The beautiful medieval city of York in England will transport you back in time to the Middle Ages. It is home to incredible old buildings that have been around since the time of the Vikings and it is definitely somewhere that you will want to visit.
A trip to York is incredible at any time of year but we suggest visiting between mid November and early January since that is when the Christmas markets in York are set up. Although it might get the occasional dusting, this city does not get very much snow, but it still captures the Christmas spirit with dazzling lights, Christmas trees and decorations placed around town.
Ready to experience the festive season in England? Your first stop should be Bounce luggage storage in York. Drop your belongings there and experience York Christmas markets and all the excitement they bring!
St Nicholas Fair
One of the best places to go to celebrate the holidays is St Nicholas Fair in York, which is also called the York Christmas Market and has been running every year since 1992. The planners and organizers really outdo themselves with decorations to create the perfect festive atmosphere, great for families to enjoy or for a romantic date. It is also the optimal destination for Christmas shopping since the wooden chalets in the area sell all sorts of unique gifts, delicious treats and handmade items.
This festival is happening between mid November until just before Christmas Eve so don't miss your chance to visit the vendors and craftspeople! The market is split into different sections all offering something new and unique.
The St Nicholas Fair encompasses streets all around the York city center and you will find lots to do nearby if you keep an eye out. If you make your way to St Sampson's Square you will find the old Yorkshire barn with hot chestnuts and delicious goodies. Thor's Tipi will be making an appearance and can offer you tasty drinks of mulled wine; the perfect way to keep warm.
Kings Square has an entire funfair with a Helter Skelter ride and other exciting attractions that are great for families traveling with young kids. Next, take them to Coppergate to meet Santa Claus.
Lining Parliament Street and Shambles Market, which is home to the Made in Yorkshire Yuletide Village, is where most of the Alpine chalets and stalls will be. This is where you should go to buy more traditional Christmas gifts for your friends and family back home!
In general, this York Christmas market runs between early and mid November and usually closes up just before Christmas Eve. This is the only featured market on our list of York Christmas markets but since it is split up into different areas it will feel as though you are visiting several Christmas markets in one, We suggest you head to the St Nicholas Fair for a wonderful time.
What to do in York in winter
Although the main attraction will always be the York Christmas market, there are loads of other fun activities to do here during the wintertime as well. Consider trying out some of them while you visit York's Christmas market!
If you enjoy the performance arts, you will absolutely adore the Fairytale of New York show that happens at the Grand Opera House. The cast is made up of very talented singers, dancers and musicians, and it can be a really fun way to embrace the holiday spirit.
Although there won't be any stalls to shop in, Yorkshire's Winter Wonderland is a fantastic place to go when you are looking for something to do in the wintertime. Here you will find a big outdoor ice skating rink where you can glide around as well as an Alpine café serving all sorts of yummy treats. Expect visits from Santa Claus, too! The best part? You can visit at no extra cost since entry is completely free.
The entire city is dressed up during the holiday season and it is quite a magical place with all of the Christmas decorations. If you are ever looking for something to do you can always meander the winding streets to admire the Christmas lights! To make it even better we suggest grabbing a cup of hot chocolate or spiced mulled wine to accompany you on your walk.
Where to stay near St Nicholas Fair
If you are visiting York specifically for the Christmas Market then chances are that you will be looking for somewhere to stay nearby. The Judges Court Hotel is a fabulous choice.
This 4 star hotel offers free Wi-Fi in their individually designed rooms which are each unique and pristine. The best part is that this lovely accommodation is just a couple of minutes' walk away from Parliament Street and St Sampson's Square!
What to buy at St Nicholas Fair
The stalls at St Nicholas Fair are ideal for finding gifts for those hard to buy for friends and family. You should be able to get most of your Christmas shopping done if you take your time as you look around. Reserve enough time in your day so that you won't be rushed since there are over 100 different vendors to check out!
Some of the knick knacks that you will see in the stalls include scented candles, holiday decorations, plants, handmade jewelry, clothing, artworks, figurines and so much more.
When it comes to festive food they are stocked up as well with all kinds of treats and ingredients made with fresh Yorkshire products. Keep an eye out for anything from cheeses, churros and chocolates to alcoholic beverages, jams and coffees. One thing is for sure, you won't be going hungry when you visit this York Christmas market!
Enjoying the Holiday Season in York
Central York is a beautiful place and it becomes even more magical in the wintertime. The main event is the huge St Nicholas Fair that takes over the city streets for five whole weeks each year. Lots of locals and tourists like to visit to get their Christmas shopping done and to enjoy the fun festivities.
After a cup of hot chocolate at the Christmas style tipi (look for Thor's Tipi with a real log fire) and tasting some local goodies you might find yourself looking for more holiday fun, but no need to worry since York has lots of other exciting events going on as well! Why not put the Jorvik Viking Centre on your list of activities? York Station will get you there.
Now you are ready to enjoy the Christmas Markets in York. For more things to do in York, check out these other guides.