Friday, 15 November 2013

Day 15: Festive things to see and do

We're getting into the time of year when calendars are bulging with social engagements and every weekend brings a list of possible events to attend.  Here are just a few of my top picks for Christmas markets and crafty goings on, to get you into the festive spirit.

Leicester & The Midlands

Kicking things off this weekend in Leicester, the newly-opened Maker's Yard has a Christmas shopping open studio event on Saturday 16th November.  I will definitely be popping down to buy some locally made gifts from independent design businesses.  The Maker's Yard will also be open for the annual Christmas Maker's Mart on Saturday 7th December.

Other good Christmas shopping opportunities in Leicester include the Guildhall Christmas Craft fair on 30th November & 1st December, the Clarendon Park Christmas Fair on Sunday 1st December, and the St Martin's Square Christmas Fair on Saturday 7th December.

In Nottinghamshire there is an embarrasment of riches when it comes to festive markets and events, and the annual Frankfurt Christmas Market in Birmingham is a great way to get all the atmosphere of German markets, without the cost of flights.

The North

The Handmade Hour Christmas Craft Fair comes to Harrogate on Sunday 8th December.

The Lincoln Christmas market, from 5th-8th December, takes place in the shadow of the cathedral, and as far as long-running Christmas markets go, the Manchester markets can't be beat.  Taking up half of the city centre, it's so atmospheric and festive (but be warned, it gets PACKED!).  My favourite section is the one in Albert Square.

And if you missed last weekend's Renegade Craft Fair in London, the annual Bust Craftacular is a market well worth a visit.  This year it takes place on Sunday 8th December in York Hall, Bethnal Green.

Of course, there are a ton of other Christmas goings-on in London: Drink, Shop, Do and Homemade London are my favourite venues to get crafty in the capital.


Take a look at local event guides (usually found on council websites and also in local libraries) to find wreath-making classes and Christmas craft sessions. Here in Leicester there are a range of festive events; most towns and cities will have something going on.

Or, if you prefer more picturesque surroundings, National Trust properties around the UK always run wonderful craft workshops, markets and events in the run-up to Christmas. Check out their website for details.

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