Who doesn’t love a taste of European Christmas markets, without the hassle of airport security lines? I love the UK. I especially love the chance for a bit of armchair travel, and the lovely Dannielle, a fellow expat who writes at Chic-a-DeeDee kindly volunteered to guide us around a couple of her favourite markets ‘oop north’.
Leeds & Manchester Christmas Markets
Since I couldn’t make it to London to see it in all it’s Christmas glory this year, I’ve made the most of the Christmas markets that are near me in the North. Two of my favourites would have to be the Leeds German Christmas market ‘Chriskindlemarkt’, and Manchester’s Christmas market. An honourable mention goes to Lincoln as it’s got some fantastic stalls, but you’ve got to be willing to brave the crowds that make the trip for the short four days the market is on.
First up, a peek at the Leeds traditional German market.
You can’t go to the Leeds Christmas market without stopping off in one of their German restaurants. Yes you can get sausages and other quick food outside from one of the stalls, but nothing beats the atmosphere in the restaurants. They are festively decorated, have music playing, serve mulled wine in copper cauldrons and can get some amazing food. I’d suggest getting a cauldron or pint and getting plates to share, as you get a huge portion.
I found Manchester to be the most festive city I’ve been in as of yet, with decorations dotted around buildings, an ice rink takes over Screenfields park, and the Christmas markets have different themes and are dotted around the centre.
I found Manchester to be the best market for present buying. There was a lot more variety than some of the other smaller markets, and some great bargains if you shopped around. Our shoulders hurt from all the bags we were carrying by the end of the day! So of course we had to make a mulled wine pit stop, it’s traditional after all.
The Manchester market also has you covered with delicious food dotted around the stalls and other festive drinks like spiced hot chocolates. There was a french market down one street that I couldn’t recommend enough, with their chicken in different sauces and herby potatoes, plus a stand devoted to French macaroons. You get the traditional German fare in the main square (and the biggest of the different markets) but go early to avoid the heaving crowds. Even though we went on a busy Saturday night, we still managed to get around and get to the stalls.
Have you been to either of these markets? What’s your favourite UK Christmas market?
Thank you Dannielle, beautiful and most definitely envy inducing! Check out more of her blog posts out at Chic-a-DeeDee.