A visit to one of Britain’s Christmas markets by train?
Leave the car at home, avoid the traffic jams and parking charges. Most markets open mid- end November, running until end December or beyond. Some of the biggest include Birmingham, Bath, Bristol, Edinburgh, Exeter, Leeds, Manchester, Norwich, Winchester, York… Some even have stalls hosted by authentic specialists who come over from Germany, helping to create the magical atmosphere of a genuine Christmas market.
Use a Railcard to gain real savings
Using a Railcard from National Rail and booking seats in advance can provide real savings when traveling to Britain’s Christmas markets – leaving you more money for mince pies and the beautiful crafts, gifts and the delicious foods to be found at a Christmas market – the money saved is a gift in itself.
Here’s a guide on the best way to travel and benefit from discounted fares, for all ages (don’t forget to check latest info before you travel at https://www.nationalrail.co.uk/):
Traveling as a family:
Get a Family & Friends Railcard which allows up to four adults and four children to travel on one card – children aged 5-15 get 60% discount on kid’s fares.*
Whether travelling with a friend or in a group to the Christmas market, any of these Railcards provide savings on rail travel for individual customers. The 26-30 Railcard offers 1/3 off rail travel, as does the 16-25 Railcard. For customers based in and travelling around the 16 counties within London and the South East, a Network Railcard provides freedom to travel around the region, while saving on rail fares. Senior Railcards: for anyone over 60 and with the freedom especially to travel off peak, a Senior Railcard is the ideal way to save money.
Travelling with your best friend:
If one of you has a ‘Two Together’ Railcard, the two named people on this card can travel together and both of you will receive 1/3 off rail fares around Britain**. Accessible travel: there are discounts available for anyone with a disability that makes travelling by train difficult – including an accompanying friend, family member or carer. The Disabled Persons Railcard costs just £20 for a year and a 3-year Railcard is discounted even further, at £54.00.
Railcard customers who travel by train can also take advantage of special partner discounts on days out holidays, attractions, theatre tickets and more. Use the online journey calculator to see how much the journey will cost and how much could be saved with a Railcard – before buying tickets. The typical cost of a Railcard is £30 and unless otherwise stated, offers 1/3 off most full-priced rail fares. For an overview of Railcards, please click here. For more Railcard savings advice, click here.
BRITAIN’S CHRISTMAS MARKETS BY RAIL
Suggested destinations and easy access from nearest main rail stations
Please note: this is an outline guide and all details should be checked on relevant websites. Most markets open mid-or end November. More info at Visit Britain:
Birmingham: location Victoria Square, New Street (4 minutes’ walk from station)
Bath: short 5-8 minute walk from Bath Spa station
Bristol: 17 minutes’ walk, or a short bus ride, with 5 different bus lines leaving every 4 minutes
Cardiff: 9 minute walk from the station
Edinburgh: has 4 different markets; the nearest is East Princes Street Gardens, a short walk from Waverly station:
Exeter: the market is held in the Cathedral, which is just a few minutes’ walk from Exeter Central Station.
London: the capital’s Christmas Markets are numerous! Many within a short walk of a mainline station or a short tube/bus ride away, including Winter Wonderland. More info here:
Leeds: in Millenium Square, only 10 minutes’ walk from the main station
Manchester: has several Christmas markets. The city’s recommendation is to arrive by rail. Some are within walking distance, some might be better by bus, so it depends which one you visit.
Manchester Piccadilly station is very central:
Norwich: there are two, at the Forum centre and at the Cathedral. It’s a 10-15 minute walk to the Cathedral from the Station; that’s just for a Christmas Fayre on 5 th-6th December. The main market info is here: https://www.visitnorwich.co.uk/whats-happening/event/norwich-christmas-market/ – this is either a 20 minute walk or so, or a 10 minute bus ride.
Winchester: held in the cathedral close, approx. An 8-10 minute easy walk from the main station.
York: 12 minute walk from the station or a 9 minute bus ride.