In December, I headed up north to York Christmas Market for a festive weekend with my best friend Katie. We stayed at the wonderful Staycity York and then spent 48 hours exploring the christmas markets, eating our body weight in cake at the famous Bettys Tearoom and listening to the carol singers at magnificent York Minster.
Visiting York Christmas Markets has to be one of the best ways to see in the festive period if you’re in the UK in December. York switches on it’s lights at the beginning of December and then the festivities begin, with an array of Christmas Markets, fairs and shows to get our festive brain whirring. The Christmas markets tend to open around 15th November and go on in to the New Year.
York Christmas Market is a great chance to soak up the the city’s medieval charm and scents of spiced mulled wine this season, as city transforms into a wonderfully festive fairytale. The most popular area of the festive scene is St Nicholas Fair, near Market Square, where the scandinavian-inspired market includes over 100 wooden stalls selling an array of wares, including Christmas jumpers, fudges, gifts and local farm produce. There are also carol singers and buskers, hot chocolate laced with brandy and chestnuts roasting on street corners. And if you’ve got the kids with you, there’s even a chance to meet Santa himself…
York really does come alive in winter, and offers couples, friends and families alike the opportunity to get festive and celebrate together. So what are you waiting for? Book your accommodation in York, book those train tickets and head over to York Christmas Markets this year.
READ MORE: Ultimate Guide to a Weekend Break in York
ST NICHOLAS FAIR
St Nicholas’ Fair, has become an iconic part of the York Christmas festival, which includes the Christmas market itself, a festive ice rink, the Christmas light switch-on, visits with Santa Clau and, York’s traditional pantomime run. A record breaking one million visitors flock to St Nicholas’ Fair each year, where 100 wooden chalets line Parliament St, snaking their way along St Sampson’s Square, The Judge’s Lodging and Coppergate. The Christmas market sells an array of festive fare, from food and drink to handmade arts, crafts and gifts, with carol singers and buskers creating the perfect Christmassy atmosphere that can be heard from miles around.
YORKSHIRE YULETIDE VILLAGE AT SHAMBLES MARKET
The historic, vibrant Shambles Market is open in the heart of the city of York all year round, but at Christmas Made in Yorkshire returns to host its Yuletide Village, where you’ll find the very best in local and handmade arts, crafts, food and drink. See demonstrations by craft makers from across Yorkshire and find unique and special gifts that you won’t see anywhere else.
Thor’s Tipi is a Scandinavian-style, Viking-inspired pop-up tipi bar that is hosted each Christmas in a variety of cities across the UK, including York, Leeds, Sheffield, Milton Keynes, Lincoln, Hull, Hyde Park Winter Wonderland and Regent’s Palace. Inside, there are cosy log fires and Christmas cheer, while outside there’s a winter garden complete with Christmas trees and outdoor heating. And, of course, don’t forget the food and drink: outdoor barbecues, ale, mulled wine, Prosecco, hot chocolate and, of course, hot cider.
*I was invited to visit York Christmas Market by Visit York