It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas (even though its hardly even Halloween yet), and us Yorkshiremen are getting right in the spirit of it. So, of course, like little children waiting for Snta to arrive, we’ve done the hard work for you and found the best Christmas markets to visit in Yorkshire this year.
And sure, it might only be October, but there’s certainly no harm in planning. And the best part? Some of the greatest Christmas markets in the UK are right here on our doorstep in good ol’ Yorkshire. Here’s a rundown of just some of the markets to add to your list this year.
1. York Christmas Festival
If there’s one place in Yorkshire that screams Christmas, it’s York. From its quaint architecture to its medieval streets, you can’t get more wholesome than a day out in the Viking Capital.
The traditional fair, known as the St. Nicholas Christmas Fayre, sees traders pitched up along Parliament Street, showcasing some of the best locally sourced produce and independent sellers the city has to offer.
If that wasn’t enough to sway you, Kings Square will play host to the fun fair featuring their old fashioned Helter Skelter. You’ll also be able to fill your tummy with seasonal treats at St. Sampson’s Square’s Yorkshire Barn, and Santa will be making special appearances at Coppergate.
For the grown-ups, be sure to check out Thor’s Tipi, where you’ll be able to cosy up with a festive tipple after browsing the stalls. York Christmas Market will return 18 November to 23 December.
2. Sheffield Christmas Market
Growing year-on-year, Sheffield’s Christmas market offering has become a huge annual event, with over 50 stalls across Fargate, Town Hall Square and Peace Gardens (the home of an incredible gift-shaped light installation each Christmas!).
This year includes an Alpine Bar where shoppers can head over for seasonal beverages, as well as the traditional German Sausage Grill, a pizza bar and churro stop if you’re feeling a bit peckish.
Kids can head over to Santa’s Grotto to meet Santa himself, with a photo-opp and gift for each child. And if you feel like getting away from the bustle of the festivities? You can jump on Sheffield’s own Big Wheel while looking over the pretty Christmas lights. Sheffield Christmas Market opens on November 12th-throughout December.
3. Beverley Festival of Christmas
One of the largest Christmas events in the UK, the Beverley Festival of Christmas is back this year, with over 120 stalls in attendance.
The one-day event will feature four Victorian market locations across the town, with a range of entertainment including carol singing, a festive parade, Pantomime performances, fair rides, and even a visit to Santa’s Grotto where kids can pick up a gift and meet the man himself.
There’ll be plenty to eat and drink, with stalls ranging from food, hand-crafted items to festive gifts. The perfect choice for Christmas markets in Yorkshire for all the family.
If that wasn’t all, Beverley is home to a number of fantastic pubs, such as the iconic White Horse Inn (known as Nellie’s to us locals), and the cosy King’s Head. The Beverley Festival of Christmas is back on December 12th.
4. Knaresborough Christmas Market
Knaresborough is undeniably one of the prettiest places in Yorkshire, so it’s not surprising to us that it’s also lovely at Christmas.
Hosting a weekend of festivities every year, with an array of market stalls taking over the town stocking wonderful Yorkshire produce – including meats and cheeses from the Dales, handmade gifts, proper butcher’s shop pork pies and so much more.
If that wasn’t all, this year, guests can expect a roster of live entertainment, alongside a mulled wine hut, an Elf hunt for the kids and a decadently decorated Courtyard to admire. Knaresborough Christmas Market will take place on the 4th and 5th of December.
5. Christmas Markets at Yorkshire Wildlife Park
Christmas at Doncaster’s Yorkshire Wildlife Park is pretty unbeatable, with organisers pulling out all the stops for the annual occasion.
Hosting not only a magical animal-themed light trail within the grounds, guests can also enjoy a wholesome Christmas market, where they can shop wonderful festive-themed gifts and food items, alongside the park’s ever-improving Yorkshire Hive.
At the Hive, visitors will discover a fun play barn for the kids, as well as the new Evolution dining experience, which sees dinosaurs roaring on throughout the restaurant, hiding behind pre-historic trees and stones. The experience is fantastic for kids, and one sure to elevate any Christmas visit this year. Yorkshire Wildlife Park’s Christmas Markets return 11th-12th December and 18th-19th December.
6. Skipton Christmas Market
It’s no secret that Skipton is one of The Yorkshireman’s favourite towns. In fact, we visit frequently – particularly for Christmas. Boasting tons of traders throughout the bustling market town, guests can start and finish their Christmas shopping with plenty of independent gift stalls there to browse.
In addition to shopping, enjoy a wide variety of delicious Yorkshire-made grub, fantastic Christmas-themed entertainment, and plenty of stunning pubs and restaurants in the centre (if you have room left after scranning all the market grub, that is!). The market will take place on both December 5th and December 12th.
7. Malton Christmas Food Market
Yorkshire’s Food Capital, Malton, is the perfect place to visit at Christmas – with not one, but two market days planned this year for guests to enjoy.
Sticking with the foodie theme, guests can expect a festive twist on the town’s monthly food market, with over 100 stalls of Christmassy treats, locally-made produce, and non-food related gifts, too.
Adding to the spectacle, guests will also be able to enjoy live music and entertainment, alongside choirs, fairground rides and a land train for the kids. Visit the Christmas markets this year on the 4th and 5th December.
8. Whitby Christmas Festival
Consisting of an array of wonderful food and gift traders, the Whitby Christmas Festival is particularly special – bringing a unique air to Christmas that can only be found on the coast.
The town’s nautical heritage and traditional festivities merge for just three days only, bringing the very best local street food and handmade items and crafts to the historic town’s streets.
While the annual festival usually includes spectacular events such as an entertainment marquee, festival stage, street theatre or lantern parade, this year’s event will take place on a smaller scale – putting a focus on the shopping element for this year’s Christmas celebration. Whitby Christmas Market will return 26th to 28th November.
[Featured image: Unsplash]
*This article has been updated to reflect markets going ahead in 2021.