Are Christmas markets losing their appeal?

By | Category: Travel news


A few years ago, Christmas markets, were largely unknown in our countries. Today every city, town and village seems to have one. This year Cathrene has loaded more than 250 UK markets but she has noticed that changes in some places. Swindon, for example, is not having a Christmas market at all this year.

Has the appeal of Christmas markets peaked?

The biggest market in the UK is in Birmingham. But there the number of stalls has dropped. Depending on whether you read the website of the Christmas market there are either over 120 stands or, if you read the city council website, over 180. Although the market is still open for over 35 days, compared to three years ago, there are fewer stands.

The Christmas market in Belfast has been cut from 33 days in 2012 to just 7 this year. The market in Cardiff used to run for over 30 days as well but now is just 11 and Newcastle’s just to five. Carlisle’s is down to just a weekend. In fact it seems that many have been reduced to just a two or three day weekend from the heady numbers of a few years ago.

Darlington Christmas market used to last a week but that is now down to two days as is the market in Rochester. In Didcot it is down to just one day. In Swansea just about 40 stands make up the Christmas market there and yet the city is the second largest in Wales. Although the market in Inverness was scheduled for two days, that has been cancelled and Clitheroes’s didn’t even get to the starting gate!

Some places continue to run for over 30 days such as Bath, Bradford, Cheltenham, Colwyn Bay and Edinburgh which, incidentally, is now open for three times as long as it once was. Some cities like Edinburgh are still expanding. The market in Bristol has jumped from lasting two weeks to running this year for over 40. In Christchurch which had a market lasting a single day, theirs now lasts three weeks and that in Leeds, two. The market in Plymouth now lasts for over 50 days compared to the thirty of a few years ago.

But a lot have settled for just a weekend as I said earlier. Why is this? Cathrene suggests that one reason could be because, in Germany, each market is different and often reflects the locality. Here, many seem to be the same. There are exceptions. The Scottish market in Edinburgh has grown in size and popularity and Dickensian themed markets survive in many places as do medieval ones.

But it seems the big cities are managing to continue whereas those smaller – except for a few exceptions are settling for just a weekend or maybe a week.

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