Manchester revealed as the UK's Best Christmas Markets

I mean, we already knew that though didn't we?!

By Manchester's Finest | 2 November 2021

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Easily one of the biggest events in the city’s calendar, the Christmas Markets are set to open up across the UK over the next few weeks.

Originating in Germany, Christmas markets have become a compulsory attraction in British culture, a sign that Yuletide is just around the corner. Yet sadly, the UK public missed out on the festivities in 2020 due to the pandemic. Some popular markets are still cancelled this year including Bath, Leeds and Newcastle.

Independent holiday cottage agency My Favourite Cottages has analysed the latest available data to discover the UK’s top 10 Christmas markets to get you into the festive spirit and low and behold – Manchester comes out on top!

The company analysed 30 UK markets against eight data points* including number of stalls, running time, number of visitors, entrance fee and the likelihood of meeting Santa – to provide an overall market score out of 10 – thereby finding the best market of those analysed.

Topping the table is Manchester’s Christmas Market with an overall market score of 8.39 out of 10. Arriving in the city in 1999, the Manchester Christmas Market scores highly in typical visitor numbers, recording approximately 9 million visitors at its last event.

Manchester’s Christmas Market is arguably the most popular online, garnering the most online interest in the last year with over 114k Google searches, surpassing the ever-popular Winter Wonderland in London’s Hyde Park, which saw just 82k searches in comparison and only scored 5.82 overall – placing it 12th out of the 30 markets analysed.

According to the study, Manchester Christmas Market ranked highly across all eight factors analysed – including having 300 stalls, and running for one of the longest periods of almost six weeks.

Birmingham’s Christmas Market takes second place with an overall market score of 8 out of 10. Opening on the 4th of November, Birmingham’s Frankfurt Christmas Market generates almost £400 million for the city’s economy.

York’s Christmas market has nabbed third place with an overall market score of 6.68 out of 10. Scoring highly in the number of Google searches with just over 73k searches from last year as the public eagerly anticipate the opening on the 18th of November.

It has been calculated the UK lost around £882 million from the 10 most popular markets being closed last year, although precautions were necessary to try to reduce COVID infection rates across the country.

However, with many UK consumers now vaccinated and several markets reopening, even with COVID safety precautions in place, we hope to see the return of traditional Christmas activities once again for families and friends to enjoy.

Harry Roberts, Director of My Favourite Cottages, commented on the findings: “People have been travelling up and down the country to visit their favourite Christmas markets for years and it’s exciting to see our favourite cities come alive every winter.

“It has been a tough 18 months for local traders, but I predict a possible surge in winter staycations as we warmly welcome back our beloved Christmas markets across the country and hopefully this means more support for small businesses across the country.”

To view the full data on the UK’s top Christmas markets in 2021, click here