Look, no one likes Christmas shopping. It’s too busy, there are too many toddlers flinging themselves on the floor in fury, and there are only so many times a woman (or a man) can hear “It’s Ccccccchrisssstmaaas” before they go postal. But, dear readers, it doesn’t have to be this way. Christmas shopping can be as artery warming as a fat-laden mince pie with lashings of brandy butter – if you use our top 8 festive markets list to guide you.
Here are our picks
St. George’s Hall, St George's Place , Liverpool, Merseyside, L1 1JJ - Visit now
The reason the Winter Arts Market at St. George’s Hall is top of our list is simple: location, location, location. The annual arts and crafts fest is held within the grand environs of St. George’s Hall, surely one of Liverpool’s finest buildings (no mean feat in a World Heritage Site city). The hall’s glorious carvings, sculpture and pipe organ form the backdrop to stalls featuring the work of 200 artists.
Manchester Town Hall, Albert Square , Manchester, Greater Manchester, M60 2LA - Visit now
Ah, Manchester Christmas markets, one of the biggest and busiest in Europe: there’s no denying the fact that the city’s behemoth markets are a winner, festively speaking. With ten sites and over 300 stalls, if you can’t buy it here… then you can always seek solace in the street food and gluhwein stalls that fill Manchester’s streets as fatly as an overstuffed bratwurst.
Levenshulme Market, Stockport Road (junction with Albert Rd), Levenshulme, Manchester, M19 3AB
Don’t miss the festivities organized by the folk behind Levenshulme’s weekly Saturday markets.
Islington Mill, James Street, Salford, Greater Manchester, M3 5HW - Visit now
Islington Mill’s annual Christmas fair an intimate affair, taking place in the artist-led warehouse on the edge of Salford. Everything on sale is made by the artists who call the mill home, while a musical backdrop is usually supplied by the fabulous Northern Quarter Boys’ Choir. From food and vinyl to prints and ceramics, Christmas at the Mill is always one of our favourite festive numbers.