UK and Irish Christmas markets

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions
Christmas Market - Birmingham

part of the German Christmas Market in Birmingham in 2016

There are hundreds of Christmas markets in the UK and Ireland. Some have already begun, some will run until Christmas Eve and some until the new year. Others will only last a day or so.

There are those that will be held in local village halls on a cold Saturday afternoon and some that are so meticulously planned that they will start work on them for Christmas 2018 barely a week or so after this years are over.

The markets have become as traditional in the run up to Christmas as the countdown to the top Christmas songs has become; as part of the yuletide celebrations as mulled wine and Christmas carols piped over loudspeakers in every retail shop from Land’s End to John O’Groats and charity appeals on behalf of just about everything.

Manchester Chistmas market

Some are dreamed up by destinations anxious to jump on the bandwagon and some have histories rooted in mediaeval times. But the most popular type seems to be the German style Christmas markets that have gradually enmeshed themselves in society so that any city worth its name has to have one.

It seems that we cannot get enough of them. The largest, the Christmas market in Birmingham opened yesterday near New Street station. This year it celebrates its eighteenth birthday and some four to five million people will visit it until it closes its doors on Christmas Eve.

the Christmas market in St Albans

They have become tourist attractions in their own right rather than just a retailing opportunity. Visitors travel miles to attend them.  In our small village, a coachload of people is heading for Ludlow Castle on the borders of England and Wales to visit the weekend mediaeval “fayre” on the 25th and 26th of November. Many have been before and have spread the word about how “nice”it is. Our villagers aren’t given to hyperbole so “nice” means well worth visiting and the bus gets more and more passengers each year despite the 150 mile journey.

Skipton Christmas market

This year we have made a list of just over 100 of the markets to help you locate the nearest to you. You will find them by clicking here, going to the top of the hope page and clicking at the top of the page on Christmas markets or by pasting into your browser,

There is a link to each market so you can when they are on, what stalls and entertainment there might be and whether any costs are involved. We also list a few of those that are cancelled the evnt in the last few weeks so that you save yourself a wasted trip this year. Next year they might be back on again.

It only remains to say, enjoy the Christmas spirit! Even if it is mid-November.

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