5 UK food festivals to visit this December

With Christmas fast approaching, it’s time to stock up on festive food, sweet treats, and gourmet gifts for friends and family. You can do it all online these days, but where’s the fun in that? Wrap up warm and check out one of these winter food festivals instead.

Padstow Christmas Festival – 7-10th December

Now in its tenth year, the Padstow Christmas Festival is a real treat for foodies. Kids will love Santa’s Grotto and the Friday night fireworks, while grown-ups can watch cooking demos from Rick Stein, Nathan Outlaw, and Angela Hartnett. The Christmas market will be selling local meats, cakes, chocolate, and craft beer, as well as festive staples like cheese, gin, and Christmas pudding.

York Christmas Festival – Until 22nd December

Each winter, York is transformed into a winter wonderland, complete with ice-skating, Santa’s grotto, and the St Nicholas fair. There will be plenty of festive food on offer at the Shambles Market, plus mulled wine by the fire inside Thor’s Tipi.

Shrewsbury Winter Festival – 9-10th December

With over 170 stalls in one huge marquee, Shrewsbury Winter Festival is the ideal place to start your Christmas shopping. Foodies can stock up on homemade fudge and flapjacks, cheese, pork pies, award-winning sausages, and lots more. There’s plenty for kids to do too, from crafts and singalongs to gingerbread decorating.

BBC Good Food’s Festive FEAST, Hampton Court – 8-10th December

Kick-start the seasonal celebrations at this food fest in the grounds of Hampton Court Palace. You can pick up tips from the chefs in the FEAST Kitchen Theatre, buy award-winning treats from artisan producers, or just relax and enjoy the mulled wine and carol singing. If you’re feeling peckish, try RaviOllie’s homemade pasta or Pig in the Middle’s superb sausage rolls.

Bowhouse Food Weekend, Fife – 9-10th December

Situated just outside St Monans in Fife, the Bowhouse barn is hosting a free foodie weekender, complete with live music, food and craft demos, and stalls selling fantastic local produce. After a glass of fizz and something tasty from the street food hub, visitors can explore over 70 stalls selling everything from dips and spices to local meat, fish and cheese.

And that’s just for starters! There are fantastic Christmas markets happening all over the UK, from Bath and Birmingham to Exeter and Edinburgh. Visit Food Festival Finder to find a market near you.