The sixth Harrogate Christmas Market runs from Thursday, 16th November until Sunday, 19th November. This award-winning event is rather unique when compared to other Christmas Markets in Yorkshire and beyond, which is why visitors from all over the UK keep coming back. What makes it so special?
The perfect fit
Many Christmas markets are either so large you don’t have the time or energy to see everything, or they’re inconveniently located far out of town. The Harrogate Christmas Market has 200 stalls of gifts, food and drink perfectly laid out on a site in the centre of town, so that visitors can enjoy everything that the market (and Harrogate) has to offer.
Unlike most outdoor events of this type, Harrogate’s market doesn’t have a beer tent. Rather than encouraging everyone to stay inside consuming large quantities of alcohol, our market prefers a limited number of stalls selling festive drinks which are dotted around the market. This means you can still browse while enjoying a mulled wine, glass of prosecco or a ‘fortified’ hot chocolate. And as the market is surrounded by excellent and welcoming bars and pubs, there are plenty of options if you feel like relaxing with a pint or cocktail afterwards. To keep young children entertained, the market has a small fun fair with rides suitable for little ones. And naturally, no visit is complete without seeing Santa and the live reindeer!
The Harrogate Christmas Market is organised and run by a dedicated team of volunteers, rather than through an events company or local council. Any profits go to benefit the Harrogate Christmas lights appeal, local charities and arts programmes. One advantage of being not-for-profit means that this wonderful event has free entry, so anyone can come along and experience the magic.
The organisers go to great lengths to give priority to Yorkshire-based traders selling locally produced goods, which makes our event stand out from the more common continental markets. They also try to ensure repetition is kept to a minimum. Visitors can choose from a wide variety of quality Yorkshire produce and gifts. A few exceptions are made allowing imported items that are ethically produced and fairly traded. Incidentally, the various musicians performing in the buskers’ area are all locally grown too.
It’s not just about the market
The Harrogate Christmas Market began in 2012 as a way of encouraging visitors to our lovely Yorkshire town out of season. For the past five years, Harrogate’s wonderful array of hotels, restaurants, bars and shops have greatly benefitted from the influx of visitors coming for the market. The market has also helped fund Harrogate's Christmas lights; the Big Switch On is Thursday, 16th November, from 4pm to 6pm at the Piazza, Victoria Shopping Centre.
To experience the sparkle of the market and Harrogate at Christmas, book your autumn break here.
Kimberley Wilson & Simon Storer
owners and operators of The Camberley