The best Christmas Markets in Yorkshire for 2013
Yorkshire is now home to some of the most extensive and exciting Christmas Markets in the country, boasting hundreds of stalls, fantastic local produce and extraordinary live entertainment.
With the festive season about to get into full swing, and those all-important Christmas shopping duties looming, Mark Butler picks out nine of the best events that the region has to offer.
Now a firmly-established festive highlight on the Leeds calendar, the bustling German-themed Christkindelmarkt is the perfect place to pick up a pretzel or grab a glass of Gluhwein. As well as the 40 wooden chalet stalls, hot fresh food and beer hall complete with Oompah band, there’s also a Family Funfair on nearby Cookridge Street at weekends.
Christkindelmarkt, Millennium Square, 8 Nov – 18 Dec; more info
Thousands of visitors flock to the fantastic four-day extravaganza that is St Nicholas Fayre every year, which has become feted as one of the best markets in the entire country. Sample mulled wine, hot chocolate and roasted chestnuts among York’s historic cobbled streets, with local farm produce including game among the foodie highlights. Carol singers and stall holders in costume all contribute to the warm Christmas atmosphere.
St Nicholas Fayre, Parliament Street, 28 Nov 28 – 1 Dec; more info
Travel back in time with this very special seasonal gathering at the Victorian Christmas Market, which boasts more 120 stalls, live entertainment, jaw-dropping costumes and a Santa’s Grotto complete with real-life Reindeer.
Victorian Christmas Market, Kelham Island Museum, 30 Nov – 1 Dec; £6 for adults, kids go FREE; more info
Selling everything from Yorkshire cheeses and chutneys to handmade gifts and Christmas decorations, over 140 chalets, mini-marquees, traditional market stalls and outdoor gazebos will be setting up shop for the Harrogate Christmas Market this time around. You can also put your feet up in the Food and Drink Marquee – new for this year – which will have café-style tables and chairs to relax at.
Harrogate Christmas Market, 28 Nov – 1 Dec; more info
Giving Christmas shopping an Oliver twist in the picturesque Yorkshire Dales, the village of Grassington will see its cosy streets packed full of buskers, fire-jugglers, ragamuffins and Artful Dodgers for the Grassington Dickensian Festival, with craft and food stalls aplenty over three consecutive Saturdays.
Grassington Dickensian Festival, 30 Nov, 7 Dec, 14 Dec; more info
As well as offering around 100 stalls selling crafts, gifts, decorations and food, the Christmas Craft & Food Fair on the stunning country estate of Sledmere House also has plenty to entertain young children during its annual yuletide event, with a magical Father Christmas grotto, tractor and trailer rides to the Deer Park, and access to the gardens – which aren’t normally open to the public in winter.
Christmas Craft & Food Fair, Sledmere House, Driffield, 6-8 Dec; £3.75 for adults, £1.50 for kids; more info
Bustling stalls laden with top regional produce will take up residence in the cobbled Market Square and surrounding lanes and courtyards over the first weekend of December for the Knaresborough Christmas Market. As for entertainment, there’ll be dancers, brass bands and a spectacular fireworks finale on the Sunday evening.
Knaresborough Christmas Market, 7-8 Dec; more info
For one day only, feast your tastebuds on terrific fresh food, and the rest of your senses on live street entertainment at Beverley Festival Of Christmas. Fancy dress, processions and even historical re-enactments have all been part of the festivities in the past.
Beverley Festival Of Christmas, 8 Dec; more info
Fast gaining a reputation as one of the most lively and exuberant gatherings around, Skipton’s popular high street finds itself in full-on fun mode for the Yuletide Festival and Christmas Market - with everything from costumed clowns to piano-playing nuns adding an extra dose of excitement to the Christmas shopping season.
Yuletide Festival and Christmas Market, Skipton, 8 & 15 Dec; more info