Ok I have to hold my hands up first and say that I’m not technically a local. But rather an honorary Mancunian who loves everything about Manchester. So despite not being a born and bred Manc I can still give you a good low down on this year’s Christmas Markets.
Coming from a small town in Cornwall, Christmas to me is meant to be magical, we just didn’t really have any of that magic. The markets were tiny, the lights were disappointing and we never got snow.
Now I’m in Manchester and the lights are up before Halloween. The markets are massive, and you can guarantee there will be at least a week where you are constantly slipping on ice.
The Manchester Christmas markets are by far my favourite – although I’ve only ever been to a few. Liverpool, Preston and Plymouth.
You know what you’re going to get every year. Mulled wine, pork and stuffing barms, mini pancakes and a lot of ‘excuse me please, coming through’.
FOOD & DRINK
Now some people might tell you that you’re just wasting your money on food and drink at any Christmas market.
Yes it is more expensive than normal. Yes the portions might be small. But you have not lived until you have had sipped on mulled wine whilst eating mini Nutella pancakes in one of the pop up pubs.
I personally would pick the hog roast on Albert Square. The crepes at St Ann’s Square. The chocolate orange hot chocolate on New Cathedral Street and then of course a Yorkshire pudding wrap on Exchange Square.
The one issue with the Manchester Christmas Markets is that if you don’t know your way around Manchester it can be very easy to get lost.
The first two years I went went Paul we both had no idea where we were going.
But I’ve recently become a font of knowledge when it comes to navigating my way around Manchester. Which made this years trips very pleasant.
I have two tips for navigating the markets.
One: stick to the main roads and don’t always follow the crowds because not everyone is right.
Two: look out for the information help people – believe it or not they are actually there to help you and guide you around Manchester.
The Markets are full of diverse local stalls selling everything from trinkets and gifts to sweets and sausages.
But the real stars of the show are the festive mugs. You pay a £3 deposit so you can take your mug home with you once you’re done, or give it back to be washed and reused.
This year’s designs are mistletoe. So you can hold the mug up between you and a loved one for a cheeky kiss. And Rudolph’s nose so you look like a reindeer when you drink it.
I love the Manchester Markets – if you couldn’t tell. And I’d highly recommend giving them a look in if you’re about.
Although I would advise you to go on a week day if you don’t like crowds. Also make sure you check out all of the smaller markets and not just the main one on Albert Square.
I particular would recommend Exchange Square for a Yorkshire pudding wrap and some mini pancakes!
What are the Christmas markets like where you live, and which are the best ones you’ve ever been to?