Accessible Christmas Markets
20 Nov 2023
Christmas is fast approaching, so what better way to start planning your celebrations than arranging some fun Christmas days out? In this blog, we’ll go through some popular Christmas locations across the UK that are accessible for those with mobility issues.
So, get the mulled wine on, wrap up warm, and read on for our top suggestions on accessible Christmas markets in the UK.
London Christmas Markets
London is a wonderful and Christmassy place to visit during the festive season. From Christmas light switch-ons to festive markets, there’s plenty to do to get in the Christmas spirit. Here are a couple of suggestions:
Winter Wonderland in London’s Hyde Park is a must-visit if you want to get into the Christmas spirit. You’ll find rides, attractions, places to eat and drink and more in this most wintery of wonderlands!
In terms of accessibility, the organisers have really thought of everything. There are plenty of accessible toilets, wheelchair charging points, lowered counters, accessible entry lanes, and more. The pathways are tarmac from the Park’s own walkways and other areas are covered with trackways, so it should be easy to get around.
You can find out more about accessibility at Winter Wonderland here, or take a look at this handy map which shows all the accessible areas.
Previously called ‘Christmas by the River’, this Christmas market sits along the River Thames between London Bridge and Tower Bridge. Open from November 14th to January 1st, you’ll find everything from gifts and trinkets to delicious food and drinks.
The stalls are set up next to each other, so there is plenty of room along the public walkways for easy navigation. There are no public toilets set up, but there are plenty of bars and restaurants nearby which are accessible.
South Bank is another fantastic place to visit in London to get Christmassy. There is a Christmas market along the river bank selling all the classic Christmas market goods! The walkways are wide, so there’s plenty of room for wheelchairs.
The Southbank Centre is located just behind the market stalls and there are lots of festive shows and events taking place throughout December. The Southbank Centre is easily accessible from the market and the centre itself is wheelchair friendly.
Manchester is a great place to visit at Christmas. In recent years, the city has ramped up its Christmas markets and this year Manchester is celebrating its 25th anniversary since its first Christmas market opening in 1998! There are a total of nine Christmas markets to visit across the city, with over 225 stalls to choose from.
On December 3rd this year, there is a magical Manchester Christmas Parade which promises to be bigger and better than last year. So, get your spot, grab a hot chocolate or mulled wine and enjoy the Christmas parade as it goes through the city centre.
Each market is laid out on pavements and pedestrianised areas, so it’s easily accessible for wheelchair and mobility scooter users. There are also accessible toilets, and seating areas and some stalls have ramps for easy access too.
Edinburgh transforms into a Christmas wonderland for the whole family. There are four Christmas sites across Edinburgh, including East Princess Street Gardens, West Princess Street Gardens, George Street, and St Andrews Square.
Each market has been made as accessible as possible with accessible toilets, accessible entrances and some stalls installing ramps. The Big Wheel can also be accessed by users with manual wheelchairs. You’ll find more information on how accessible the Edinburgh Christmas markets are here.
From 2nd November to 24th December, Victoria Square and New Street transform into a Frankfurt Christmas market. This is the largest authentic German Christmas market outside of Germany and Austria, so is a must-visit this festive season!
The market offers a huge range of traditional goods and gifts as well as some authentic German food such as pretzels, schnitzels, bratwursts, and roasted almonds. All this delicious food can be washed down with gluhwein, weissbeer (wheat beer), or tasty hot chocolate.
The whole market can be accessed by wheelchair, and there are step-free routes throughout the market. Accessible toilets can be located adjacent to the stage in Victoria Square.
Wheelchair and mobility scooter hire in Birmingham
The Shopmobility Centre, located in Bullring, offers the hiring of electric-powered scooters, as well as electric and manual wheelchairs. For more information visit bullring.co.uk/shop/shopmobility or phone 0121 632 1526
Cardiff Christmas market will be open from Thursday 9 November to Saturday 23 December and has stalls offering everything from handmade jewellery to scented candles. There are also plenty of stalls offering festive food and drinks.
The market is located in the city centre and is accessible for those in a wheelchair or mobility scooter. The stalls are level with the pavement so are easily accessible.
Cardiff offers a free City Centre Mobility Service. This service is able to carry disabled and elderly passengers around the pedestrianised zones in the City Centre; contact 029 2087 3888. Cardiff also has a centre where you can rent out a variety of mobility aides for members of the public with limited mobility; contact 029 2039 9355. Information on accessibility within Cardiff City Centre can be found here and a map showing Blue Badge parking locations can be found here.
Bath Christmas Market is open from Sunday 23 November and Sunday 10 December. You’ll find stalls throughout the city centre nestled by iconic monuments selling all sorts of items from gifts to food and drink.
Bath is a historic city, and whilst there are cobbles located at some parts of the market, the organisers have strived to make it as accessible to all as possible. All staff and security are trained to offer assistance to all who need it.
There are accessible toilets down Terrace Walk and Bilbury Lane and blue badge holders can park throughout the city. Mobility aids such as scooters and wheelchair hire are available through Assured Mobility. They are open Monday to Friday, 9:30am to 4:30pm and you can organise this directly through them.
For more information on accessibility for the market, read here.
Merry Christmas from Blue Badge Mobility Insurance
We hope this handy blog has given you some inspiration for a Christmas market getaway this year! We would like to end this blog by wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!