Last weekend, I visited the award-winning Manchester Christmas Markets! They returned this winter offering mouth-watering international food, drinks and delicately crafted gifts in the heart of the thriving city.
I visited last year after seeing a lot of Insta’ snaps and having read a few rave reviews, and the hype didn’t disappoint. I explained in last years post that my Mam’s good friend lives in Huddersfield which is only a thirty-minute journey to Manchester on the train so it’s become a tradition to drive down to Hudders and make a weekend of it. It gives us gals a chance to catch up, get some Christmas shopping done and go sightseeing! However, whenever I go to Manchester normally I always use Hotels.com to find hotels in Manchester, they always have the best deals.
The train from Huddersfield to Manchester Victoria was heaving with hens, stags, girl gangs, families and it was really nice, to be honest (surprisingly). Everyone seemed to embrace the jolly season, all wrapped up in hats, scarfs and woolly jumpers. I think we’ve actually been quite lucky with the weather this winter so far, as it has been cold, but not painfully cold.
We arrived and began the market trail at the Corn Exchange. There are more than 300 beautifully festooned stalls and chalets spread across the city centre and the Christmas Markets are free and accessible to all.
Here’s a rundown of the locations:
Christmas Market – Cathedral Gardens
Christmas Market – Market Street
Christmas Market – Exchange Square
Christmas Market – Corn Exchange
Arts and Crafts Market – Exchange Street
Christmas Market – New Cathedral Street
French Christmas Market – King Street
German Christmas Market – St Ann’s Square
World Christmas Market – Brazennose Street
You can find the trail map here.
We soaked up the joyous atmosphere with a mulled wine when we arrived and of course a few Dutch mini pancakes and Nutella! A mug of spiced mulled wine will set you back around £4/4.50 depending on where you settle down for a beverage and remember you have to pay a £3 deposit for the mug. A beer can cost around £4.50 and a larger around £5. A little on the pricey side if you ask me, however, you’d pay the same in any bar in Manchester and you can’t beat the surroundings while you’re amongst the crowds! The mini dutch pancakes cost £4.50, worth every penny if you ask me… I literally lust after these all year round! You can’t beat em’.
Feeling merry we decided to explore. The best element, hands down, of these markets is definitely all of the foodie stalls, the cheese farmers especially. I even caught a glimpse of Martin Platt, remember him?! Apparently in his spare time these days, he creates the most amazing cheese. I tried a few samples from his Artisan Farm range. Walking around is hungry work, so it’s totally acceptable to eat at every stall! Obviously, I was drawn to all of the sweetie stalls, just look at this range of fudge! The majority of these stalls are all independent retailers which is great to see, you could even buy real Christmas trees!
After discovering each and every stall for most of the day, I managed picked up a few Christmas prezzies and a few personalised baubles for our Christmas tree at home. All of the stalls are all reasonably priced.
Whether you’re a Mrs Christmas like me, or a bit of a Grinch when it comes to this season, you need to visit these markets. We had such a lovely day and it really was the perfect way to spend the 1st December.
The 2018 Christmas markets will run from Friday 9th November to Saturday 22nd December, with the market in Albert Square opening for an extra day on Sunday 23rd December. All the markets open at 10am and close at 8pm except Albert Square which closes at 9pm.