We’re approaching the middle of November which means Christmas is just around the corner and there are only a few weeks left to get those important gifts bought. It’s usually around this time that towns and cities acorss the UK start hosting their annual Christmas markets. Such events are not only a great way to tick off a few items on those seemingly neverending wish lists, but they also provide the perfect opportunity to kickstart the season and get us into the Christmas spirit!
There are no shortage of Christmas markets taking place in Yorkshire over the coming weeks and they’re all special in their own way. However, here are just a few of the Christmas markets in Yorkshire which promise to fill you with festive cheer (and probably a few mince pies during the run up to Christmas. Turn the heating off, put on your big coat and head to one of these gloriously festive markets for family fun and some serious retail therapy…
Skipton Christmas Market
Where: Skipton High Street
When: Sunday 1st and Sunday 8th December
Skipton’s award-winning Christmas market takes place on the first two Sundays in December. The High Street of this historic market town is closed off to traffic and local crafters and vendors are invited to sell their goods. This year, in addition to over 100 festive stalls and food vendors, there’ll be live music and entertainment, brass bands, carol singers, children’s activitives, Santa’s grotto, real reindeer, a torchlight procession AND an additional Farmer’s Market based at the canal basin.
St Nicholas Christmas Fair
Where: Parliament Street, York
When: Thursday 14th November to Sunday 22nd December
Yorkshire’s most “Christmassy” city will host another excellent Christmas market this year. You’ll find all sorts of locally crafted goods in the Made in Yorkshire Yuletide Village and a huge selection of traditional gifts and Christmas treats in the alpine chalets lining Parliament Street. At Kings Square there’ll be an old fashioned funfair complete with a Helter Skelter ride and, over on St Sampson’s Square, you’ll find hot chestnuts, mulled wine and other tempting foodie offerings in the rustic Yorkshire barn.
Grassington Dickensian Festival
Where: Grassington Village
When: Saturday 30th November, Sunday 1st December, Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th December
On 4 days of each year, the picturesque village of Grassingon is transported back in time to the 19th Century – the era when many of our festive traditions began and when the world was first introduced to the story of Ebeneezer Scrooge and his Christmas spirits. Grassington’s Dickensian Festival offers a full programme of festive entertainment for the thousands of visitors who flock here each year. With craft stalls and food vendors trading from the village square, business owners and residents greeting visitors in traditional Victorian costume and festive delights such as a torchlit nativity procession and a Santa’s Grotto, this has to be one of Yorkshire’s most atmospheric Christmas events.
Malton Christmas Food Market
Where: Malton town centre
When: Saturday 7th to Sunday 8th December
Malton in North Yorkshire is most certainly the food capital of our glorious county, so this market is not just an opportunity to buy gifts – it’s also a festive celebration of Yorkshire produce and cooking. Malton Christmas Market used to be a one-day event attracting aproximatley 10,000 visitors but last year, they extended it for an extra day. The 2018 event was by far the busiest and most profitable weekend that local traders had seen. This market is a real must for foodies as, in addition to festive entertainment and gift buying opportunities, there’ll be live chef demonstrations and plenty of delicious goodies to sample from some of the finest producers in the county. The town’s regular food festivals are always superb but adding a festive twist makes this one that extra bit special!
Whitby Christmas Festival
Where: Front Marina Car Park
When: Friday 15th to Sunday 17th November
When Whitby do festivals they do them incredibly well and with the coast town being one of Yorkshire’s favourite tourist destinations, they’re also immensley popular. Whitby Christmas Festival 2019 is a weekend-long event starting this Friday and ending on Sunday. For the duration of the event, there’ll be a range of stalls onsite offering all kinds of crafts and gifts as well as delicious foods from all around the world. Over the weekend there’ll also be a lantern parade, stage entertainment from local bands and dance groups, a spectacular firework display and a number of special guest appearances.
Harrogate Christmas Market
Where: Montpellier Hill, Harrogate
When: Thursday 14th to Sunday 17th November
Held on The Stray in Harrogate’s historic quarter, Harrogate Christmas Market will have over 200 stalls this year! With the town already being a fantastic Yorkshire shopping destination, this event will undoubtedly be a real treat for those hoping to pick up some locally made gifts and great Yorkshire produce. This year’s highlights incldue a large Craft and Gift marquee, a Food and Drink marquee with seating and Santa’s grotto complete with real reindeer. Be sure to explore some of Harrogate’s independent shops whilst you’re there too!
Scarborough Victorian Christmas Market
Where: Scarborough Centre
When: Tuesday 10th to Sunday 15th December
Scarborough have really upped their game for Christmas this year! As part of their brand new “Countdown to Christmas” festival, which is a calendar filled with festive events and activities, they’re putting on a special Christmas market. To mark 200 years since the birth of Queen Victoria, the town centre Christmas market will have a Victorian theme. Hunt for those perfect stocking fillers in Victorian-themed Christmas huts, enjoy a comforting glass of Mulled Wine whilst street performers entertain the crowds and keep an eye out for Queen Victoria herself, who is rumoured to be making a royal appearance!
Beverley Festival of Christmas
Where: Beverley Town Centre
When: Sunday 8th December
This year, Beverley town centre will host the 24th Beverley Festival of Christmas. It’s a pretty big event with not one, but three traditional Victorian street markets to peruse for handmade gifts and creative crafts! In fact, this year there’ll be a whopping 120 stalls spread across three areas. However, there’s far more than just a great shopping opportunity on offer at this event. On the day, there’ll also be live music, carol singing, Victorian fairground rides, pantomine performances, face painting and Santa’s Grotto. A really fun event for the whole family.
The Piece Hall Christmas Fair
Where: The Piece Hall, Halifax
When: Friday 29th November to Sunday 1st December
Halifax’s iconic Piece Hall will be again be the venue for the town’s Christmas fair this year. Expect all the usual Christmas event festivities along with live entertainment from local musicians and a carousel for the kids. As regards to stalls, The Piece Hall Christmas Fair is a celebration of the region’s independent crafters, artisan makers and local food makers so there’ll be a diverse selection of stalls offering some fabulous local products. An excellent opportunity to discover unique gifts and sample new foods in the grounds of Halifax’s most celebrated building.
Otley Victorian Christmas Fayre
Where: Otley Town Centre
When: Sunday 1st December
Originally set up by Otley Chamber of Trade, the first Otley Victorian Fayre took place in 1985. Today, the popular event is run by Otley Town Partnership – a voluntary organisation that runs a number of events designed to boost local business and promote the town. Each year, business owners and stallholders dress up in traditional Victorian attire, along with the local school children who attend to entertain the crowds with carol singing. During the event you’ll find various crafts and gift stalls, food vendors, street organs, Morris Dancers and children’s rides and amusements. Victorian costume is optional but we think dressing the part adds to the fun.
Leeds German Christmas Market
Where: Millenium Square, Leeds
When: Friday 8 November until Saturday 21 December 2019
Probably one of the most anticipated and most popular Christmas markets in Yorkshire is Leeds German Christmas Market. Leeds’ Millenium Square undergoes a magical transformation each year to turn this part of the metropolitan city into a winter village, complete with wooden chalets, cosy pop-up restaurants and a traditional carousel. With vast numbers of stalls selling everything from decorative accessories to quirky gifts, numerous food vendors offering all kinds of tasty treats and a wide array of festive entertainment running at regular intervals , it’s no surprise this exceptionally good Christmas market attracts an extraordinary number of visitors each year.