Pic Mark Waugh

Manchester’s Christmas markets are the best in the UK.

From traditional wursts to Yorkshire pudding wraps, Christmas dinner cheese toasties, halloumi fries and hot cookie dough, when it comes to Christmas market scran, no one does it quite like Manchester

And there’s so much great produce to get your hands on too: great braids of garlic, aromatic sausages, a wealth of cheese from all over Europe. baklava, bread, chocolate. You name it, Manchester’s Christmas markets have got it.

And that’s just the food.

We’re a bit biased, of course. But now it’s official.

Because Booking.com have conducted some research to find the best Christmas markets in the UK, and Manchester has topped the list.

The findings were based on endorsements from international Booking.com users who have travelled to markets across the country. Each location required at least 50 endorsements for their Christmas markets to be considered a contender.

Coming in behind Manchester was Winchester, followed by Lincoln, Bury St Edmonds and Birmingham.

Manchester was the first city in the UK to host dedicated Christmas markets. This year marks 20 years since Manchester’s Christmas Markets began – a fitting time to receive such an accolade.

Manchester’s Christmas markets will be bigger than ever this year, with stalls located on Market Street, King Street, Exchange Square, Albert Square, The Corn Exchange, St Ann’s Square, Brazennose Street, Exchange Street and New Cathedral Street from 9th November to 22nd December.

And this year the markets will be expanding to Piccadilly Gardens for the first time. This often maligned public space will be home to a host of new food and craft stalls and a new bar.

Hopefully, the move will bring some much needed festive cheer to an area considered an eyesore by locals.

Elsewhere in the city, we’ll see the return of the ice village to Cathedral gardens, this year with a mythical beasts theme featuring frozen unicorns, griffins, and a massive dragon bathed in fire-red light. You’ll also find a mini ice slide and frozen tiki bar here complete with moai ice statues. Father Christmas will be here in his charming timber cottage, set amidst the trees of Cathedral Gardens.

And a big all-weather ice rink with a transparent roof so you can skate under the stars will have room for up to 180 skaters at a time.

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