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
Weekend Break in York
Top 10 Things to do in York
- York Minster
- The Shambles
- National Railway Museum York
- Clifford’s Tower, York
- Jorvik Viking Centre
- York city walls
- The York Dungeon
- Yorkshire Museum
- Betty’s Tea Room
- York Museum Gardens
Weekend Break in York
How to get to York
The average journey time between York and London is 2 hours 50 minutes, or if you’re not messing around the fastest journey time is 1 hour 47 minutes. On an average weekday, there are 43 trains per day travelling from York to London so its a super popular route and one which many people take on a daily basis. And it’s also accessible through other routes, such as if you’re coming from Liverpool, Wales or the East coast. If you’re coming from abroad the closest airport is Leeds and Bradford Airport, closely followed by Doncaster. However, the biggest airport located near to York is Manchester.
Weekend Break in York
When to visit York
The weather in York varies greatly from month to month, with cold and wet winters, and warm summers. The temperature is around 16-26 degrees in the summer, and -2 – 10 degrees in the winter. There’s lots to do in York all throughout the year, and the city puts in place activities for these varying weathers. If you’re looking for the very warmest time to visit York, the hottest months are July, August, and then June. The warmest time of year is generally early August 21.5°C but if like me, you want to head to the Christmas markets in November or December you can expect temperatures around 1-5 degrees. Either way, you’ll be prepared now for 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
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