UK Christmas Markets
What the Dickens is going on?
Charles Dickens is irrevocably linked with Rochester in Kent as this Christmas Market attests. Although the festival itself has been going for over 30 years, to fans of the festive season this event still glows with the magic of Christmases even further in the past. For a start, it takes place in the grounds of Rochester Castle and extends down the High Street with a daily parade of Dickens' characters and performances by street entertainers and musicians.
Step back in time
Rochester may celebrate a Victorian Christmas but Ludlow in Shropshire travels even further back in time with its Medieval Christmas Fayre. Apart from featuring more than 100 stalls selling gifts and foods with a medieval flavour, the event also plays host to a Plantagenet Knights' Tournament; minstrels, giants and puppetry; falconry displays and carol singing.
Gorge yourself on chocolate
Not so much a Christmas market, more like death by chocolate! The London Southbank Centre's Christmas Chocolate Festival has more than 30 stalls selling everything to do with the delicious confectionery. From live demonstrations and workshops to tasting and sampling sessions, visitors also have the opportunity to chat to the UK's top chocolatiers and learn all about the different aspects of this magical bean.
Cologne by the Thames
While you're at the Southbank, why not visit the Cologne Christmas Market for a taste of German magic without crossing the Channel.
Stretching out along the Thames from the London Eye, the Cologne Christmas market provides gifts galore, from amber and silver jewellery to glass ornaments and from hand-crafted toys to scented candles.
Of course, a German Christmas market wouldn't be complete with some mulled wine and a bag of roasted chestnuts - just the thing to warm up a wintry evening by the Thames.
The spirit of Christmas past
If your dream would be to recreate a Victorian Christmas table or to introduce some vintage style under the tree, head to Blackfriars' Hall in St Andrew', Norwich for the Christmas Nostalgia Fair. This collection of stalls selling antiques and vintage memorabilia includes teddy bears and dolls, children's games and old fashioned table settings.
Around Scotland there will be many festive markets taking place but one of the more unusual venues to help you get into the festive spirit has to be in Edinburgh.
On Thursday 1 December, Camera Obscura & World of Illusions - Edinburgh's oldest purpose-built attraction – offers visitors a Christmas market-themed day out with a difference.
Apart from the usual five floors of interactive exhibits and illusions, the venue is offering visitors mulled wine and mince pies on the roof terrace, which overlooks the city, while listening to the music coming from below. The gift shop is stuffed with unusual stocking ideas and handcrafted gifts.