Go-to guide for festive food and gifts in NE England
Christmas markets are that ideal place for a day out and to get that extra-special present or ingredients for your festive feast. Here’s a run-down of the best markets in the North East. Not to be picky but if it’s held too early, in my book, it’s not festive, so doesn’t get included. So there.
The Alnwick Garden: Alnwick, Northumberland NE66 1YU, Saturdays and Sundays until December 17, https://alnwickgarden.com/?events=christmas-market
All stall holders have been hand-picked by The Alnwick Garden. Enjoy seasonal singing and live music played by performers from the region in the warmth of the beautiful marquee. Opening times: weekdays until December 10, 10am-4pm; weekends 10am-6pm; December 11-23, 10am-8pm.
Tyne and Wear
Newcastle: German Village at Hadrian’s Tipi, Pilgrim Street, until January 7, http://www.hadrianstipi.com/
Traders include Fat Hippo, The Bake One, Hatch 7 and R Place. Free entry.
Newcastle: International Christmas Market, Monument Square, NE1 5AF, until December 10, https://www.newcastlegateshead.com/whats-on/newcastle-international-christmas-market-p844621
The first of two Christmas markets, confusingly in the same place, one after the other, around Grey’s Monument. There are products from around the world and top-quality street foods. Free entry.
Newcastle: Christmas Market, Monument Square, NE1 5AF, December 11-17, https://www.newcastlegateshead.com/whats-on/newcastle-christmas-market-p725901
The second ‘Christmas’ market, carrying on from where the last one finished around Grey’s Monument. Expect local microbreweries, home-made jams, cakes and chocolates plus gifts. Free entry.
Gateshead: Christmas Village, Gateshead Stadium, November 24-26, https://www.nemarkets.com/events/gateshead-christmas-village/
There will be a children’s fairground, Santa and a live Nativity. Enjoy carol singing, mulled wine, hot chestnuts, mince pies, stands and a large marquee. Entry – £2 per adult, £1.50 concessions, children up to 16 free.
Sunderland: Christmas Market Park Lane, November 24-December 24, http://www.sunderlandbid.co.uk/christmas-2017/park-lane-market
For five weekends starting on Friday, November 24 and running until Christmas Eve, shoppers can browse stalls offering decorations, handmade gifts, festive novelties, food, drink and crafts. The Frost Village has an ice rink, too.
Durham: Traditional Christmas Festival, Marketplace, Durham DH1 3NJ, December 1-3, http://durhamchristmasfestival.com/
The Traditional Christmas Festival has events at the cathedral, castle, Marketplace and Market Hall. Festivities will include themed market stalls, a covered market outside the cathedral (see below) and a giant Christmas tree in the marketplace.
Durham: The Craft and Gift Marquee, Palace Green, Durham, December 1-3, http://durhamchristmasfestival.com/?p=101
Featuring more than 180 stalls selling a wide variety of gifts, perfect for Christmas presents. Tickets cost £3 on Friday, December 1, £4 each Saturday and Sunday, children under 16 free. Save 50p per ticket by booking in advance online. Opening hours: Friday, 10am-6pm; Saturday, 9am-6pm; Sunday, 10am-4.30pm.
York: Christmas Festival, until December 22, https://www.visityork.org/christmas.aspx
Discover the delights of the iconic St Nicholas Fair, don some skates at the Ice Factor or spend a night in the stalls for playful panto fun.
Knaresborough: Marketplace, HG5 8AG, December 2-3, http://knaresboroughchristmasmarket.co.uk/
Knaresborough has a market tradition stretching back to Norman times, and that is reflected in the setting of this year’s Christmas market. Explore the cobbled marketplace to find mulled wine and fresh mince pies, as well as many independent local traders.
Ripon: Christmas Gift and Food Fair, Ripon Cathedral, Minster Road, HG4 1QS, November 25, 9.30am-4.30pm, http://riponcathedral.info/event/christmasfair/
Ripon Cathedral is the spectacular venue for the popular Christmas fair, which sees more than 100 stalls offering gifts, food, and much more. The market is being held in the nave. Tickets are £3 per person, available on the door, children free. New for this year is a Park and Ride Service from the Main Wolseley car park on Boroughbridge Road, from 11am until 4pm.