Christmas Markets are a great way to get in the festive mood. Originally banned by Oliver Cromwell, they are now booming in large UK towns and cities and make a great day trip or long weekend away.
One of the most popular markets is held in Birmingham, which celebrates its 10th year of success this December. It recreates the original essence of a German Market by selling traditional snacks and pastries native to Germany as well as Glühwein (mulled wine). Rows of small wooden huts line Victoria Square selling various toys, crafts, jewellery and home-made goods and the lively ambience is further created with special performances by local choirs and schoolchildren. The market is already open and will continue until the 23rd of December.
If you want to recreate history, visit the Victorian Festival of Christmas set in Portmouth’s Historic Dockyard. Activities include Victorian dancers, a magic lantern show and a traditional Victorian Father Christmas dressed in green. Note that this unique type of market runs for a limited time, from the 25th-27th November.
Similarly in Rochester Castle there is Dicken’s Christmas Market, where the characters from the books come to life and mix in with the crowd. This market will open on the 30th of November and continue until the 18th of December.
If you’re looking for something off the beaten track, try the Leeds Caribbean Christmas Market. Learn about Caribbean history whilst sampling delicious native food, rum punch and listening to the steel drums. Don’t forget to take the limbo challenge- there are prizes involved! The market runs for one weekend only from the 26th-27th November.
Don’t forget to wrap up warm as most Christmas Markets are best experienced at night, where revelers can enjoy a mulled wine whilst performers sing and dance under the festive lights.
So find your nearest Christmas Market and have some festive fun!