Tuesday

Christmas Markets in the United Kingdom

Christmas Markets Across the U.K
 
If Scotland has been traditionally associated with the festive season, there's no better way to start things off than by visiting Edinburgh's Christmas Market. It runs from 26th November to 5th January and has a German theme with all the stallholders coming from Frankfurt. Take in a visit as well to this most visually appealing of cities by staying in one of the many hotels in Edinburgh city centre.

There have been Christmas Markets in the UK since medieval times except for a short period during Cromwellian times when Oliver Cromwell himself banned Christmas. Not a decision that went down too well with the citizens either.

Christmas allows many of us to spend quality time with close friends and relatives and to experience the joy of both giving and receiving presents. It's also a time to relax and reflect and understand there's more to life than the daily hustle and bustle.

The season of goodwill extends, of course, beyond our four walls and there is a collective recognition of this as we spend time browsing through the shopping malls and internet sites. For a true appreciation of the spirit of the season, a visit to a Christmas Market is a must.

Several cities alongside Edinburgh plump for a German style market selling those hearty sausages known as 'bratwurst', potato cakes, strong beer and, of course, Gl├╝hwein. Silent Night, or 'Stille Nacht' when sung in its native German, is the very embodiment of love, joy and adoration. Somehow, the cold weather seems that more bearable.

Let's now look at a couple of the other Christmas Markets the UK has to offer. Derby, a small industrial city in the East Midlands and just to the south of the Peak District, hosts a Christmas Fayre. With the warming smell of roast chestnuts and the scent of mulled wine in the air, you could almost be sitting down to Christmas lunch itself. Staged in Victorian style chalets, local cottage industries supply 'seasonal fayre' that includes regional, specialist cheeses, jams, preserves and other such delights for the table.

Take a trip to the Medway towns and every year in the grounds of Rochester Castle you'll find the Dickens Christmas Market. The town shares a great history with Charles Dickens and parts of the old High Street look like they have leapt straight out of one of his famous novels.


The castle walls are illuminated in true Christmas style, trees twinkle with different coloured fairy lights and the air is full of Christmas carols bringing glad tidings. Street entertainers mingle with the crowds and Dickensian characters bring the market even further to life. Come and see Ebenezer Scrooge, Bob Cratchit and Tiny Tim walking among the people and tap into that sense of Christmas past.

Santa Claus sets up home in the castle gardens for the duration and in the true modern way, brings along his wife, Mrs Santa Claus as well. Now everyone enjoys two for the price of one, especially at Christmas.

Happy Christmases build great memories to be shared down the generations, so make the Christmas Market a terrific visit that no one will ever forget.

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