10 best Yorkshire Christmas markets to visit in December holiday cottages

10 best Yorkshire Christmas markets to visit in December

Elianne 23 November 2017

PLEASE NOTE: DUE TO COVID-19, SOME OF THE BELOW INFORMATION MAY BE INCORRECT AND SOME EVENTS MAY NO LONGER BE GOING AHEAD. Please check on the respective websites before embarking on any journeys.

When it comes to Christmas shopping, there are essentially three ways to do it. Do everything online and receive all your presents in a boring cardboard box, brave the crowds and make a mad dash into town the week before, or plan a Christmas shopping trip to remember at a magical Christmas market. We know which one we'd prefer, which is why we’ve cherry-picked our favourite Christmas markets in Yorkshire below for you to choose from!

From the world-renowned St Nicholas Fayre in York to the Dickensian extravaganza in Grassington, our Yorkshire Christmas markets are sure to get you feeling all Christmassy and warm inside. And that’s before the mulled wine and mince pies which you may need to sleep off in one of our handpicked Yorkshire cottages.

Cottages for Christmas

With market towns and pretty villages each transformed into a winter wonderland with Christmas lights, Santa's reindeer and festive stalls, it's the perfect time for a break with family and friends. Take a look through these 10 magical Christmas markets in Yorkshire and start planning your exciting winter escape!

1. Knaresborough Christmas Market, Knaresborough

When is it? 5th and 6th December

Knaresborough is already a beautiful cobbled town full of winding streets and quaint architecture, but this picturesque North Yorkshire town is transformed into a winter wonderland for the first weekend in December. There are brass bands, singers and dancers to keep you entertained as you shop.

Knaresborough Christmas Market is just the place to get into the Christmas spirit and pick out a few Christmas presents in the run up to the big day. Investigate the stalls and see what goodies you can uncover and take in that fantastic Christmas tree in the heart of the town over a glass of warming mulled wine. 

Where to stay: Crofts At Cold Bath Place, Harrogate | sleeps 7 and 1 dog

Knaresborough cottages

2. St Nicholas Fair, York

St Nicholas FairPhoto credit: Instagram @kerrygreenan

Dates: 12th November - 20th December 

York really does go all out for Christmas with activities including an ice trail on the 9th and 10th December and the pop-up Thor’s Tipi where you can some warming mulled wine. The St Nicholas Fair includes a range of wooden chalets where you can find a range of homemade gifts.

A huge event in York and one that many thousands of people in Yorkshire and beyond look forward to each year. York is the ultimate Christmas shopping destination. Its beautiful medieval streets are packed with independent shops, cosy cafes and excellent restaurants. The St. Nicholas Fayre is the icing on the Christmas cake with hundreds of stalls selling gifts, local food and all manner of lovely things.

Where to stay: The Shambles, York | sleeps 2

3. Selby Christmas Market, Selby

Date: Saturday 28 November 

Taking place in a fantastic location - in the Market Place just outside beautiful Selby Abbey - this magical one-day Selby Christmas Market offers up stalls to peruse and food and drink to warm you up as you explore the market in the frosty air. 

Santa Claus will be there for children to meet and there is various other entertainment taking place throughout the day to ensure everyone enjoys the Christmassy atmosphere of this scenic Selby market. The Mayor switches on the Christmas lights at 4pm as the finale to this wonderful event! 

Where to stay: Harry's Stable, York | sleeps 4

4. Grassington Dickensian Festival, Grassington

Grassington Dickensian FestivalImage by Mark Davies www.markdavies.co.uk


Dates: 6th December, 12th December and 13th of December 

You can’t beat a trip to the Yorkshire Dales so why not combine a scenic winter walk with a trip to the Grassington Dickensian Festival? This charming village is transported back to Victorian times and you’ll find street traders, choirs and a traditional Punch & Judy!

A very Christmassy festival, it sounds like a cliché but it really is like stepping back in time. The market square in Grassington comes alive with a traditional market while the shopkeepers and villagers dress in Victorian costume.

Wander around and enjoy the sights, sounds and tastes of this delightful Christmas market in Yorkshire. 

Where to stay: Ripley's Rest, Grassington | sleeps 4

Yorkshire Dales holiday cottages

5. Winter Wonderland Christmas Fair at Tennants Garden Rooms, Leyburn

Dates: TBC

The garden rooms at Tennants are transformed into a winter wonderland where you can pick up an array of Christmas gifts. Over 90 designer and artisan stalls flood the hallways of this beautiful location, with a wonderful selection of gifts and goodies for you to discover as you peruse the stalls. 

