By Iona Macwhirter-Harley


Nothing brightens up a cold, dark winter’s day quite like the sparkle of a Christmas market. But instead of heading out to packed inner-city Glasgow and Edinburgh markets, why not venture further afield and turn your shopping trip into a festive day out? For all your mulled wine and Yuletide cheer needs, look no further than our selection of Scotland’s best Christmas markets this year.


Brace the sea air

As part of Oban’s Winter Festival, the Perle Hotel hosts its winter market on Wednesday, November 23. Packed with stalls selling quirky gifts, cards, and knitwear, the hotel is on Oban’s beautiful harbour and offers gorgeous views of the bay. Take in a brisk sea walk before indulging in Christmas shopping, then catch the Oban Pipe Band’s parade to Station Square at 5pm. End your day by watching the town’s Christmas light switch-on at 6pm.

Open 10am-4pm, November 23. Free. Visit


Head outside

For the brave-hearted, head to Crathes Castle in Aberdeenshire for an eclectic mix of exclusively handmade jewellery, clothes, and home accessories across 70 different stalls – mostly outdoors. Foodies, this one’s for you: their food market ranges from fudge to seafood, jams to gelato, and serves drinks from local distilleries and breweries. While here, why not have a wander around the castle’s dramatic grounds or have a look at the painted ceilings inside? Just don’t forget your raincoat.

Open 10am-3pm, November 11-13. Adults £2.50. Children free. Visit


Discover Dundee’s finest

This year, the Discovery Point Museum will be transformed into a market with the beautiful backdrop of RRS Discovery. Enjoy sailing around stalls of handmade wares in the historic building. You will find superb gins, ceramics, Scottish textiles, and art. After your shopping, head downstairs for an afternoon tea, or check out the nearby V&A. This really is a mast-visit (sorry).

Open 10am-3pm, November 26 and 27. Free. Visit


Byre’s Paradise

Kinkell Byre was originally built as a home for cattle in the 1700s, and they’re keeping their Christmas market traditional. Expect goods created using skills passed down through generations of makers including iron sculptures by Just Hammered and glasswork by Noost Glass. Just a 10-minute drive from St Andrews, visiting gives you the perfect excuse to wander to the seaside town’s castle ruins or sample some of its outstanding restaurants. According to the website, Pilgrim’s Gin has something very special in store for this event. So, recruit your designated driver and head on down.

Open 10am-3pm, December 10&11. Adults £2. Children free. Visit


Hoping for a bargain?

Fancy feeling like a Bridgerton extra while doing your Christmas shopping? Visit Hopetoun House’s outrageously fancy Regency-era grounds for their Christmas market. The house’s halls will be well and truly decked with Christmas trees glowing amongst plush red furnishings, walls covered in golden-framed portraits, and stalls selling artisan gifts. When you’ve finished exploring the house, grab a bite at the outdoor catering area before heading down the road to catch the Three Bridges at sunset.

Open 10am-4:30pm, November 25, 26 and 27. Tickets must be bought in advance online. Adults £8.90. Children 5-16 £3.91. Under-5s free. Visit


Traipse around Traquair

Traquair House, Innerleithen is Scotland’s oldest inhabited house. Over 900 years it has seen 27 monarchs through its doors, and now you can walk in their royal footprints at this delightfully traditional market. Sample mulled wine and roasted chestnuts surrounded by cosy Christmas décor and listen to local choirs sing live in its chapel. Bring the children, as there will be face-painting, puppet shows and an opportunity to visit Santa in his grotto. Some of the events will be outdoors, so wrap up warm and bring waterproofs. With 4,500 acres of Traquair estate to roam, you can walk your socks off exploring. You might even meet a Highland coo.

Open 11am-4pm, November 26 and 27. Book online. Adults £3. Under-12s free. Visit


Otter-ly brilliant

Head to the sprawling Glamis Estate for Glamis Castle’s market. Entry is included in the cost of a standard admission ticket, so can explore the gorgeous Walled Garden and family-friendly Nature Trail during your visit. It features local traders selling candles, crafts, and local brews, so take your time browsing the extensive selection and grab something to eat from the Hub Café. While wandering, look out for local roe deer and otters!

Open 11am-4pm, November 26 and 27. Adults £5. Children 5-16 £2.50. Under-5s free. Visit


Drum-up Christmas Excitement

Fancy shopping beneath a towering castle lit up in green and red? Drumlanrig Castle hosts its festive market in a large, heated marquee adorned with fairy lights featuring 50 craft stalls and even a chocolate fountain. Entry is charged per car, and guided tours will run throughout the day for an extra fee. Explore the castle’s grand interiors and discover why it’s affectionately known as the “Pink Palace”. Sure to excite all ages, this market also offers the opportunity to meet a real reindeer.

Open 3pm-8pm on December 2, 11am-4.30pm on December 3. Price per car TBC. Visit


A Hidden Gem

Skip the heaving Edinburgh’s Christmas market on Princes Street and visit a local favourite. Edinburgh’s Stockbridge Market runs every weekend throughout the year, but as Christmas approaches stalls sell seasonal treats and gifts. Here you’ll find delicious hot food and drinks for yourself, plus cheeses, charcuterie, jams and crafts for fantastic presents. Meander through Dean Village and down the Water of Leith to get to the market for a beautiful winter walk – you’ll discover an entirely different side to the city.

Open 10am-4pm, every Sunday. Free. Visit


Good Tidings

Aberdeen’s Curated in the Quad market helps to bring a cheer that lasts beyond Christmas Day. Organised by Charlie House, a North-East charity supporting the families of young people suffering from life-limiting conditions, the market runs every weekend from November 18 until December 18. Here you’ll find rows of little chalets, fairy-lights galore and stalls selling locally made products in the heart of the city. 100% of stallholder fees go to Charlie House, and last year an incredible £15,000 was raised to help local families.

Open 11am-7pm on Fridays and Saturdays, 11am-6pm on Sundays, November 18-December 18. Free. Visit


Feel like Mary Queen of Shops

Historically, Stirling Castle’s Great Hall has hosted feasts, dances, and pageants ... and now a Christmas Fayre ready for your perusal. In Scotland’s largest ever banqueting hall (yes, really) you’ll discover local crafts, food, and drink under an impressive restored medieval ceiling. Before your visit, take in the castle’s domineering cliff-top position with a stroll around Kings Park, which was once the Royal Court’s hunting ground. Then enjoy the live brass band with a mug of mulled wine and a mince pie in hand.

Open 6pm-9pm, December 6. Adults £6. Children free. Book online. Visit


Ae Fond Market

A strong contender for most unusual Christmas market location, the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum in Alloway hosts its Handmade in Ayr event this November. Discover locally made gifts from an array of Ayrshire’s artists and makers and explore the museum itself (you’ll have to pay for tickets) which houses the poet’s handwritten manuscripts, before wandering down the Poet’s Path towards the cottage Rabbie’s father built. Look out for Burns-related artwork, including a cast-iron mouse, as you wander around the town and its beautiful gardens.

Open 10am-5pm, November 19 and 20. Free. Visit