Living, working and writing in the rainy city of Manchester.
Get in the Christmas spirit with a visit to the markets
Some things let you know Christmas is on its way. The cold nights are here, Christmas films are on television and every coffee shops seems to be adding pumpkin, cinnamon and gingerbread to every drink in sight.
The Manchester Christmas Markets get bigger and better every year
In Manchester, the main event which lets you know Santa is not far away is the start of the Christmas Markets. The giant Santa is back on his town hall perch, casting a watchful eye over all the festive fun. Each year the markets seem to get bigger with streets spreading out from Albert square all the way to Spinningfields filled with stalls of every kind. There is food, drinks and gifts on offer with bright lights filling the dark nights creating a magical atmosphere.
The crowds enjoying the markets outside Manchester Arndale
Spectators come from all over the country to experience the wonderful markets. They are the perfect place for a Christmas get together and some present shopping. With up to 300 traders you'll be spoilt for choice at all the amazing offerings. Treat a loved one to some crafts, jewellery or art work; there is so much choice you could easily get all your Christmas gifts in one go. And after you work up an appetite with all that shopping indulge in some decadent food, there is an array of international cuisine to delight your taste buds. There is something for everyone with sweet and savoury food and vegetarian options. There are also fun rides to keep children entertained, it really is an event for everyone.
As the markets are all around the city centre it is easy to get to. Manchester is easily accessible by bus, train and Metrolink. If you'd rather drive into the city there are many car parks available at reasonable prices. A walking map of the markets can be downloaded from the Manchester Council Website which is great for those visiting for the first time. This is definitely a Christmas event not to be missed, the atmosphere is warm and friendly and the whole experience will put you in the Christmas mood, make time for this spectacular yearly event.
Weekday mornings are a great time to beat the crowds and see what's on offer
The Christmas Markets run this year from 10th November to 21st December so there is plenty of time to visit. Albert Square markets are open from 10am-9pm everyday (apart from 20th December which opens 10am-6pm), all the other locations around the city centre are open from 10am-8pm throughout December. (They open until 7.30pm in November). All the bars at all the locations are open from 11am-9pm each days. Why not have a look round the stalls and then grab a celebratory drink.