It’s December! Which can only mean one thing – parents, families, couples and friends will all be stuck over which, out of the hundreds of Christmas Markets, to go to.
To help them decide, independent department store Housing Units has selected 21 of the best Christmas Markets in the country, to find handmade gifts, hearty food and take in the joyous atmosphere.
They have also shared their suggestions for restaurants and hotels nearby, for travellers to choose the best place to make a weekend out of it with loved ones. Three restaurants and three hotels in each city were named the best places to eat and sleep, based on TripAdvisor reviews, menu offerings and proximity to the market.
In the list are six great Northern cities for Christmas shopping…
Recommended restaurants: Alexandros Greek Restaurant and Deli, Royal Outpost, Thin White Duke
Recommended hotels: The Halston, Crown and Mitre Hotel, Hallmark Hotel
Once called Britain’s happiest city, Carlisle is the gateway to the stunning Lake District, but only an hour away from Scotland. This year, the city is staging an open-air Christmas Market with chalets outside the Old Town Hall, a two-story Grade 1 Listed building from the Medieval era.
The unquestionable beauty of Carlisle makes it special, with historic landmarks, open parks, castles and an abundance of Grade 1 Listed buildings.
Leeds German Christmas Market
Recommended restaurants: All Bar One, Turtle Bay, George’s Great British Kitchen
Recommended hotels: Ibis Styles Leeds City Centre, Radisson Blu Leeds, Travelodge
Millennium Square in Leeds will transform into a winter wonderland, with a contintental style festive shopping experience. From Christmas Carousels to festive greenery, there’s an abundance of German delicacies on offer for you to eat.
Leeds is one of the biggest cities in Yorkshire, so you’ll have plenty to do while you’re here. But if you fancy getting away from the hustle and bustle of the city, it’s less than an hours drive to the stunning scenery of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Here you can explore amazing natural attractions, walk in the countryside or even venture out to the Pennines mountains and hills if you’re feeling energetic.
Liverpool Christmas Market
Recommended restaurants: Turtle Bay, Wahaca Rooftop Bar, The Monro
Recommended hotels: Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza, Premier Inn
Liverpool’s magnificent Christmas Market returns this year against the glistening St George’s Hall. From karaoke cable cars to ferris wheels, there’s plenty of ways to get a view of the beautiful city that’s responsible for The Beatles, great football and the Liverpudlian’s love for their own city.
It’s hard not to come to Liverpool and fall in love with the city, and it becomes even more magical at Christmas. There will be arts, an abundance of festive treats, and a gin lovers paradise – with even a gin bar for all your spirit needs.
Manchester Christmas Markets
Recommended restaurants: No. 1 Canal Street, Pieminster, Pasta Factory
Recommended hotels: The Edwardian Manchester, The Midland, Roomzzz
The marathon of markets, Manchester is home to nine different christmas market locations. With more than 300 festive stalls and chalets far and wide across the city centre, it’s difficult not to take in the spirit of the most wonderful time of the year if you come to this city this winter.
There’s a German, French, and World Christmas Market in the city centre for visitors to have a world of cuisine to choose from, neat one-of-a-kind handmade gifts, and a huge glistening Santa which is a perfect place to take pictures, gather around, and arrange a meeting spot incase you get lost!
Recommended restaurants: Carluccios, The Botanist, Banyan Newcastle
Recommended hotels: The Vermont Hotel, Premier Inn, Motel One
2019 marks an important year for Newcastle’s Christmas shenanigans – it’s being expanded to bring a major festive destination to more of the city of Geordies!
Its revamp will include a Toboggan slide, traditional fairground attractions like a Helter Skelter ride, almost double the amount of stalls, and live entertainment every day. And once you’re done with the market, a short car journey can take you to Gateshead’s Saltwell Park, which is being transformed into a magical winter wonderland. Hopefully the Christmassy feeling will help you forget about the cold.
St Nicholas Fair York
Recommended restaurants: Bills, Pizza Express York River House, The Ivy York
Recommended hotels: Park Inn by Radisson York City Centre, Queens Hotel York, The Judges Lodging
Soak up the festive atmosphere at St Nicholas Fair in York. From crafters and makers in the famous Yuletide district to more traditional Christmas gifts and a fun Helter Skelter, York has everything you’ll need for a fun Christmas weekend away. Of course, there’s mulled wine on offer and the stores are in authentic alpine chalets.
You also have the Shambles, the street which famously inspired Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley, which is home to many local, independent stores which will no doubt join in the Christmas spirit.