WARNING! I know that the title of this post might freak you out – who on earth thinks about Christmas in September? Well the reality is, I never stop. I take wrapping inspiration from the gifts I’ve received and I’m on the hunt for unique special gifts all year round. But one of the best things about Christmas is the food.
During the festive season, it’s all about celebrating traditions and embracing the classics. As December is creeping up quicker than you realise, it might be time to think about about visiting family and getting a head start with organising some festive events. If you’re eager to combine passions for travel and eating (who isn’t), there’s no better place to go than the Christmas markets. Here is your guide to the best markets to visit this winter.
The Christmas markets might orginate from other parts of Europe, but you don’t have to travel far to enjoy an authentic experience right here in the UK. Most large towns and cities have markets of some description during the festive season.
Manchester is famed for its Bavarian markets, which arrive at the end of November. Most stalls are located outside the Town Hall, but you’ll find them scattered throughout the city centre. Try a traditional hog roast roll or sample a fine array of European sausages. Indulge your sweet tooth with freshly prepared crepes, chocolate-covered fruit kebabs or sugary doughnuts. Wash down your festive feast with a drop of gluhwein or a rich hot chocolate.
The markets in Leeds are an excellent spot to relax after a frenetic day of Christmas shopping. Enjoy a drink in the atmospheric beer tent or a Belgian waffle as you meander around the quirky shops. There’s also a small pop-up ice rink next door if you fancy burning off some of those extra calories – whilst trying not to fall over!
If you’re after an unforgettable festive break, there’s no better place to be than the European Christmas markets. Amsterdam, Prague, and Budapest are popular city break destinations throughout the year, and there’s no better time to visit than December. Amsterdam’s illuminated river banks and city squares provide the most stunningly romantic views. Germany’s cities also pull out all the stops. Cologne, Dresden, and Berlin are famed for streets strewn with twinkling lights. You’ll also find a dazzling array of stalls offering handmade crafts and delicious snacks. Nuremberg is a delight in the winter. This charming medieval city is the perfect place to soak up the atmosphere and get into the Christmas spirit. The markets usually open in late November. Some close just before Christmas while others stay open until early January. If you’re lucky, you may be able to experience a white Christmas. Check the local weather forecast at http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/.
There’s a reason behind my madness of mentioning this so early in the year. If you’re planning to go overseas to visit the markets this year, start researching now. Flights run regularly in the run-up to the festive season, and you can also travel by coach or train. Check out sites like www.travelsphere.co.uk for sample itineraries and ideas.
I love Christmas, it’s one of my favourite times of the year. When you combine it with a passion for food and you know where to look, the markets. Whether you are planning a staycation in the UK or treating yourself to a festive city break, be sure to book flights early or investigate coach or train travel. If you can’t find me in during the season, now you know where I will be!
Much love xxx