Edinburgh's Best Christmas Markets

Bonfire Night's over and the lights have been up on the Dome since around July. It must be Christmas! Time to plan your #shoplocal gift purchases with a calendar of our favourite pop-up Christmas events and craft fairs in Edinburgh this festive season

Feature by Rosamund West | 08 Nov 2017

Edinburgh's craft and design Christmas fair scene has exploded over recent years, transforming itself from dusty church halls filled with those lavender-stuffed bags you put in your drawers (do they even have a name?) to an ever expanding calendar of pop-up events in unusual spaces presenting the very best of cutting edge Scottish design at knock-down prices. We like celebrating local artists, designers and makers, and we like events where they get to keep all their profits. We also like radical book fairs, and anything that says 'mulled wine' or 'complimentary fizz'. Here's our guide to 2017's best Christmas markets in Edinburgh – check back for more as they're announced.  

11 November

Wasps Dalry Open Studios, 2-3 West Park Place, 11am-5pm, free
Head along to Dalry for the Open Studios event letting you take a peek behind the usually closed doors of this artists’ working space. There will be tours, a cafe, maybe some live music and most definitely the opportunity to snap up some original art, craft and design by local makers at bargain prices, with 100% of the money going direct to the maker. Ethical AND affordable – what more could you ask for?

16 November

Radical Book Fair: Shami Chakrabarti, Michael Rosen & more, Assembly Roxy, 2 Roxburgh Place, until 19 Nov, 10am-6pm, event supporter vouchers £5, redeemable against book purchase
This may not be strictly speaking a Christmas event, but what better way to celebrate the season of blind commercial purchase than by buying those you love some literature on why blind commercial purchase is murdering the planet? This year’s keynote speakers are the civil rights campaigner Shami Chakrabarti (Thu 16), the author, poet and activist Michael Rosen (Fri 17), and global peace builder Scilla Elworthy (Sat 18).

Other highlights include panels on Multiculturalism, the Refugee Crisis, Building a Fairer Society, and Protest in Britain; talks by John Crace, Mark Muller Stuart and Judith Orr; a Craftivist workshop and a zine showcase. Head along to Assembly Roxy to have your mind expanded and your spirit raised (and your righteous fury stoked, ideally).

Evening Shopping & Fizz with Eteaket, Laura Thomas & Lucky Cloud, Eteaket, 111 Rose St, 6-8pm, free but ticketed
And then afterwards, go and buy some lovely lovely skincare! Enjoy a glass of fizz as you peruse the wares of local makers Laura Thomas and Lucky Cloud Skincare. With both based primarily online this is an opportunity to meet them IRL and find out, for example, why Lucky Cloud’s Balm is a MIRACULOUS treatment for sunburn that feels like pure luxury (and also vegan). 20% off all products all night, plus entry to a prize draw for mailing list sign-ups.

24 November

Christmas Foodies Festival Edinburgh, EICC, Fri 24 Nov 5-9pm, Sat 25 Nov 10am-6pm, Sun 26 Nov 10am-6pm, £10-14
Biannual culinary extravaganza Foodies returns – this time to the businesslike surrounds of the Edinburgh International Conference Centre – with their usual array of artisanal food and drink, demonstrations from foodie celebrities and apparently civilised booze masterclasses which will swiftly take a turn for the debauched / wankered in the wrong hands.

Beaverhall Open Studios, 27 Beaverhall Road, Fri 24 Nov 5-8.30pm, Sat 25 Nov 10am-5pm
Take this opportunity to explore a former chocolate factory, now home to a variety of small creative businesses and fitness studios. Meet the residents, shop for unusual Christmas gifts, try not to injure yourselves on the ‘potentially hazardous materials or tools’. There are studios specialising in millinery, photography, glass, ceramics, jewellery, yoga, painting and much more – high quality gifts at bargain prices and mild peril? Sold!

26 November

Edinburgh's Indoor Christmas Market at Surgeon's Hall, 11am-7pm, £2
More of a child-focussed event with a Santa’s Grotto and children’s activities promised throughout the day, the much-vaunted availability of mulled wine suggests this might be an opportunity for parents to enjoy some ‘festive cheer’ in a beautiful building while the offspring are momentarily distracted. Food stalls plus live music plus all proceeds going to charity – delightful.

1 December

Hopetoun House Christmas Fair, South Queensferry, until 3 Dec, 10am-4.30pm, £6
Head out of the city for your very own stately home experience with the Hopetoun House Christmas Fair. Featuring over 60 exhibitors (and the promise of ‘high end and unique gifts’) this year includes the optimistic outdoor food fair, which will definitely not be a) freezing and b) wet.

2 December

Accessory Collective Christmas Pop Up, Hill St Design House, 3 Hill Street, 10am-6pm, free
Returning for another year but this time for *ONE DAY ONLY* (put it in your diaries stat), the Accessory Collective presents a host of Scottish designers offering beautifully crafted luxury goods at surprisingly reasonable prices. We say surprisingly reasonable, but you may still end up bankrupted as you accidentally buy up the entire shop after a few too many proseccos. All solid investments, we say. Featuring fine jewels from Patience Jewellery and Euan McWhirter, fabulous party clothes from Rowanjoy and more still to be announced. Check the Facebook page for reveals.

Jupiter Artland Christmas Fair, Bonnington House Steadings, Wilkieston, until 3 Dec, 11am-4pm, £8.50
Edinburgh’s very own art park opens its doors for a second bite from the Christmas fair cookie, with promises of a snowy, wintery spectacle (snow presumably pre-ordered), artisanal gift stalls, homemade mulled wine, wreath making demonstrations, craft activities and seasonal food and drink featuring a hog roast. There will also be choirs, Santa, elves and even Jupiter Donkeys – festive af. 

10 December

Summerhall Christmas Market, 11am-5pm, £2
Including over 70 businesses drawn from the ranks of Summerhall residents, local companies and independent retailers, the Summerhall Christmas Fair is an annual event offering a lovely day out in the eerie surrounds of Edinburgh’s former veterinary college. With a festive choir, the ubiquitous mulled wine, a wreath making workshop (pre-booking required) and street food in the courtyard from local favourites including Babu Kitchen and Pizza Geeks, you’ll find all of your festive boxes ticked.