York's Christmas Markets - Let Ready

York’s Christmas Markets

Britain has celebrated Christmas for centuries, with various traditions emerging through the decades, from the introduction of Christmas trees to present wrapping, carols and mince pies, but one of the biggest traditions is the temporary pop-up of the humble Christmas Market.

Pop in and share a mince pie?

In towns and cities across the UK, stall holders take their place for a few days or in some cases weeks each year and York is no exception.
York has closer ties to the Vikings than other Germanic parts of the country, and this is reflected in the Christmas Market which takes place each year, visitors can expect a more Scandinavian feel.

Oliver Cromwell tried to limit the extent of how us Brits celebrate Christmas way back in the 1600s, thankfully that has since gone completely out the window and a traditional Christmas Market can be the perfect way to celebrate and escape the commercialism which is so prevalent in today’s festive calendar.

St Nicholas Fair

York’s Christmas Market is also known as St Nicholas Fair. This takes place across much of the city centre. It takes place between 14th November to 22nd December 2019 and is centered around Parliament St. The stalls generally open from 10am-6pm (Sun-Wed), 10am-8pm (Thu-Sat).

Whilst the majority of cabins and stalls centre around Parliament St a stroll along Coppergate also offers up a covered market with festive treats. St Nicholas Fair was originally held over one weekend in November and has now been extended to open throughout December. Expect sparkly festive lights and plenty of Christmas cheer as York was voted the UK’s Most Festive City in 2017.

It’s not just cabins though, there is a festive ice rink, a Christmas light switch-on, Santa Claus appearances and a traditional pantomime.

Around one million people visit St Nicholas’ Fair each year – not all on the same day, don’t worry! There are around 100 wooden chalets which lead from Parliament St towards St Sampson’s Square, The Judge’s Lodging and Coppergate. Visitors can gorge themselves with Christmassy food and drink, pick up some handmade arts, crafts and gifts, or sing along with York’s carol singers and buskers.

There’s also the Yorkshire Yuletide Village at Shambles Market. This historic market is a regular event in York and takes place all year, however, Christmas sees a Made in Yorkshire Yuletide Village, where visitors can mooch and mingle snapping up local and handmade arts, crafts, food and drink. It is a great opportunity to buy that special gift that you won’t find anywhere else.

A very special Scandinavian Thor’s Tipi set up in Parliament St too. A Viking-inspired pop-up tipi bar that sells delicious hot food from outdoor barbecues, and ale, mulled wine, Prosecco, hot chocolate and hot cider.
York’s Christmas Markets are very family friendly with a Santa’s grotto near to the Jorvik Viking Centre, not forgetting the traditional fun fair which sets up around Kings Square along with a helter skelter.

More festive cheer can be found at St Sampson’s Square rustic Yorkshire Barn – hot chestnuts and glasses of warming mulled wine.