Sunday, 1 December 2013

2013 Christmas Markets

 I didn’t manage to get to the Manchester Christmas markets last year with being sick during pregnancy and then I was busy doing fairs at several weekends over the Christmas build up.  I have been determined to get to some this year and over the last 10 days, I managed to get to 3.  Last Friday I went to Birmingham and met up with my mother in Law to have a gentle stroll around the markets with several children in tow.  It was quite the adventure for my little girl embarking on our train journey from the picturesque Great Malvern station to arriving to our 2nd largest, bustling city.  I came to the Birmingham markets approximately 6 years ago and was quite unimpressed in comparison to the Manchester event.  However I found them much improved this year and less cramped than the aforementioned.  Whilst still being quite expensive, I also thought that they were more reasonable although I can’t share my purchases as yet as it may ruin the surprise for family members who read this post.

My next adventure was to the Worcester Victorian markets.  I was very excited as I have only heard good things about them.  I had my 2 youngest again and decided it would be another new experience which would only be benefited if we truly embraced the theme and thus, I got dressed up.  It was a wonderful day and I am considering having a stall there next year.  

I will write later in the week of some of the stalls I saw as I have links to pages and photos of individual stalls but it was hands down the best fair I have been to.  The prices are reasonable and I don’t mean expensive but understandable, I actually mean fair, competitive prices and nearly all the stalls (perhaps 200 odd) were crafters not traders (which is all I saw at the Birmingham and Manchester ones).  There were many people dressed in Victorian regalia and entertainment on the street for children making the atmosphere very friendly.  Again I cannot share pictures of my purchases as they are for presents.

The last fair visited was the Malvern Christmas Fair and switching on of the lights.  My eldest daughter was involved in the lantern parade as part of her school but there were activities on throughout the day including a crafters market, face painting, a Grotto and choirs, brass bands and the local radio station were hosts.  Another lovely day with a family friendly environment and food and fair rides were quite affordable.  

The craft stalls however, were very expensive.  The sellers are definitely more artists rather than hobby crafters but I didn't buy a single item even though I was very tempted by a baby bib (but I felt £8 was too much for one).   The fair was beautifully laid out and the stall owners were warm and chatty but this was more of a high end gift fair.