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Christmas Markets- are there any good ones?

(47 Posts)
crystaltipps Sun 16-Dec-18 12:25:11

A few years back we went to a Christmas market in Germany and it was lovely- gluwein, lights, stalls selling handmade wooden nativity sets and decorations. They’ve become more popular here now and I went to the one in Bath- it was very expensive, really packed and all seemed to be selling the same sort of made in China tat, or expensive mulled wine from little wooden huts with a few fairy lights. We gave up and went to a cafe. Other people seem to say the same. Anyone know of any that are actually any good?

dragonfly46 Sun 16-Dec-18 12:28:31

We went to Krakow and that was amazing. I have been also to the one in Birmingham but was not so impressed. Just a lot of people selling expensive stuff.

Ilovecheese Sun 16-Dec-18 12:58:12

Manchester is good. Mainly food, but still wooden decorations, French soap, leather stalls. And an ice rink.

KatyK Sun 16-Dec-18 13:17:59

The one here in Birmingham is massive now - far too big. It's always heaving, making it impossible to get through town. When it first started it was great but we avoid it now. There is an English market now near St Philips Cathedral which is nicer.

Greyduster Sun 16-Dec-18 15:39:52

Lincoln was always good, in the castle precinct, but last time I went it was heaving and you could hardly move let alone see what was for sale and all in all, it wasn’t a very pleasant experience. DS says the York one is very good but that gets busy too. I suppose you have to choose your moment.
Used to love the Christmas markets in Germany. They know how to do it.

Teetime Sun 16-Dec-18 15:40:15

People here who have recently been to the Birmingham market said it was beer and sausages.

Teetime Sun 16-Dec-18 15:41:15

Victorian Christmas market here in Melton Mowbray first weekend in December is the most dreadful rubbish but hundreds come to it evert year.

Lilylilo Sun 16-Dec-18 16:32:22

Been to a couple, one abroad.....fairly glum people sitting in booths willing you to spend money. One in London on South Bank, that was a lovely market with plenty of interesting attractions, GORGEOUS food, handmade goods, excellent live music BUT the weather was AWFUL. We have a lovely Victorian Christmas market here in Colchester but I must admit to giving it a miss this year. I bought all my grandchildren gift tokens and one small present each, bought from a local shop. Most of my friends have decided on no presents this year. when you're older it's just so important to just meet maybe for tea and cake and have some lovely quality time together.

Marydoll Sun 16-Dec-18 16:33:29

The Edinburgh one wasn't all that great either. Much of the stuff on sale was overpriced.
The best one I have been to was in Nuremberg. However, I have been told the best of all is in Vienna. It has been on my bucket list for years.

MawBroon Sun 16-Dec-18 16:38:14

Aachen in Germany used to be magical!
As a German teacher I used to take an annual trip- overnight by coach, breakfast in Belgium, Lindt chocolate factory shop as soon as we arrived 9-10 for Christmas present shopping, stash the boxes in the boot (cold) then the rest of the day enjoying the stalls, Wurst , Glühwein, Kaffee und Kuchen, etc, staying until it got dark to appreciate the lights. Usually home in the early hours of Sunday morning.
The kids (14-18) loved it and there was always a queue of staff to accompany! Raised the profile of German in the school and we always got impeccable behaviour. I miss that.

Day6 Sun 16-Dec-18 16:41:00

I have been to the Birmingham and Lincoln Christmas markets. Last year I travelled with friends to the Birmingham one and we vowed "never again!" If you wanted candle holders, cuckoo clocks, christmas baubles or woolly hats you'd be OK, as long as you didn't mind buying them at extortionate prices. The beer tents and food stalls were packed with rowdies/stag groups and we had to wait in long queues for food.

It wasn't a pleasant experience. The lights looked nice at night. That was the best thing about it. The crowds were awful and there were lots of notices about keeping purses, wallets and bags safe as pickpockets were about.

I won't be back. Hoping to hear tales of better ones in the UK.

