Almost before we’ve fully recovered our waistlines from last year’s excesses, Christmas is on the horizon again!
While it’s now fashionable to decry the commercialisation of the festival, most of us will probably admit to enjoying a bit of immersion in the spirit of things. Christmas markets can play a big part in that.
What are Christmas markets?
For reasons that are not clear (though Oliver Cromwell is often blamed), after some centuries, these markets fell out of fashion in the UK and virtually disappeared. The tradition was preserved though in central and eastern Europe, in countries such as Germany, Denmark, Poland and so on.
Over recent decades, they have been re-introduced with enthusiasm in the UK and they’re a welcome addition to the Christmas season.
They’re now once again a big attraction and that ties in nicely with the increasing interest in short Christmas caravanning breaks.
Where to find the Christmas markets
Of course, few of us perhaps relish the prospect of lots of long driving over the Christmas break to get to a site.
Fortunately, these markets now are spread all over the country so there’s bound to be one not that far from you. Here are a few ideas for specific destinations:
- Bath (Somerset). This is an incredibly beautiful town at any time but it really is especially attractive as a backdrop for the Christmas market. Not only is the market itself worth a visit but there are a host of other attractions to see when out and about;
- Leeds (West Yorkshire) “Christkindelmarkt”. In the centre of this great city, as the name suggests, this is a market with a very German flavour. Very large and with absolutely tons of goodies on offer;
- Bury St. Edmonds (Suffolk). Although set in a relatively small town in East Anglia, this is a very large and very popular market;
- A large market is held here every year and the city has a wealth of other sights to take in too;
- This boasts one of the UK’s largest (arguably the largest) Christmas markets with venues in over 10 different city locations;
- A fantastic market that specialises in a multi-national dimension, with stalls from many different European countries;
- Newcastle Upon Tyne (Tyne and Wear). This is a great location for a Christmas market and the Geordies typically love it. Nice countryside and coast nearby too;
- Scotland’s largest and most fashionable city, nothing’s spared when it comes to the vast Christmas market;
- Known for its architectural beauty and history, the capital of Scotland knows how to put on a show and demonstrates that again at the annual market.
There are plenty of other destinations too, should you be looking for one that’s really close.
If you’re thinking of visiting a market as part of a Christmas caravanning break, don’t forget:
- make sure your caravan insurance is up to date;
- check that your planned site is fully open and available. If your caravan insurance has conditions relating to on-site security, make sure that will be fully operational over the holiday;
- bring plenty of warm clothes;
- take especial care with your valuables on your person when in the markets. Though not usually a major problem, pickpockets love crowds.
Above all – enjoy yourself!