BIRMINGHAM: The seasonal market held in the city's Victoria Square mirrors that of its twin city of Frankfurt
Gatherings of Christmas stalls are a European concept that we're increasingly buying into. ANNABELLE THORPE picks her four favourites
Twinned with Frankfurt, it’s only right that the city has a Christkindlmarkt (www.visitbirmingham.com).
At Victoria Square until December 23, there are stalls selling pretzels, hog roast, bratwurst and German beer, along with Christmas decorations and German crafts.
There is a carousel and a bandstand with performances every lunchtime and evening.
Next door, in Chamberlain Square, the Christmas Craft Fair is selling locally produced arts and crafts, from organic soaps and cosmetics to handbags and toys. The Jewellery Quarter offers unique, hand-made items.
Birmingham’s Hotel Du Vin (0845 365 4438/www.hotelduvin.com) has a stylish brasserie and 66 bedrooms from £130 per night (two sharing), room only.
One of the most beautifully located Christmas markets, with stalls tucked into the historic Close along the walls of Winchester’s spectacular cathedral.
The market (www.winchester-cathedral.org.uk/christmas), which runs until December 21, has kept its focus on British crafts, from hand-made jewellery to toys and leather handbags.
There is also an outdoor ice rink. Take a stroll along Parchment Street, dottedwith galleries and artists’ studios selling artwork and ceramics.
● The Wykeham Arms (01962 853834/www.fullershotels.com) is an 18th-century coaching inn near the cathedral with 14 cosy bedrooms. Doubles from £95 per night (two sharing), B&B.
The city centre is a winter wonderland with more than 200 chalets in St Ann’s Square, Albert Square, New Cathedral Street and Exchange Square piled high with gifts.
Everything from hand-crafted items toculinary delights are available at the market (www.manchestermarkets.com) which runs until December 21.
Feast your eyes on French profiteroles, cream and marshmallow-topped hot chocolate, Dutch mini pancakes, Glühwein and bratwurst sausage.
Little ones will love the talking Christmas reindeer while the German beer tent will perk up weary adult shoppers.
● Hilton Manchester Deansgate (0161 870 1600/www.hilton.co.uk) is a short stroll from the attractions.
The hotel offers great views from the Cloud 23 bar with its floor-to- ceiling windows. Doubles from £117 per night (two sharing), B&B.
The medieval streets of York (www.visityork.org) are at their prettiest at Christmas, when lit stalls line the cobbled streets.
Markets include Made In Yorkshire (until December 18), in St Sampson’s Square, and The Guildhall.
Pick up hand-crafted goods including ceramics, woodwork and glass.
Stock up on local seasonal produce at the Festive Farmers Market on December 21 when glasses of Yorkshire punch will warm up thirsty shoppers.
● Marmadukes (01904 640101/ www.marmadukesyork.com) is a beautiful townhouse. Doubles from £69 per night (two sharing), B&B.