Yorkshire Christmas markets: locations and dates for markets from Leeds to York

Originating in German, the tradition of hosting an annual Christmas market has now become a well-established part of the festive season across the UK and beyond.

Snug wooden stalls lined with local treats and even snugger cabins offering hot drinks and festive tipples – there are few better ways to get into the swing of things come Christmas time than having a wander around the nearest market.

From themed affairs in small villages to Christmas mega-markets in the big cities, Yorkshire is filled with all kinds of markets mixing old traditions with new attractions. 

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First look pictures as the Leeds German Christmas Market 2019 opens
Leeds' German-style "Christkindelmarkt". Picture: Leeds Christmas Market

(Millennium Square, 8 November to 21 December)

Returning to Millennium Square this November, Leeds' “Christkindelmarkt” offers a traditional, German-style approach.

The vast beer hall will be serving up foaming steins of German beer and steaming bowls of German stew – the perfect combination to drive away the winter blues and prepare for another round of Christmas shopping.

Harrogate Christmas Market

With sausages cooking away on the open grill, live music and all kinds of comfort food available, the only trouble will be trying to peel yourself away once you've gotten comfy.  

(Grassington Village Square,30 November to 1 December and 7 December to 8 December)

Much of Christmas as we know it is derived from the works of Charles Dickens, most famously from his constantly re-mixed and re-told story,  A Christmas Carol.

York Christmas Market

To pay tribute to the grandfather of modern Xmas, the village of Grassington will deck itself out in traditional Victorian dress for a weekend filled with music, games and entertainment.

With street performers, buskers and a candle-lit nativity procession, the Grassington festival offers one of the most uniquely charming Christmas experiences around.

In the centre of it all will be a Christmas market, filled with all kinds of items that will make for the perfect Christmas gift with a difference.  

(Knaresborough, 7 & 8 December)

Returning once again for 2019, Knaresborough's Christmas market will feature all manner of traditional, hand-made treats. Everything from home-made bread to retro sweets and cakes will be on offer, with a plentiful supply of mulled wine on hand to help wash it all down.

The town's traditional bakers shop will also be cooking up some old-school pork pies, while their will be an array of local cheeses,  like Wensleydale and Swaledale, on sale too.

If you somehow manage to exhaust what the market has to offer, you're already bang in the middle of a town filled with independent speciality shops.

(Parliament Street, 14 November to 22 December)

The Made in Yorkshire Yuletide village shares the same local focus, lining its stalls with the best Yorkshire has to offer. Beyond that, you'll find more alpine stalls stretching up Parliament Street with all kinds of sweets, treats and crafted goods on offer.

The ever-popular Helter Skelter returns for those looking for some seasonal excitement, while the Shambles Food Court and Thor's Tipi are perfect for those looking for a more relaxed Christmas-time experience.

Even if you're just happening by, the scent of mulled wine and roast chestnuts wafting through the air might just make the St Nicholas fair an  irresistible attraction on a cold winter's night.

(Montpellier Quarter, 14 to 17 November)

For one weekend only, Harrogate's historic Montpellier Quarter will be taken over by a vast Christmas market selling seasonal wares from all over Yorkshire.

From chutney and cheeses to handcrafted gifts and Christmas decorations, the market's 200 stalls are sure to harbour something for everybody. With the whole thing taking place in an area steeped in history and heritage, it's an ideal Christmas time day-trip.

Whether you're trying to cross that last tricky name off your Christmas list or just picking up something to perk up your own Christmas spirit, you're sure to find it amongst Harrogate's stalls.

(Town Hall Square, 14 November to 24 December)

Sheffield's Alpine Bar is the perfect place to retreat from the fray of the winter high street, sit back and enjoy a warm hot chocolate or a large glass of something cold.

The market's traditional German sausage grill can provide the perfect food to warm your belly while you wander the markets 50-odd stalls in search of Christmas gifts.

Of course, anyone under a certain age will spend the whole Christmas period with an inexhaustible supply of festive energy. Fortunately, between Santa's Grotto and the towering Big Wheel, the market will provide plenty of place for them to channel it.  

(The Wool Market, 14 and 15 December)

Slap bang in the middle of Doncaster’s town centre, the Christmas market will return once again this December to briefly create its winter wonderland for a single weekend. 

By this point, you know the drill – charming wooden stalls filled to the brim with savoury snacks and sweet treats, as well as all kinds of handcrafted and homemade things that will make the perfect gift for that final picky person still clogging up your Christmas list. 

By condensing the whole thing into just a couple of days, Doncaster ensures that each year’s market is a major occasion which the whole town hurls themselves into with maximum enthusiasm.