MANCHESTER CHRISTMAS MARKETS
A Family Day Out to the famous Manchester Christmas Markets
Ornaments, jewelry, cheese, fudge, soap, decorations, Christmas trees, German beer, mulled wine, hot chocolate, bratwursts, fancy chocolates, candies, Christmas Pudding liquors and that was just one street of the famous Manchester Christmas Markets!
Watch my Manchester Christmas Markets Travel Vlog (2m 20s)
I’ve been putting this off for a while now. The last couple of Christmases, my husband has suggested we take the train to have a look around Manchester Christmas Markets and do a bit of shopping. To be quite truthful I’ve been avoiding going.
The last time we went, my daughter was 1 year old. She was still in her pram. We took the train into Manchester and were looking forward to eating some nice food, drinking some mulled wine and doing a bit present shopping. That was until we arrived in the market!
Back then, the Christmas Market in Manchester was relatively new. The UK has only had proper Christmas Markets for about 10 years, so back then they were still a novelty for a lot of people and a lot of people decided to go all at the same time. It was absolutely jam packed. Think of the busiest place you have ever seen or been to and then double it, no triple it. You literally could not move.
To be fair, the markets were a lot smaller than they are now. Really just outside of the town hall in Albert Square and few side streets. There were so many people in Albert Square we had no choice but the join the slowly moving flow and wander where it took us, hoping that we would pass the nice looking hot chocolate shop or bratwurst seller. It was made even worse because we had the pram. There was so much pushing and shoving we ended up staying about 20 minutes and wandered off to find a warm place for lunch, promising ourselves that we would never come back.
So it was with a little trepidation that I agreed to go again. The weather has been quite Christmassy over the last couple days. In fact, it is snowing as I type this blog post. I agreed to go as long as it wasn’t snowing on Saturday morning. We were woken up by the kids, as usual, and looked outside. It HAD been snowing but had stopped and actually looked like the sky might clear.
I had to make good on my promise. We ate a quick breakfast, took showers and got ready. It was about 10:15am when we set off to the train station. The station is usually a 10 minute walk but it took longer as the kids needed to play in every patch of untouched snow, of which there was still quite a lot of on the ground.
We bought our tickets and walked out onto the platform. As luck would have it, the train arrived about 30 seconds later. Perfect timing. My son was very excited as it was his first proper train ride. He has been on a train before but it was a while ago and he was too young to remember. He looked out of the window for the whole journey.
We arrived on time at Manchester Victoria station and my husband asked a policeman the quickest way to the market. As it turns out they were just outside. The markets have got sooooooo big. They pretty much take up the whole of downtown. And they are lovely. They definitely benefit from being spread out. Even though there was still loads of people, you could walk where you wanted.
My daughter was hungry so we bought some belgian waffles as it was right in front of the station. She wanted melted white chocolate on hers, I had Nutella. There was a carousel that my son liked the look of so I bought some tokens and he had a ride. My daughter was too busy eating her waffle.
It started to snow quite hard so we walked over to the Arndale Shopping Centre to get warm and have something more substantial to eat.
Once the snow had stopped, we ventured back out to another part of the market. We stopped for a hot drink near to where a Brass quartet were playing Christmas tunes. It was very nice watching them as the snow fell gently around. It really did feel like Christmas. Everyone around us was having fun in their groups and it didn’t matter if they had kids with them or not as there was plenty to do for everyone.
We walked up and down a few more streets and decided to come home as we were all starting to freeze. On the way back to the train station we had a go on a small Ferris Wheel. My son kept giving me a heart attack as he bounced in the chair with just a small safety bar keeping him in place. We went round and round for what seemed like forever!
Just before we left the market we bought a big bag of fudge for the train journey back home. The kids slept pretty much from when the train left the platform leaving my husband and I no choice but to scoff the fudge (we did leave a couple of pieces for them) and enjoy a brief moment of peace and quiet.
We arrived home tired but happy. It was a lovely day out and we will definitely be going back to Manchester Christmas Markets. If you get the chance you should definitely go. Merry Christmas everyone!