There is nothing better to get you in the festive mood than to wrap up warm and go visit a Christmas market. The popular, bustling events stretch up and down the country, and are loved by visitors everywhere. Sipping mulled wine from decorative cups to feasting on mouth-watering seasonal street food, there is no nicer treat this time of year. So, what are you waiting for?
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MANCHESTER CHRISTMAS MARKETS
WHERE: City Centre
WHEN: 10 November – 20 December
WHAT’S ON: Arguably the largest and best, Manchester Christmas markets are spread across the city centre. Including, Albert Square and St Anne’s Square, there are more than 300 stalls offering international food, drinks and Yuletide gifts.
MORE INFO: manchester.gov.uk/christmasmarkets
HYDE PARK WINTER WONDERLAND
WHEN: 18 November – 2 January
WHAT’S ON: Celebrating its 10th year, Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland provides fun for all the family. As well as a huge Christmas market, attractions include ice skating, the Magical Ice Kingdom Arctic adventure, Bar Ice, giant observation wheel, Zippo’s Christmas circus, Cirque Beserk and the Sooty Christmas Show.
MORE INFO: hydeparkwinterwonderland.com
WHERE: Grassington, North Yorkshire
WHEN: 3 – 11 December
WHAT’S ON: Traditional Christmas market on the streets of Grassington, with villagers dressed in Victorian costume. Attractions include musicians, dancers, street entertainers and exhibitions of traditional country crafts, as well as the sights, smells and tastes from Victorian Grassington.
MORE INFO: grassington.uk.com/dickensianfestival
YORK CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL
WHEN: 17 November – 23 December.
WHAT’S ON: In addition to the traditional snug Christmas market stalls of the St Nicholas Fair lining the streets of York, attractions include pantomimes at the York Theatre Royal and the
Grand Opera House, and the York Early Music Christmas Festival.
MORE INFO: visityork.org/christmas
VICTORIAN MATLOCK CHRISTMAS WEEKEND AND MARKETS
WHERE: Derbyshire WHEN: 2 – 4 December
WHAT’S ON: 150 stalls in the centre of Matlock offering locally produced goods along with street entertainers, marching bands, funfair, Santa’s grotto and a firework display at 5:15pm on the Sunday.
MORE INFO: matlock.gov.uk/victorian-matlock-christmas-weekend-and-markets
CHRISTMAS CONTINENTAL MARKET
WHEN: 10 November – 22nd December
WHAT’S ON: Glasgow on ice, ice skating rink, Glasgow santa dash along with a variety of festive stalls offering gifts, food and drink as well as jewellery, clothing and accessories.
MORE INFO: glasgowloveschristmas.com
BELFAST CHRISTMAS MARKET
WHERE: Belfast City Hall
WHEN: 19 November – 22 December
WHAT’S ON: A selection of festive stalls with a range of continental foods, decorations and arts and crafts from across Europe as well as a Santa’s Grotto.
MORE INFO: belfastcity.gov.uk/events
WHEN: 17 November – 23
WHAT’S ON: An exciting mix of Christmas markets, particularly round the Königsallee where the themed markets lead the way along the most popular shopping streets in Düsseldorf. Other features include the free entry ice rink and merry-go-round.
MORE INFO: germany-christmas-market.org.uk
WHEN: 26 November – 1 January
WHAT’S ON: The main markets at the Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square offer hand-crafted gifts from glassware and jewellery to gloves and scarves all sold from the festive traditional wooden huts. Visitors can sample local produce such as meat and pastries whilst kids can stroke the animals in the stable at the Old Town Square.
MORE INFO: czechtourism.com
WHEN: 25 November – 1 January
WHAT’S ON: The winter festival boasts the magical illuminations at the Grand-Place Christmas markets in the city centre, merry-go-rounds, ferris wheel, ice rinks and stalls for stocking up on food and gifts within a 2km trail.
MORE INFO: visitbrussels.be