You're Invited to the Christmas Markets 2018
Ho, Ho, Ho! ‘Tis the season to be jolly, after all, it’s the most wonderful time of the year. That’s right, the countdown to Christmas is on! In light of the festive season, Hopewiser thought it would be particularly apt to take a look at different aspects of Christmas to help get you all into the Yuletide spirit. Mind you, if you’re anything like us then you won’t need much persuasion, because who doesn’t love Christmas?
It’s so difficult to decide on what the best thing about Christmas is. Let’s see, there’s the carol services, light switch-ons, presents, films, mince pies...the list is endless. Oh, but we mustn’t forget those extra merry occasions that attract people from far and wide to fill their boots with mulled wine and other festive treats, whilst wandering around and taking in the views of all the glistening decorations, gifts, and unique merchandise. Have you guessed what we’re talking about yet? The Christmas markets, of course.
The UK boasts a multitude of Christmas markets, with some located in the country’s most iconic cities. It’s time for the Hopewiser guide to return to give you the low-down on the best Christmas markets to attend this year. So, don your warmest hat and scarf, bring your appetite, loosen the purse strings, and keep reading!
Needless to say, the Manchester Christmas Markets are one of the most well-known in Great Britain. With 300 stalls spread across the city centre offering an array of world food, clothes, toys, and gifts, there’s something for everyone! So whether you fancy the French Christmas Market on King Street, the Arts and Crafts Market on Exchange Street, or sipping mulled wine in St Ann’s Square, make sure you visit Manchester this Christmas!
The markets opened last Friday (9th November) and will run right through to 22nd December, giving you plenty of time to enjoy all those festive treats. We suggest stopping off at Albert Square to try the Dutch pancakes with melted chocolate. One word...heaven! Then, if you venture up towards the heart of the city and head down Market Street, you’ll find yourself right in the midst of the markets. Alongside the Manchester Arndale there are decorations galore, and further down you’ll see the exceptional German Christmas Market spanning across St Ann’s Square and up Cathedral Street. Plenty of Bratwurst and other mouth-watering food that we know you won’t be able to resist.
The sheer fact that during the festive season the capital of Scotland is dubbed “Edinburgh’s Christmas”, suggests that it’s an event not to be missed. From the 16th November – 5th January 2019, you can look forward to the world-famous Edinburgh Christmas celebrations, which promise the biggest and brightest programme of events to date.
Voted the best UK Christmas market in 2017, East Princess Street Gardens offer a wide variety of food and drink, as well as local and homemade gifts. If you’re looking for something to warm you up on a cold winter’s night, then we hear that the Johnnie Walker Bothy Bar on the Mound is a hotspot for those festive drinks that you’ve been dreaming of all year.
In addition to the market, visitors can also look forward to a vast range of attractions suitable for all the family. There’s the Christmas rides with the Forth 1 Big Wheel, Santa Land which boasts the UK’s only elliptical outdoor ice rink, and of course, we couldn’t forget Santa’s Grotto which will be located on Castle Street, where food, drink, and children’s rides can be found in abundance.
If you fancy escaping the hustle and bustle of the high street but still want to experience the Christmassy magic that city centre markets have to offer, then why not try Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire? Set against a beautiful 18th Century backdrop, even the name just oozes aristocratic elegance. Throw in some cosy wooden chalets and an array of unique food and gifts galore, and you’re pretty much in Christmas heaven. Perfect!
If you’re looking to do a spot of Christmas shopping at the markets, then this one is certainly for you. The Churchill and Marlborough pavilions will be donned with 160 stalls, all of which will be styled in this year’s chosen “contemporary” theme. This will be ideal for those wanting to browse the unusual and unique gifts to buy for the younger members of the family. Isn’t the Duke of Marlborough kind to open up this part of his home to the public? We are sure it’ll make Christmas just that little bit more special. The market opens on 23rd November and runs until 16th December.
The last Christmas market that we are going to look at today is London’s Southbank Centre. Whilst England’s capital has many wonderful markets to choose from, there’s just something about walking along the River Thames and taking in the views of the sparkling lights and the aromatic scents of seasonal food and drink that sounds entirely irresistible.
Running from 9th November – 27th December, the Winter Market has two new food and drink establishments for you to enjoy throughout the festive period this year. As you’re walking down the Thames, be sure to pop into the Bar Under the Bridge for lots of cheese-themed goodies, such as charcuterie and baked Camembert. We doubt you’ll get lost looking for this hideout, just follow the smell!
Additionally, The Circus Bar will be situated in front of the Royal Festival Hall, which is a great spot to get out of the cold and warm up by a sizzling fire-pit. Baguettes filled with steak and smoked salmon will be aplenty, and it wouldn’t be Christmas without a cheeky spiced mulled cider or wine.
We hope that you have found this guide helpful and that you enjoy the Christmas markets, whichever one you decide to go to. Who knows, you may even attend 2, 3 or 4! Whatever you have planned, don’t forget to have fun, drink responsibly, and enjoy all the festive treats that Great Britain’s Christmas markets have to offer. Oh, and one last thing, make sure you take Proximity with you! It’s the must-have app that allows you to find all your nearest public transport links. For your FREE download, head over to the App Store or Google Play today!