There was a time about 20 years ago, when you had to travel to mainland Europe to a large city to visit a Christmas Market. It was all a bit exciting and special, going abroad to experience pre-Christmas activities and fare in northern Europe.
Then, about 10 years ago, they started to appear in large cities in Britain. The Lincoln Christmas Market became rather popular, people making special trips to visit it, maybe staying overnight to enjoy the sights if the city as well as the gluhwein, gingerbread and sausages. A European Christmas tradition had migrated to Britain, and it was welcomed.
Christmas Markets burgeoned in other cities – they kicked off in Manchester and Liverpool in my area. The market in Manchester is huge, spreading itself through numerous side streets as well as having its focus on the main square. It’s peppered with fairground rides and at least two pop up ice rinks.
Christmas Markets are no longer a novelty – they’re main stream and they seem to be in just about be every small town, including my own. Such fun.
If you enjoy wandering around on a cold dark evening, eating charred sausages, burning your tongue on hot spiced wine and spending your money on things you might not normally buy as gifts for people, it will obviously hit the spot for you. OK, I’m not a complete misery – I’ll go and take a quick look at our local offering this weekend – there will be music and the Christmas lights will be switched on – but I’ll skip the food and drink and opt for a cosy night in rather than out.
The forecast is for more cold weather.