Magical Christmas markets
Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without a visit to a Christmas market. We round up some the best Christmas markets in the country …
Christmas markets don’t come much more magical than the one in Bath’s Abbey Churchyard area. Situated in the shadow of the Abbey and next to the Roman Baths, this shoppers’ haven sits in the heart of the city’s shopping district. Get your hands on locally produced handcrafted items or sip on hot mulled wine as Christmas carols gently drift through the air.
When: 24 November – 11 December 2011
The largest Christmas market outside of Germany, Birmingham’s Frankfurt Christmas Market has over 180 glowing wooden chalets sprawled across Victoria Square, Chamberlain Square and New Street. Each chalet is packed with everything from glistening handmade baubles to traditional German beer but the main draw is the festive food: think moist marzipan, mulled wine and rich gingerbread. Get ready to pile on the pounds!
When: 17 November –23 December 2011
Another well known German market is Leeds’ Christkindelmarkt. Here you’ll find over 40 traditional wooden stalls covered in holly and baubles selling food delicacies such as fresh pretzels and grilled Bratwurst, along with an array of gorgeous gifts: think characterful toy soldiers and intricate glassware.
When: 14 November – 21 December 2011
Foodies will be in heaven at Manchester’s award-winning Christmas markets, which are made up of more than 200 stalls. This is where you head for bundles of Dutch cheese, fresh French bread and mounds of Spanish chorizo. Once you’ve lined your Christmas sacks with continental delicacies, check out the fine jewellery, trendy leather bags and bonsai trees on sale.
When: 17 November – 21 December 2011
When: Usually the second weekend of December
For a Dickensian experience, look no further than the historic Kent town of Rochester. Sat in thegrounds of the red and green tinged Medieval Rochester Castle are lots of cheery market sellers offering mulled wine, Dutch waffles, roasted chestnuts and plenty of handmade gifts from their fairy light-draped stalls. And as you stuff your face with seasonal sugary treats, you’ll be entertained by costumed characters, street performers and festive music filling the air.
When: 30 November – 18 December 2011
Skipton’s 17th Yuletide festival takes place on the quaint, cobbled High Street. 2011 sees the return of eccentric entertainers Bjorn the Polar Bear, the Tap Dancing Turkeys and Musical Ruth and her piano, along with traditional brass and pipe bands. Little ones will love the sweet-studded stalls, mini fairground rides and classic games such as ‘Hook a Duck’ , while adults can drool over specialist cheese and hunt for quirky presents.