral, Alter Market, Neumarket and the Chocolate Museum, running every 15 minutes.
We’d love to hear which of the UK’s Christmas markets your school are planning on attending, or if we have missed any out, do let us know on Twitter .