Nothing conjures up that festive feeling better than a trip to a traditional Christmas market with illuminated wooden stalls and the delicious aroma of mulled wine and grilled sausages in the air. Here’s our ultimate guide to some of the best Christmas markets to visit around Yorkshire this year.
Leeds Christmas Markets & Ice Cube
Leeds Christmas Markets never disappoint and this year’s will be bigger and better than ever. For almost a month, between 24th November-22nd December, stalls will pop up in the City Square and many other spots around Leeds. These include The Headrow, Lands Lane and Briggate, where you’ll find an Insta-worthy Windmill Bar and traditional wooden stalls inhabited by international, UK and Yorkshire-based traders. There will be lots of mouthwatering food and drink to try, including Bavarian beer and hot bratwurst. Alongside shopping, the markets will offer performances of live music, pantos and a chance to meet Father Christmas himself. The Ice Cube outdoor skating rink will also return to Millennium Square, where you’ll be able to enjoy old fashioned funfair rides like the Golden Gallopers or grab a cup of glühwein or hot chocolate from the Alpine-inspired ski bar. To help you find your way around, a map of the 2023 markets can be downloaded from the Visit Leeds website.
Open from 24th November-22nd December
Opening times: Monday-Wednesday 10am–7pm / Thursday-Saturday 10am-9pm / Sunday 10am–6pm
York Christmas Market
If York’s characterful Shambles aren’t already enough to get you in the mood for Christmas, the city’s annual Christmas Market will return between November 16th-December 22nd. Two city centre locations – Parliament Street and St Sampson’s Square – will be transformed into sparkling winter wonderlands with villages of chalet-style stalls. Many of these will be run by local traders and craftspeople and there’ll be all manner of beautiful and unusual gifts to purchase, from foodie treats to luxury stationery. You’ll also be able to pick up food to eat as you browse and a soundtrack of live carols will make your time in York even more magical.
Open from 16th November-22nd December
Opening times: Monday-Sunday 10am–7pm
Beverley Festival of Christmas
Now in its 27th year, Beverley Festival of Christmas will return to the East Yorkshire market town on Sunday 10th December for a magical one day only event. Christmas spirit will fill the air as 120 independent stalls arrive in the town’s two marketplaces, selling everything from food and drink to arts and crafts. Visitors can also head to Flemingate, where a giant snow globe will make for great photo opportunities and you’ll be able to warm up in the Nordic tipi bar, which boasts a roaring real fire. Star Wars fans young and old will be thrilled to meet costumed actors from the Sentinel Squad, and there’ll be family-friendly entertainment in the form of face painting, dancing, carols and much more. This year, Beverley Festival of Christmas will also welcome some special animal guests with birds of prey on display and an appearance from Santa’s reindeer and Therapony’s miniature American horses.
Open from 10am-4pm on Sunday 10th December
Sheffield Christmas Market
If you’re planning to do your Christmas shopping in Sheffield this year, you’ll find the city alive with more than fifty log cabin stalls on Fargate and Pinstone Street and at The Moor. This year, the city’s market celebrates its flourishing independent scene and more than 80% of its stallholders are local. Never fear, though. There’s still the charming Alpine look and all you’d expect to find at a Christmas market, including grilled German sausages, churros and mulled wine. Sheffield Christmas Market kicks off with a special two day opening event over the weekend of the 18th-19th December. This will feature live music, street performers and an outdoor cinema, while for the entire duration of the market you can enjoy an aerial view of Sheffield from the big wheel, get a drink from the Sleigh Bar or pay a visit to Santa in his grotto. Those who want to experience the sights and sounds of Christmas long ago can also visit the Kelham Island Museum on the first weekend in December for their highly-rated Victorian Christmas Market.
Open from 16th November-24th December
Opening times: Open every day from 10am-6pm / Fridays and Saturdays extended until 7pm in December.
Hull Victorian Christmas Market & Carlton Manor Christmas Market
If you’re looking for more olde worlde festivities, Hull’s Victorian-themed Christmas Market shouldn’t be missed. On the weekend of the 25th-26th November, Queen Victoria herself invites you to join her in the city’s Museums Quarter for an enchanting celebration of Christmas past. Step back in time to the era in which many of the Christmas traditions we know and love were first introduced. You’ll be able to try your hand at craft activities, listen to music and stories and meet characters from Charles Dickens’ novels. There will also be stalls selling food, drink and gifts. If you don’t manage to get all of your Christmas shopping done, Carlton Manor’s Christmas Market takes place on the 25th November too. This elegant country estate between Hull and the coast will capture the essence of Christmas with a market in its garden tipi that will include stalls and a bar serving mulled wine. There will be live music from the Aldbrough Primary Choir and a grotto where little ones can visit Santa for £5.
Hull Victorian Christmas Market is open from 10am on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th November.
Carlton Manor Christmas Market takes place on Saturday 25th November between 4-9pm.
Malton Christmas Festival
Malton’s food markets attract tens of thousands of visitors each year as people flock to Yorkshire’s ‘food capital’ to sample the best produce the region has to offer. In December, however, the town will host its ‘shopping event of the year’ – a huge two day festival that will see its picturesque Market Place filled with a mixture of food and non food stalls. There will be figgy puddings, turkey and goose, and award-winning macarons from Florian Poirot, as well as some wonderful festive gifts for sale. Children can visit Santa’s grotto or help Emerald the Elf to prepare for Christmas in an entertaining interactive show. There are also activities for adults to try their hand at, like making a beautiful metal rose from steel or copper with MUST Forge.
Open from 9am-3:30pm on Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd December.
Harrogate Christmas Fayre
With its ornate architecture and a history that’s rooted in recreation, the spa town of Harrogate is just the place to find some Christmas spirit. This year, Harrogate’s Christmas Fayre will run for three weeks from the first of December onwards, offering visitors a chance to tick off their shopping lists with some fabulous finds from local traders or the market’s European stalls.There will be artisan crafts for sale, including handmade Christmas decorations, along with a range of sweet and savoury foods to try or buy. Live music and entertainment will add to the festive atmosphere and the Candy Cane Express road train will be running to and from the Crescent Gardens, where you’ll find an ice rink and fairground rides.
Open from 1st-17th December
Opening times: Monday-Saturday 10am-7pm / Sunday 11am-4pm
You can enjoy some sparkle by the sea this December at Scarborough’s glittering Christmas market and fair. Wrap up warm as you make for the Open Air Theatre in the North Bay, where something special awaits the whole family. Youngsters will have a wonderful time with vintage rides and games like the ferris wheel, teacups, hook a duck and MEGA fun house. Meanwhile, grown-ups can relax with drinks in the tipi or browse more than 35 themed stalls, which sell everything from clothing and jewellery to chocolates and speciality liqueur. Dog lovers will even be able to pick up a special treat for their four legged friends. If all that shopping leaves you feeling peckish, Scarborough Sparkle’s gourmet food stalls offer cuisines from all around the world – you’ll find a great selection of desserts here too.
Open from 24th-26th November
Opening times: Friday 5-9pm / Saturday 11am-9pm / Sunday 11am–4pm
Images- @https://www.welcometosheffield.co.uk/content/events/sheffield-christmas-market-2023/, @https://www.visitmalton.com/malton-christmas-festival, @https://www.discoveryorkshirecoast.com/event/scarborough-sparkle/128990101/