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  • Meg Oswald


The other week saw York's Christmas markets open for the festive period, along with the Christmas lights switch on. Both can only mean one thing: Christmas is right around the corner! With Christmas Day only 29 days away, there's no time like the present to make the most of Christmas time in York.

Whilst Christmas time is sure to feel festive and magical no matter where you are in the world, there's something special about spending it in York. We may be biased, but we think it is a great place to be in the lead up to Christmas and we're going to tell you about some of the things it has to offer!


1. St Nicholas Christmas Fair (Christmas market)

comes to York every year and is situated in the heart of the city centre. There is a wide range of stalls selling everything from fudge to Christmas decorations and handmade gifts. There are also numerous food stalls offering mulled wine, hot chocolate and lots of sweet treats such as donuts and crêpes! A visit to the Christmas market is an absolute must. It's a great way to do a bit of Christmas shopping and eat some yummy treats whilst some Christmas classics play in the background.

2. Thor's Tipi Bar

is another regular returner to York and sets up tent conveniently right next to the Christmas market. Inside the tent, there's a log fire, comfy seating and a wide range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks available to order. People of all ages and groups of all sizes are welcome, as are dogs! No bookings are taken, and it can often get very busy, but it's always worth the wait.

3. Yorkshire's Winter Wonderland

is located at York's Designer Outlet - only a short drive or bus ride away! The main attraction is the ice rink with a 22 foot-high Christmas tree in the centre, where all ages can book an hour's ice-skating slot. There is also a café called the Chalet which serves hot chocolate and toasties for when you've worked up an appetite! The Designer Outlet is just a stone's throw away and so it's very easy to make a day of it and throw in some Christmas shopping also. With over 120 stores to choose from, all selling items at heavily discounted prices, you're bound to find something!

4. Snow in the Shambles

Every Friday from 5pm, the shops located in the Shambles stay open late and 'snow' is 'guaranteed' to fall in the street! This is another great way to combine a shopping trip with an activity and is a good photo opportunity! We so very rarely see a white Christmas in England, so we'll take anything we can get, even if that means it's fake!

5. York Theatre Royal

is a theatre dating back to 1744 which puts on a wide variety of shows every year. If you're a lover of theatre and enjoy a good pantomime, it's a great place to go! This year's Christmas panto is Sleeping Beauty and is running from 7th December-25th January, so there's plenty of time to organise a trip! Top tip: book your tickets online.

This is just a snippet of what's on at Christmas time in York, there's so much more to get up to! Whatever your plans may be this festive period, be sure to wrap up warm and most importantly have fun!


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