Chewbacca Sun 16-Dec-18 16:42:55

I've been to Christmas markets in Prague and Salzburg and they were both excellent; glass items, silk scarves, leather work etc. Then I went to the Manchester Christmas market, expecting it to be similar. It wasn't. It's strung out over a large part of the city and replicates the stalls/wooden huts, at each site. The overwhelming stench of bratwurst sausages, hot cheap red wine with a cinnamon stick floating it in and traffic fumes was horrible. Theres a very limited range of goods to buy and even less thats hand made or locally made.

It's too late for this year now, but Chatsworth House has a Christmas market, from mid November to 2nd week of December and that genuinely is all hand crafted, locally made goods. Make a note for next year perhaps.

MawBroon Sun 16-Dec-18 16:43:46

Do watch this though for the ultimate. Christmas Market experience tchgrin

Day6 Sun 16-Dec-18 16:48:57

grin MawBroon Bowls of lemons, "unt Rizla"!

crystaltipps Sun 16-Dec-18 20:35:40

So basically the bigger ones in the. U.K. are rubbish? Thats the message I’m getting. I must admit I wasn’t impressed with my experience in Bath..

Divawithattitude Sun 16-Dec-18 23:19:41

Salisbury is lovely too, and Winchester

Maggiemaybe Sun 16-Dec-18 23:28:55

We went to the Chatsworth one this year, Chewbacca, and it was very good indeed. I bought a lovely British wool throw, very reasonable, and some delicious local toffee vodka. Plus for lunch I had the best pie from one of the stalls (the Great North Pie Co?) that I have ever had in my life! And a look round the house, beautifully decorated for Christmas.

Maggiemaybe Sun 16-Dec-18 23:31:34

Though having to queue up for a £7 hot chocolate (even though it came with all the bells and whistles) was a bit much in all senses of the word. smile

MiniMoon Mon 17-Dec-18 00:23:53

Leeds had a "German Christmas Market" . The majority of the stalls were selling sausages of different varieties. One had a half metre hot dog! There was the odd stall selling leather goods and wooden ornaments, but I wasn't impressed.

Maggiemaybe Mon 17-Dec-18 06:57:06

I enjoy a look round the one at Leeds, but just as part of a day there. There’s always lots going on in the city and the market’s very small. It sounds disappointing this year from your review, MiniMoon, but at least we should be able to get a decent sausage there for lunch when we go this week. smile

craftergran Mon 17-Dec-18 07:19:12

I used to live in Germany many moons ago and loved the Christmas market in Soest. We always had a gluhwein which could be served in a disposable cup or for a little extra a souvenir keepsake mug.
Went to the ones in Glasgow recently and the gluhwein was as expensive as buying one in a souvenir mug, except there was no souvenir mug !
I love going to the Glasgow one but only ever buy gluhwein and a currywurst because there's a tenner gone straight away.

Marydoll Mon 17-Dec-18 07:22:58

I'm off for a wander around the Glasgow one today, but not getting my hopes up, Craftergran.
I usually find it quite expensive and only ever buy a Bratwurst and beer.
As I'm on my own, it will be a cuppa in M&S café grin

Jane10 Mon 17-Dec-18 07:59:19

Edinburgh's one is a 'must miss' event! Really awful. Desperately overcrowded, nasty overpriced 'german' food and a sea of tat. Avoid at all costs.

M0nica Mon 17-Dec-18 08:16:57

DD and a friend have been visiting a Christmas market every year for the past 15 years. They go somewhere different every year and have never ceased to enjoy it.

However they always go to European ones, never British. She has just returned from Maastricht and my kitchen is overflowing with Dutch cheeses, meat products and biscuits.

Granny23 Mon 17-Dec-18 08:17:58

Have to agree with you again Jane10 Not impressed with the Edinburgh one, not the least because the ground was covered in rubbish and I stood on a sausage with mustard? and couldn't get it off my new boots.

With our wet and windy weather during December, I think outdoor Christmas Markets are a no-no, but OK indoors. Best I have ever seen was in Palma de Majorca, in brilliant warm sunshine, with Santa riding a 2m high bicycle.