Durham, County Durham – 1 to 3 December
Photo by chroniclelive.co.uk
Much of this traditional Christmas festival takes place in the shadow of Durham Cathedral underneath a huge marquee, boasting 190 stalls of local produce. Regional food and drink producers will be in the historic cathedral Cloisters selling pies, hams, jams, cheese and breads. Make your way into the city centre for more Christmas stalls in the market place and inside Durham’s Market Hall. For an extra shot of Christmas spirit, join in with carol singing inside the cathedral on 2 December.
The Banqueting House in Gibside is just a 30 minute drive from Durham and is available 1-4 December for £489.
Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk - 23 to 26 November
Photo by familiesonline.co.uk
Home-baked goods, vintage clothing and locally made Suffolk crafts will be sold at over 300 stalls across the town. When you've finished shopping, head to St Edmundsbury Cathedral for carol singing. There will also be a chance to visit the Guildhall, the oldest continuously used civic building in Britain, before its official reopening in 2018.
The Ancient House in Clare is a half hour drive from Bury St Edmunds. This timber-framed medieval house is available throughout November and December from £545.
Richmond, North Yorkshire – 3 December
Photo by the Daily Mail
Food, crafts and Christmas gifts will be sold throughout this pretty North Yorkshire market town, and its eponymous castle, theatre and museum are all well worth a visit too. York is about an hour's drive from Richmond - the St Nicholas Fair runs from 16 November to 22 December, when the city's narrow medieval streets will be decked in all things Christmas. The majestic York Minster also has a programme of festive-themed events.
Survey the Christmas market from the top of Richmond’s Culloden Tower, available 1-4 December for £651. York is about an hour's drive from Richmond.
Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire - 2 December
Photo by the Paul Miller
Experience a Cotswolds Christmas in the picture-perfect Chipping Campden. Sample woodfried pizza, curry, beer and mulled wine from 40 stalls stretching from the town square to the high street.
The West Banqueting House in Chipping Campden is available 1-4 December for £631.
Brussels, Belgium – 24 November to 31 December
Photo by the europeanbestdestinations.com
Brussels is illuminated by fairytale Christmas lights throughout November and December in one of Europe’s biggest Christmas markets. Over 200 wooden chalets will line the streets selling traditional Belgium stocking fillers; food and drink (try some glühwein). Families can be kept entertained by a huge ice rink and Ferris wheel. Travel a bit further afield to Liège for one of the oldest Christmas markets in Belgium.
Hougoumont in Waterloo is about a 30 minute drive or bus journey from Brussels and is available throughout November and December from £570.