Manchester the capital of Christmas: The UK’s favourite Christmas Market returns!
The UK’s original, award-winning Manchester Christmas Market is set to return with the biggest and best festive offering to date.
The world-famous markets – brought to you by Manchester City Council – will feature nearly 350 stalls spanning 10 distinctive market sites, transforming the city centre in to a festive wonderland from Saturday, 14 November until Monday, 21 December.
The Albert Square site will close Tuesday, 22 December. (Full listings details below)
The transformation of the city centre, in particular Metrolink’s Second City Crossing through Cross Street, will reach partial completion during the opening weeks of the Christmas Market, allowing the Exchange Square, Corn Exchange and Cathedral Gardens sites to expand on last year’s offering.
Exchange Square will return to full capacity with a brand new, two storey indoor beer house accompanying The Mill – a new bar area complete with huge smoking chimney as the centrepiece to the site, celebrating the industrial heritage of Manchester.
Cathedral Gardens, one of the major additions to the Christmas Markets in 2014, will return as the dedicated family area in 2015, offering a traditional fun fair and entertainment, offering a more child friendly atmosphere for young visitors wishing to experience the magic of Manchester’s Christmas Markets.
The success of Market Street – which was also new to the Christmas Markets only last year – will mean the site will be expanded with even more chalets offering top gift ideas after local retailers reported a boost to footfall and sales figures during the market season.
The Corn Exchange will re-emerge as a market site now development work to refurbish the Exchange building in to a major food destination has been completed.
Launched in 1999, the Manchester Christmas Markets was the first festive market in the UK growing from only a single site in St Ann’s Square in 1999 – each completely free to visitors.
Regularly named one of Europe’s best Christmas Market attractions, nine million people visited last year – along with two million visiting the Albert Square site along – and is responsible for generating millions of pounds for city’s economy.
Cllr Pat Karney, Manchester’s Christmas spokesperson, said: “For me the countdown to the Christmas Markets began the day they closed last year, but the minute our giant Santa takes his place in front of town hall, that’s when the real excitement starts! The city takes on a festive glow, the nights don’t seem as dark and the traders at the Christmas Markets fill the air with a thousand delicious smells.”
Cllr Rosa Battle, Manchester City Council’s executive member for culture and leisure, said: “The Christmas Market is one of the biggest events in the city’s calendar, attracting millions of people each year. This gives a huge boost to the city centre economy, working to complement the high street and supports smaller business as well, by giving shopper a real choice about how to fulfil those Christmas wishes.”
Attracting traders from across the globe, the Christmas Market offers a huge range of foodie produce from the traditional favourites, such as Bratwurst, hog roast, crepes or macaroons to the more adventurous delights from across the world, such as Paella, Flammkuchen or British gourmet pie.
Each market site boasts the finest in gift ideas, including jewellery, ceramics, handmade toys, puppets, clocks, glassware, and a market favourite, the limited edition Manchester Christmas Market coffee and Gluhwein mugs.
And of course, the iconic, tweet-happy, six-tonne giant Santa will take his place above Albert Square – so get in touch @MCRsanta and join the festive conversation.
Manchester Christmas Markets, Saturday 14 November – Monday 21 December
European Christmas Market, Albert Square (Open until Tuesday, 22 December)
10.00am – 9.00pm daily
Opening times and locations for all other markets:
November 10.00am – 7.30pm
December 10.00am – 8.00pm
Christmas Market, Cathedral Gardens *** Family zone new to 2015 ***
Market Street *** Expanded for 2015 ***
Christmas Market, Exchange Square *** Returns to full size ***
Christmas Market, Corn Exchange ***Returns for 2015 ***
Arts and Crafts Market, Exchange Street
Christmas Market, New Cathedral Street
French Christmas Market, King Street
German Christmas Market, St Ann’s Square
World Christmas Market, Brazennose Street
ALL BAR AND FOOD AREAS OPEN UNTIL 9.00pm