Nothing gets us into the yuletide spirit quite like a visit to a Christmas market, and while it’s a little early to start sipping mulled wine and singing carols, you’ll still want to plan ahead for your seasonal shopping trip.
With handmade gifts galore, deliciously spiced aromas and in the air and elaborate tree decorations aplenty, this is the occasion to soak up the magical merriment and local traditions, and we’re certainly spoilt for choice when it comes to celebrating the preamble to the festive season.
Fortunately for us, some of the region’s best Christmas markets are only a short hop (or two) away. Here’s three of our favourite Christmas market destinations to visit when joining us for a stay in The Lake District this November and December.
Saturday 14 – Sunday 15 December
2019 is the fourth year for this festive event and welcomes for the first time an outdoor ice-skating rink. The Windermere Christmas Celebration promises snow cannons, Santa’s Grotto, live music, plus a record-number of local and national stallholders. You don’t need to be staying in Windermere to enjoy a visit to this festive event. There is a shuttle bus provided for the event running from Windermere Lake Cruises Pier 1 in Bowness. You’ll find food, drink and craft with a festive theme across over 50 stalls.
This is an outdoor event (so wrap up well) and what an event it is. If you’re looking for family festive entertainment, then this is the fayre for you. From Victorian costumes, a nativity scene, the arrival of Santa and Mrs Claus in a reindeer-drawn sleigh, a children’s funfair, live music and dance performances that will come to a close with a yuletide carol service, this is a spectacle that will warm away any wintry chills. Bring your purse, too, as there will be over 30 charity stalls, selling a selection of Christmas homemade crafts, produce, festive food and drink – delicious.
2 November – 23 December
Take the kids to the largest garden centre in Cumbria, in the centre of Ambleside, for one of the most popular Christmas attractions in the Lakes. In 2017, the German-style market was enchanting. In 2018 there was more festive magic and a glittery shopping than ever. 2019 promises even more. Yes, Christmas with Hayes Garden World has become quite the attraction, with festive lights, jingle bells, artificial snow and plenty of interactive fun. For 2019 the festive theme is The Christmas Maze – where you are taken on a magical journey past polar bears and penguins having snowball fights, secret rooms to play with the elves in. And of course, once you’ve completed your enchanting journey through The Festive Maze a magical wooden grotto awaits with a very special, jolly man waiting inside to greet good girls and boys. Even grown-ups find it hard not to get into the festive spirit after a magical visit to Hayes Garden World, in Ambleside.
The former home of the Earls of Lonsdale will come alive with the sights and sounds of a traditional Christmas market this December, when more than 50 stalls take residence in the grounds of Askham Hall and Gardens – a 13th century stately home turned restaurant with rooms
Visitors to the 12 acre gardens on the North East fringe of the Lake District National Park can enjoy live festive music and an expanded variety of food and drink, alongside an array of local festive crafts and giftware ranging from candles and ceramics to handmade cushions, fragrances and wreaths.
The festivities will spread across Askham’s Medieval Hall, ‘Party Barn’ and rustic courtyard. Traditional winter warmers including mulled wine and mince pies will also be available throughout the day at Askham Hall Café, while Father Christmas will be on hand to meet the children in his special Christmas Grotto.
If you plan on visiting The Lake District this Christmas, why not plan a break with Cottage Escapes? Take a look at our selection of Cumbrian cottages perfect for making the most of the festivities.