When it’s time to start the Christmas shopping, most of us will head to the high streets and shopping malls of the land (that is, when the internet hasn’t provided everything we’re looking for). But when the fatigue kicks in, most towns and cities now offer a magical diversion in the form of festive markets.
We look at some of the best Christmas markets in Scottish towns and cities this year.
The European Christmas Market is a fixture in the city centre, and has been for 20 years. As well as a hearty selection of frankfurters, glühwein (red wine that is heated with cinnamon, cloves, vanilla, citrus and sugar) and German beer, there are plenty of traditional and unique gifts on offer from the various artists and crafters. A short walk away at St Andrew’s Square, you’ll find both the Scottish Market and the Children’s Market, where there will be a range of fine Scottish fare to sample, along with Edinburgh’s Toys Galore keeping the kids happy.
European Christmas Market, Mound Precinct and East Princes St Gardens, 22 Nov – 5 Jan, 10am – 10pm
Edinburgh’s Scottish Market and Children’s Market, St Andrew’s Square, 22 Nov – 5 Jan, 10am – 10pm
Glasgow’s Christmas Market is once again to be found in St Enoch Square in the city centre. It will feature 50 stalls, offering a selection of gifts, artisan products and global cuisine set in the festive village of rustic cabins and stalls. There is fresh food on offer throughout the day and night, as well as old favourites like hot chocolate and glühwein.
Glasgow Christmas Market, St Enoch Square, 16 Nov – 23 Dec, Mon – Wed 10am – 8pm, Thu – Sat 10am – 9pm, Sun 10am – 6pm
For one day only (on St Andrews Day) you can tick off as many boxes on your shopping list with the city’s Christmas Market. There will be locally hand crafted items, tasty sweet treats and unique gifts not available anywhere else, and kids are catered for with a messy play area and face-painting. The first 30 customers will be given a free goody bag.
Christmas Market, Old Steeple (St Mary’s Tower), 30 Nov, 11am
Perth is a popular shopping destination all year round, but there are bonus reasons to visit the ‘fair city’ in the run-up to Christmas, with Perth Craft Markets offering jewellery, textiles, wines, chocolates, art, photography and more. On alternate Saturdays you’ll find the Perth Farmers Market in the same spot, with 40 stalls of local produce.
Perth Craft Markets, King Edward Street, 30 Nov, 1 Dec, 14 Dec
Perth Farmers’ Market, King Edward Street, 2 Nov, 7 Dec, 21 Dec, 22 Dec
Traditionally held on the third Saturday of November, the Lanark Christmas Market is the largest continental-style Christmas Market in Scotland. As well as almost 100 stalls, the event also boasts a children’s heritage fairground, and of course Santa Clause himself.
Lanark Christmas Market, Lanark High Street, 16 Nov, 9am – 5pm