If you fancy travelling a little further afield for your Christmas shopping, Cologne is well worth the trip. The city has several markets, the largest of which are in the centre of the city near the magnificent cathedral and centred around an enormous Christmas tree. The Christmas market runs from 27th November-23rd December 2017.
Get to Cologne in under 5hrs 30mins, door to door with Eurostar. After a quick train change in Brussels, you’ll be sipping gluhwein with the elves in no time.
For sheer Christmas magic, head to the angel-themed Markt der Engel to see the hundreds of brightly lit stars suspended above you, guaranteed to make you feel as if you’d wandered into the milky way.
As well as stands selling gifts and delicious, fragrant-smelling foods, you can also try your hand at ice-skating on the fabulous outdoor rink on Heumarkt or listen to live music performed on the stage at Heimat der Heinzel.
Children will love Nikolausdorf (St Nicholas’ village) on Rudolfplatz with its life-sized crib, candyfloss sellers and backdrop of Hahnen gate, the 13th century gate that used to be part of the city walls in medieval times.