There’s nothing quite like a festive market to get you into the Christmas spirit. From Dickensian festivals keeping the spirits of A Christmas Carol alive to bustling streets of Austrian-inspired log cabins, there’s something for everyone this Christmas.
Saturday, November 30 & Sunday, December 1, then Saturday, December 7 & Sunday, December 8, 11am-5pm
Grassington’s legendary Dickensian Festival and market lend a seasonal atmosphere to the picturesque Yorkshire village, transporting market-goers back in time to when Queen Victoria held the throne. Locals and visitors alike will be decked out in Victorian finery, with traditional buskers, street entertainers and musical acts taking to the stage throughout two wintery weekends this December. You won’t be able to resist stalls offering all sorts of goodies from bespoke crafts and jewellery to delicious sweet treats and mulled wine beside the glow of an open brazier.
Meanwhile, little ones can pay a visit to a traditional Santa Claus in his hideaway grotto, meet an array of Dickensian characters, and follow a torchlit nativity procession down the cobbled streets.
In venues across the village, expect performances from Victorian character singers, Punch & Judy shows, organ players and choirs, along with brass bands, festive plays and much more.
Sunday, December 1 & Sunday, December 8, 10am-4pm
Where better to enjoy a wealth of festive stalls than the market town and ‘gateway to Yorkshire’ of Skipton? This December, the town centre will once again be taken over by vendors boasting Christmas bargains, unique gift ideas and scrumptious snacks. Skipton’s beautiful canal basin will play host to a farmers’ market, while more than 100 stalls stretch across its streets.
Relax with a mulled cider and roast chestnuts, enjoy choral and brass performances or take the kids off to visit Santa or ride a donkey – there really is something for everyone. Skipton’s market received the UK’s Best Large Speciality Market award in 2018, and is free to enter for anyone fancying a festive experience this year.
Thursday, November 28 – Sunday, December 1
Boasting 200 stalls, Worcester’s Victorian Christmas Fayre is home to an abundance of local producers, crafters and confectioners. Your senses will come alive with sights, smells and sounds of the season: at the traditional funfair, be whisked away on the Galloper to the sound of a barrel organ, enjoy community carol singing, and travel back in time to experience what Christmas in Worcester would have been like some 150 years ago.
The market will open with a carol service at the breath-taking Worcester Cathedral, ahead of a procession travelling from the Cathedral to the Cornmarket by the Mayor.
Thursday, November 7 – Monday, December 23
Birmingham’s Frankfurt market is renowned for its stunning collection of traders – from glass baubles and crystal lamps to hand-crafted leather and jewellery, you’ll be absolutely spoilt for choice this year. As always, there’ll be tasty German delicacies including bratwursts, schnitzels, pretzels and more – if you’re fancying a tipple, why not sample the gluhwein or weissbeer? There’ll also be traditional children’s funfair rides, plenty of entertainment and beautifully festive illuminations throughout.
The city will be bedecked in all its festive glory, with the appearance of an outdoor ice rink and a big wheel in Centenary Square. Experience the magic of skating under twinkling lights or witness the skyline from the heights of the Ferris wheel; either way, you’ll see Birmingham like you’ve never seen it before.
Saturday, December 14 & Sunday, December 15
Putting a Lake District twist on the classic Christmas market, Windermere’s Christmas Celebration is so much more than the forty or so stalls that set up in the picturesque village this December.
Take to the rink and show off your skating skills surrounded by the natural beauty of the Lakes, visit Santa in his nearby grotto and relax with performances from brass bands and choirs throughout the weekend.
Thursday, November 14 – Sunday, December 22
Among the Shambles and cobbled streets of York lies the St. Nicholas Fair, returning once more for 2019. In wooden chalets you’ll find all manner of goods: from festive ornaments and scented candles to mulled wine and artisan chocolates. Street food stalls touting curries, crepes and much more create a real feast for the senses, with Nordic marquees and various bars set up around the market area.
There’s plenty going on at venues around the city, too. An outdoor ice rink around a giant Christmas tree sets up at York Designer Outlet, while the a whole host of Dickensian characters come to life in York Castle Museum’s Victorian street. York Minster introduces the Advent procession – enjoy carols by candlelight following the Minster Choir on December 1st.
Saturday, November 23 & Sunday, November 24
Don your finest Victorian costumes and head to Ulverston this month for a traditional Dickensian festival like no other. Among specialist shops and businesses you’ll find a cosy Christmas market stocked with unusual gifts, festive food and handmade items, plus all the fun of the fair with a Helter Skelter, horse-drawn carriages, balloon modelling and plenty of music.
A grand Dickensian parade will take place on both days of the festival, along with a period dress competition for the best costume.
Saturday, November 16 – Sunday, December 22
The Tudor streets of Chester will be transformed with over 70 chalets, all arranged around the iconic Christmas tree in the city centre. Discover unique, locally crafted items, pick up the perfect stocking filler or surprise for a special someone. Along with classic German foods including frankfurters and glühwein, expect jewellery, crafts, cards and much more.
Don’t miss the spectacular animal-themed lanterns at Chester Zoo while you’re in the area – from November 22 to December 23, the zoo will become a wonderland full of sparkle and illuminations, taking you through nine themed worlds of light.
Sunday, December 8, 10am-4pm
Experience a snapshot into the past with Beverley’s traditional Victorian Christmas market. Over 120 stalls will take over the town centre, offering a huge selection of crafts, stocking fillers and tasty treats. Entertainers will take to the streets with birds of prey displays, live music and dance performances, along with a Victorian fairground for the little ones.
The festivities really begin with a reindeer-led procession through the town at 10am – meet Santa on his sleigh in a charged seasonal atmosphere. There’s something for everyone in Beverley at Christmas!