10 great Yorkshire Christmas markets to visit in December holiday cottages

10 great Yorkshire Christmas markets to visit in December

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, 7th and 8th December

Knaresborough Christmas Market

The picturesque North Yorkshire town of Knaresborough 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.

2. St Nicholas Fair, York – runs from 14th November to the 22nd December 2019

St. Nicholas Fair

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: Pear Tree House has a prime position in York

3. Selby Christmas Market, 30th November 2019

The Christmas lights will be switched on as the finale of this one-day festive market in Selby. Entertainment will be provided by Minster FM, local choirs and some dancing turkeys as you browse the 50 or so stalls .

4. Grassington Dickensian Festival, 30th November/1st December and 7th/8th December 2019

Grassington Dickensian Festival
The atmospheric Grassington Festival in Yorkshire. Image by Mark Davies

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 is located in the heart of Grassington

Yorkshire Dales holiday cottages

5. Winter wonderland Christmas fair at Tennants Garden Rooms

The garden rooms at Tennants are transformed into a winter wonderland where you can pick up an array of Christmas gifts.

6. Malton Christmas Food market – 7th and 8th December 2019

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.

7. Otley Victorian Fayre and Christmas Market, 1st December

This traditional Yorkshire Victorian fair is a great day out for the whole family with fairground rides and a wide range of festive stalls. You’ll also find donkey rides and best of all – Santa’s reindeer!

8. Richmond Town Christmas Market, 1st December

Taking place in and around Richmond’s historic market square you’ll find an array of stalls and a full programme of festive entertainment (including Reeth Brass Band). There’s also lots of cafes and pubs where you can stop for a warming drink and a mince pie (or two) after your shopping is complete!

9. Skipton Yuletide Festival and Christmas Market, 1st and 8th December

The Christmas market runs the entire length of Skipton High Street on the first and second Sundays in December. We recommend sticking around for the procession to Holy Trinity Church at 4pm for the traditional carol service. Guaranteed to put even The Grinch in a festive mood!

10. Beverley Festival of Christmas, 5th to the 8th December

Beverley Festival of Christmas

This 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 are 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: Minster View is right next to the historic Beverley Minster

Beverley holiday cottages

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

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