Festive marketsPosted on: 23 November 2016 by Gareth Hargreaves
The festivities have begun, get a head start with Christmas shopping and fill your boots with festive treats at the UK's best Christmas markets.
There are plenty of festive markets happening across the UK, providing a delightful opportunity for a day out with a difference, and the chance to pick up some unusual gifts and local foods.
Christkindelmarkt, Millennium Square, Leeds
11th November - 18th December 2016
‘Christkindelmarkt’ is one of the largest and most established German Christmas markets in the UK, with traditional wooden stalls, festive greenery, Christmas carousel rides and twinkling colourful lights all creating a unique continental style festive atmosphere in the heart of the city centre on Millennium Square.
The market consists of over 40 wooden chalet stalls from authentic German traders providing a wide range of seasonal gift ideas for all the family including handcrafted toys, jewellery, Christmas cards, festive decorations, speciality foods and traditional German delicacies such as Gluhwein, Bratwurst sausages, soups, stollen, gingerbread and candied fruits.
To compliment the market stalls and enhance the overall visitor experience at the event, a festive funfair provides traditional Christmas carousel rides, a large scale dodgems, children's funhouse and convoy rides for all the family.
Lincoln's Christmas Market, Castle Hill
1st – 4th December
Neustadt an der Weinstrasse. One December, many years ago, councillors from Lincoln were visiting Neustadt and were very impressed by the traditional street market which was under way in the town’s square. They thought it would be a fantastic event to reproduce in Lincoln and were convinced that Castle Hill, in the shadow of Lincoln Cathedral, would be the perfect setting for bringing a little piece of Christmas Magic to Lincoln.
In December 1982, the first Christmas Market was held with fourteen stalls, a couple of local choirs and a few hundred people. Despite its humble beginnings, the event was a great success and over the next twenty years it prospered and grew to the point where there are now have in excess of 250 stalls which welcome over 200,000 visitors.
Winchester Christmas Market, Winchester Cathedral
18th November – 20th December
2016 marks the 10th anniversary of Winchester Cathedral Christmas Market!
The market, similar to that of a traditional German Christmas market, will be made up of over 100 wooden chalets, brimming with goodies and interspersed throughout the trees, all beautifully lit. Attracting over 350,000 visitors the market has achieved a reputation as being amongst the very best in Europe. Each year there’s a rotation of stallholders with a large number of new traders invited to keep the market new. There’s a strong emphasis on British and artisan amongst the stallholders.
Belfast Christmas Market
19th November – 22nd December
The Belfast market will be returning again for its 12th year – visitors can explore a number of countries from across the world including Germany, Spain, France, Italy alongside a selection of local traders.
Among the stalls, you’ll be able to indulge in the likes of cheeses, olives, Italian nougat, Belgian chocolates, French tarts Spanish Paella and exotic and rare meats from around the World such as Alligator, Impala, Kangaroo and Wild Boar.
And of course… visitors will be able to visit Santa (supporting the Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice) in his specially designed Grotto.
Manchester Christmas Market
10th November – 20th December
One of the largest Christmas markets in the UK, it spreads across 10 different locations across the city.
With nearly 350 beautifully stalls and chalets, winding through the city, offering gifts, crafts, jewellery, clothes and toys – the choice is getting bigger every year.
The Manchester Christmas Market is famous for traditional bratwurst but you can also treat yourself to Hungarian goulash, Spanish paella or a good old-fashioned hog roast not to mention plenty of vegetarian options and a beautiful array of sweets, such as Dutch mini pancakes, French profiteroles and chocolates!
Glasgow Festive Market
11th November – 29th December
With two locations for the market in Glasgow this year, St Enoch Square and George Square, the market will be home to an array or stalls selling a variety of gifts and traders from across the globe bringing flavours of France, Germany, Spain, Italy and much more!
Alongside the foodie delights, customers can relax and unwind over a glass or two at the Gluhwein House run by Markus Kochems – who are listed in the top 100 wine producers in the world.
Bath Christmas Market
24th November – 11 December
With over 170 beautiful wooden stalls lining the square and streets surrounding the Abbey, Bath’s market is beautifully festive. Selling everything you need to prepare for Christmas this year from gifts, personal crafts, accessories and toys the market is a one stop shop for presents and treats.
After all the pursuing, visitors can fill their boots with festive cheeses, pastries, chocolates and puddings and can start the celebrations with the large array of wines, beers and ciders.
York Christmas Festival
17th November – 23rd December
The St Nicholas fair in York is part of a variety of Christmas activity happening across the city. The fair offers over 100 traditional style chalets festive lights all along Parliament Street, St Sampson’s square selling gifts, crafts, sweet treats and mulled wine.
To accompany the fair is York’s Winter Wonderland, home to a huge outdoor ice rink and 30ft high Christmas tree. Surrounding the rink will be funfair rides, Santa’s grotto, live entertainment and shopping at York’s designer outlet.
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