Food and drink is available with the on-site cafe, an additional pop-up cafe and their restaurant all serving up tasty treats to keep guests fuelled as you make the rounds. Last year, an exhibition 'The Art of Print' took place in the Upper Gallery for visitors to take in so let's hope they do another wonderful art exhibition this year!

Where to stay: Tannery Cottage, Leyburn | sleeps 4 and 2 dogs

Leyburn holiday cottages

6. Malton Christmas Food Market, Malton

Malton Christmas Food MarketPhoto credit: Instagram @tominmalton

Dates: 5th and 6th December 

Malton’s monthly food market has become a bit of a mecca for foodies and showcases the best of Yorkshire’s artisan local produce. The Christmas event includes all the usual food producers along with a range of Christmas gifts as well.

Over 100 stalls are expected at this year's Christmas market along with tasty street food to devour, live music including a choir setting the Christmassy atmosphere and entertainment including Victorian-themed fairground for kids to enjoy! It takes place in and around the Milton Rooms in the town's central Market Place. 

Where to stay: The Stables At Close Farm, Malton | sleeps 6 and 4 dogs

Malton holiday cottages

7. Otley Victorian Fayre and Christmas Market, Otley

Running since 1985, this unique Yorkshire Victorian fayre is a great day out for the whole family with fairground rides and a wide range of festive stalls. The stall keepers and shop owners dress up in traditional Victorian costumes and local schools bring children to sing Christmas carols - you'll feel like you've been thrown back into time to yesteryear the moment you arrive!

There are children's rides, music and entertainment, Morris dancing, craft and gift stalls and plenty of mince pies to go around. Grab a glass of mulled wine and take in the atmosphere of this olde-worlde event in the heart of beautiful Otley. 

Where to stay: Ivy Cottage, Lindley | sleeps 4 and 2 dogs

West Yorkshire cottages

8. Richmond Town Christmas Market, Richmond

Dates: TBC

Taking place in and around Richmond’s historic market square you’ll find an array of stalls and a full programme of festive entertainment at the Richmond Town Christmas Market including carol singing, a brass band, and various other music throughout the day. 

Plenty of stalls pop up throughout this beautiful town so you can browse the gifts, food and other goodies laid out while venturing through the exquisite streets of Richmond. There are also cafes and pubs where you can stop for a warming drink and a mince pie (or two) after your shopping is complete!

Where to stay: Orchard House, Richmond | sleeps 8

Richmond cottages

9. Skipton Yuletide Festival and Christmas Market, Skipton

This award-winning Christmas market runs the entire length of Skipton High Street and is a wonderful winter market that will get you in the Christmas spirit. There is always entertainment at the Skipton Yuletide Festival including live music taking place on the arena on the high street as well as at a variety of locations dotted across this charming town. 

After you've got your fill of mince pies and Christmas gifts, we recommend sticking around for the procession to Holy Trinity Church at 4pm for the traditional carol service - it's the perfect way to round off a day out!

Where to stay: Coopers Studio, Skipton | sleeps 2 and 1 dog

Skipton holiday cottages

10. Beverley Festival of Christmas, Beverley

Beverley Festival of ChristmasPhoto credit: Instagram @richjgreen

Dates: TBC

The Beverley Festival of Christmas is a one-day festive extravaganza is one largest Christmas festivals in the UK. Expect a wide range of stalls selling fabulous items that will make ideal presents for loved ones. Beverley is transformed in a winter wonderland complete with mince pies and carol singers.

One of the largest Christmas markets in Yorkshire, the Beverley Festival of Christmas has been running annually now for almost 20 years. There is a whole range of events, stalls, music and entertainment to enjoy including a festival parade and lots of choir singing. Just what you need to get you in the mood!

Where to stay: Paddock View - Walkington, Beverley | sleeps 4 and 2 dogs

Beverley holiday cottages

Spend Christmas in Yorkshire

An array of festive markets is just one of the reasons to plan a Christmas getaway to Yorkshire. You'll also find beautifully decorated stately homes including the lavish Castle Howard, illuminated Winter Wonderlands (the magical Stockeld Park is particularly good) and special Santa trains on the heritage NYMR steam railway.

If this has inspired you to plan a short break or holiday to Yorkshire this winter, Gorgeous Cottages have a range of luxury Yorkshire holiday cottages throughout the Yorkshire Coast, Dales, Moors and Wolds ranging from romantic retreats to large celebration houses where the whole family is welcome.

Christmas cottages in Yorkshire

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.

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