8 of the prettiest Christmas markets in York for 2023

Santa would surely approve of York during the festive period. York does Christmas proud during the season of goodwill – there is much merriment to be had in the antique-gold old city – dotted with lights, romantic ruins, illuminated medieval streets and cobblestone snickets, it’s a favourite for a reason.

York is also perfectly designed for a rambunctious Christmas celebration. The main sights and neighbourhoods are all accessible on foot, and sparkly Christmas markets and festively-fronted York independents are frequented by both locals and travellers.

Even just wandering the peppy city with the mighty Minster, the perfectly medieval Shambles and cheery fairy light-festooned stalls provide a little bit of Christmas – and Harry Potter – magic. Read on for our pick of York’s best Christmas markets, independents and merry wonderlands you must visit at the most wonderful time of year…

St Nicholas FairStevie Campbell

1. St. Nicholas Fair, York Christmas Market: York Christmas Festival 2022

For the ultimate festive bling, York’s Christmas Market draws in local and global visitors – it’s the main event in York. This year sees celebrations for the 30th anniversary of the St Nicholas Fair, complete with a new Winter Hütte care of Andrew Pern, the Chocolate Circus and streets of twinkling markets and glowing indie shops. There will be 70 Alpine chalets along Parliament Street and St Sampsons Square selling locally-made gifts, Yorkshire produce and other artisanal items, as well as Made in Yorkshire at York Guildhall – it’s worth testing out the Yorkshire Pudding beer in the name of Christmas pressie research. This year’s highlight is of the culinary kind. A traditional Swiss chalet, The Winter Hütte, has a beautiful terrace peering onto St Nicholas Fair. Michelin-esteemed Andrew Pern is the mastermind behind the feature – expect Swiss fondue, raclette, suckling pig and gluhwein. Stop by the Chocolate Circus for a stacked hot chocolate. There’s a new stage at the Treehouse embracing choir, community, artists’ performances and free theatre workshops on opening day, plus an upgraded Christmas light-up blanketing more of the city in light. If you love collecting unique baubles, get a special edition Christmas bauble from local artist Emma Feneley as a souvenir.

When: Opens Thursday 17 November 2022
Where: Parliament Street and surrounds
Website: visityork.org

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