My favorite thing about this time of year is visiting Christmas markets. One year I flew to Germany for a day just to visit the ones in Cologne. A few weeks ago I made a special trip to Edinburgh for its big markets. And now I’m heading to York to explore the city’s offerings and put together a York Christmas market guide for you.
York Christmas Market Guide
Christmas in York is a bonanza. Every inch of the city is decked with lights, trees, and boughs, and every street and square is filled with festive chalets and delicious scents of the season. I’m walking all over the city today and discovering 5 markets particularly worth visiting.
1. York Christmas Market on Parliament Street
The first market I stumble upon is unmissable. It takes up all of St Sampson’s Square and overflows down Parliament Street in a riot of Christmas cheer.
I love the VW camper vans serving mulled wine in St Sampson’s Square, and how the chalets brighten Parliament Street all the way to Thor’s Tipi bar at the end.
2. York Christmas Market in Coppergate
Across the road, the goodness continues under strings of baubles that lead to Coppergate. There the aroma of fresh coffee mingles with the sight of hand-carved wooden bowls in a market that offers a feast for the senses.
3. Made in Yorkshire Yuletide Village in the Shambles
Back up near Parliament Street, the Made in Yorkshire Yuletide Village in the Shambles offers handmade gifts of all kinds under a giant tent. Next door, the Shambles Market and Food Court tempts my taste buds with the sizzling sounds of cuisines from all over the world.
4. Kings Square
Just up from the Shambles, Kings Square is full of Christmas tidings. There’s a little amusement park set up, lights flashing in time with the season. Bunting hangs overhead, and crooked old buildings add a dollop of charm.
5. York Christmas Market at The Judge’s Lodging
But perhaps my favorite York Christmas market is the one in the courtyard in front of The Judge’s Lodging. This little one is not only pleasing to look at, but also full of beautiful handcrafted gifts. It’s officially called the Small Business Christmas Market, so the chalets feature objects from independent producers.
After a day of exploring the markets, I warm up at the famous Bettys Cafe Tea Rooms in St Helen’s Square. Two mince pies with brandy butter are just what I need to restore my energy and keep me in the Christmas spirit. They’re my first of the season, but they certainly won’t be my last. Because I love Christmas markets, and I’m sure I’ll travel to more between now and the 25th. I just hope they’re all as good as York’s.
How about you? What’s your favorite York Christmas market?