University of York Graduate, aspiring to be a journalist with dreams of one day publishing my own novel.
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The best of the North East's Christmas markets and shopping
Stuck for shopping ideas this Christmas? Why not get a little closer to the North Pole and take a trip to the beautiful north-east of England, where you can indulge your shopping habits in its vast array of Christmas events and markets?
You'll have to be quick if you want to get involved in Harrogate's Christmas Market scene – situated on St Mary's Walk, Montpellier Hill, the market is open until 17:00 on November 25th. Adults and children alike can get into the Christmas spirit with the vast choice of market stalls, and even take a visit to see Santa and his reindeer.
If you're not into the busy market atmosphere and prefer a more relaxed approach to your Christmas shopping, you can still indulge in all that this beautiful little spa town has to offer during its late opening hours, on Thursday 22nd and 29th November, and December 6th, 13th and 20th, where shops will stay open until 7pm.
Indulge yourself in a little culture in the form of Leeds' Chriskindelmarkt, the traditional German Christmas market of the north. Set in the heart of Leeds in Millennium Square, this winter wonderland not only promises a vast array of gifts from handcrafted toys to jewellery, but also traditional German delicacies such as schnitzels, bratwurst and stollen. This free attraction runs from November 9th to December 16th – so get in there quick if you want to experience choice and culture, with over 40 wooden chalet stalls featuring authentic German traders. What's more, there's also a festive carousel, so it's perfect for all the family.
Hungry ho ho hoers can indulge their taste buds at Newcastle's Continental Christmas Market. Promising everything deliciously European, shoppers can take a break from shopping with a bite of German currywurst, Dutch waffles, French crepes and much more, from November 16th until December 1st.
No time to dine? There's still plenty of time to shop at the Metro Centre, Europe's biggest shopping and leisure complex. After-work shoppers will also be glad to hear of Newcastle's 'Alive After Five' in which shops will remain open until 8pm during the week and 7pm on Saturdays, right up until January 1st.
From November 16th right through to Christmas Eve, Sheffield promises to dazzle as 'Christmas City' this year with its Christmas market, featuring over 40 traditional wooden stalls, including the brand new Moroccan Market. The market boasts handcrafted gifts and international foods, as well as Santa's Lapland Cabin, open from 11am to 8pm Monday to Saturday and 10am-5pm Sundays.
Set in Fargate, the market is open daily from 10am to 6pm and even offers late night openings until 8pm on Wednesday evenings for those pushed-for-time shoppers. All this plus the conveniently located John Lewis nearby will ensure you're never out of ideas in Sheffield.
Known for its rich culture and historic markets, St Nicholas' Fayre in York promises to add that Christmas sparkle to your shopping experience without all the hustle and bustle of large shopping centres. In this four-day event starting on November 29th, shoppers will be spoilt for choice in this busy outdoor environment – anything from medieval crafting to gifts and local produce is available. If you're not there to spend, why not indulge in a little mulled wine from the medieval Barley Hall, or treat yourself to some carols?
From December 5th onwards also comes York's Festive Fayre, in which local market Parliament Street is lit up with sparkling lights, decorated winter huts and the tempting aroma of winter Pimms. Last minute shoppers need not panic - the festival lasts until 18:30 on December 23rd.