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The Thread

Exploring Britain at Christmas: The Best Events

3rd December 2013

Christmas is a time for family, friends, great food, exchanging gifts and, for most, taking the time to enjoy that much-needed rest and relaxation. A great way to get into the spirit of things before the big event is to head to a Christmas market or event near you, whether you’re looking for Christmas ideas or just want to soak up the atmosphere, there’s something for everyone.

If you’re not sure what’s going on in your local area, we’ve hand-picked some amazing events that are not to be missed over December. Whilst this list is in no way definitive, here are a few that we have our eye on that we’re sure yule enjoy too!


Manchester Christmas Markets

Manchester Christmas Market

With over 300 stalls to explore across 9 different locations, it’s no surprise that the Manchester Christmas markets draw thousands of visitors each year to sample cuisine from all over Europe from tapas to goulash. Don’t worry, there’s plenty of time to explore as the Christmas market is open from now until 22nd December.

Chriskindelmarkt (German Christmas Market) Leeds

Millennium square plays host to one of the country’s most popular German markets with over 40 wooden chalet stalls selling everything from the finest Stollen to handcrafted gifts and festive decorations. The German market is even complete with a traditional beer hall, the Frankfurter Scheune, which is extremely popular with people of all ages who come to listen to the live band and sample some authentic German beer and dishes (whilst keeping warm!)

Top tip: Consider heading on a weekday as this is one Christmas market that gets extremely busy.

Christmas Adventure at Stockeld Park

Each year Stockeld Park transforms into the award-winning ‘Christmas Adventure’ which boasts an ice skating rink, a maze and an enchanted forest which is a great day out for the family, especially for children. Located between Harrogate and Wetherby the Christmas Adventure is open until 6th January.


Burning the clocks – Winter solstice in Brighton

Brighton Solstice

Looking to do something a bit different this Christmas? Brighton's Fire Festival - The Burning of the Clocks takes place on 21st December, the shortest day of the year. A fabulous procession of paper and willow lanterns makes its way through the city centre to the seafront culminating in a bonfire and firework display.

Exeter Christmas market

When: Now until 19 December 2013
Where: Exeter Cathedral
If you’re looking for a Christmas market with an impressive backdrop then make sure to take a trip to Exeter cathedral over the next few weeks. In front of this impressive landmark lies a great selection of stalls selling a mixture of food, crafts, gifts and decorations - great for festive photos!


Warwick Castle torchlit tours

For an alternative winter evening why not head on a torchlit tour of Warwick castle. For this special occasion you’ll receive:
- Hot turkey and stuffing roll and mince pies served in the Castle’s Undercroft
- Glass of mulled wine or hot apple punch
- Tour of the Kingmaker attraction, Great Hall, State Rooms and the Royal Weekend Party guided by characters from throughout the Castle’s history
Tours take place on 8th, 15th and 22nd December and you can book in advance here

Birmingham Frankfurt Market

Home to the largest German market outside Germany and Austria, the streets of Birmingham turn into a winter wonderland as stalls pop up to sell all the Christmas knick-knacks you could ever imagine. Grab yourself a Glühwein and enjoy! It’s yours to explore until 22nd December.

East Anglia

Cambridgeshire Christmas Crafts and Food Fair

Fed up with the cold? There are plenty of indoors Christmas events to attend this December such as this fantastic craft and food fair in Godmanchester. This is a great opportunity to browse a wide range of gifts and crafts or even find some inspiration to make your own without having to brave the cold.

This is a two day event 14th-15th December, 10.00 am -16.00pm/ £2.50 for adults


Christmas at Cardiff Bay 6th-8th December

If you’re looking for more than stalls from your Christmas event then look no further than Christmas at Cardiff Bay – after great success the Roald Dahl Plass is set to host the event for its third year. There’s loads of entertainment, including live music on the bandstand, a lantern procession (and workshop for children), Reindeer and even a 5k walk, jog or dash around Cardiff Bay, the ‘Santa & Elf Dash’ for charity.

If you’re looking for a one-stop Christmas event – this is it!

Wreath-making workshop at Cardiff Castle. 8th December 1030 am

Put your creative skills to the test with this wreath-making workshop set in the beautiful, Cardiff Castle.

You can find out more information and booking details here

Top tips for when you’re out and about:

If you’re heading to a Christmas event outdoors this December make sure to wrap up warm by wearing layers, making sure that you cover your chest and head especially to stop from catching a chill. We have plenty of warm clothes in our current winter collection to keep you snug this Christmas.

Exploring a Christmas market can also mean that you are on your feet for a long period of time so wearing sensible and comfortable shoes is a must!

Have we missed something in your area? Why not share your favourite with us on our Facebook page or on Twitter?

Brighton photo -
Manchester photo -

About 'The Thread'

Here at Cotton Traders, we like to do things a little differently. Our reputation has been built on outstanding quality, a sense of community and keeping our customers interests at heart. The Thread is just that – a space for sharing things we know our customers enjoy, whether it’s travel, eating, staying active and healthy or enjoying sneak-peeks behind-the-scenes at Cotton Traders.

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