It’s Time to Make the Most of Christmas Markets

Summer is a time for village fetes and pick-your-own fruit, Autumn brings harvest festivals and Halloween, and winter is all about Christmas.

In the month of December, the typical expenditure of a household in the UK jumps 25%. This includes a 20% increase in spending on food and a 30% increase on alcohol. Additionally, recent trends have seen shopping being done earlier in the year, in many ways thanks to the US-inspired Black Friday. While this hasn’t increased the overall amount spent on the festive season, it has spread it out, so retailers have to start thinking about how to make the most of holiday-spending as early as possible.

One great way for farm shops to spread their reach, and maybe even get a few new regular customers, is by setting up at one of the many Christmas markets around the country. These are also a great place for artisan producers to sell their produce directly to consumers, as well as networking with other outlets.

There is bound to be a Christmas market nearby, and here are some of the best around the UK..

Bath
This Christmas market drew almost 500,000 visitors last year who spent a combined £10 million across the 200 stalls there last year. This year it running for 18 days between November 22 and December 9.

Belfast
This Christmas fair will run between from November 17 to December 22 in the grounds of Belfast City Hall. Not the most local affair, instead choosing to bring artisan product and unique items from countries around the world.

Birmingham
This German-style market draws crowds from around the country and sprawls across the city centre. This event has been running for more than 15 years and offers food, drinks, traditional gifts and live music. It is running from November 15 to December 23.

Cardiff
The capital of Wales is hosting a Christmas market from November 15 to December 23. This market has a wide variety of stalls with various artisan producers making it the perfect place to network with other local suppliers.

Edinburgh
They certainly go all in for the Christmas market in Edinburgh, which runs all the way from November 16 to January 5. Based in East Princes St Gardens, there are a host of different stalls open from 10am to 10pm (check website for exceptions).

Liverpool
Held in St George’s plateau, this market returns with more than 40 stalls selling food, drink, arts and crafts from both local and not-so-local artisans. It will be running from November 16 until December 23.

Manchester
The award-winning markets of Manchester will have more than 300 stalls spread across the city. Running from November 9 to December 23 (with some exception). There are maps and directions to the various markets with Albert Square offering the longest hours.

Nottingham
Not just a market, but a so-called Winter Wonderland, it runs from November 15 to December 31. There will be 70 stalls selling a variety of goods and a large portion of locally-based artisans.

Winchester
From November 17 to December 20 Winchester cathedral is host to more than 100 stalls selling a variety of food, drink and goods. There is a specific focus on “British craftspeople”, which includes jewellers, “painters, glass makers and textile artists”.