It’s the time of year when lines of colourful wooden stalls selling handcrafted gifts and warming drinks have sprung up all over the country, from now until Christmas Eve. These festive markets have been a tradition in Austria and Germany since the 13th century, but have been increasing in popularity in the UK for decades now, but where in the UK can claim to be the capital of Christmas markets?
Betfred analysed Instagram data to determine where in the UK Instagram users were checking in, with hashtags at local Christmas markets.
The findings reveal that Manchester beats out London to the top spot, with a huge 71,778 hashtags relating to the city’s Christmas markets.
The Manchester Christmas market is one of the largest in the UK, with over 225 stalls spread over nine locations for 2023’s festive celebrations. This year is of particular note to Mancunians, as it’s been exactly 25 years since the city’s first Christmas market was held, and after a quarter of a century, its popularity shows no signs of slowing.
In second place is London, with 63,488 Christmas market hashtags. Home to the world famous Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park, and the South Bank Winter Festival, the capital can boast a huge array of markets scattered throughout the city.
Edinburgh sits in third place, with 55,403 hashtags. The stunning Scottish capital city centre receives a festive makeover each November, with Christmas and Hogmany celebrations making the winter season an even more exciting time for locals and visitors alike.
In fourth is Bath, with 35,550 Christmas market hashtags. Winding through the historic city streets, the Bath Christmas market is frequently voted among the best in the country, with landmarks lit up for the occasion, it’s no surprise that Instagram users want to show off their photos taken here.
Rounding out the top 5 is Birmingham, one of the largest Christmas markets in the UK, with 23,566 hashtags. Each year the Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas market seeks to bring a little Germanic festivity to the Midlands. Originating from Frankfurt in 1997, as its name suggests, it is still the largest festival of its kind outside of Germany and Austria.