With half term, Halloween and Bonfire Night all out of the way, there’s no avoiding it, next stop Christmas! But, if you’re anything like us, a big part of the fun is the run up to the day itself – writing cards, planning parties, wrapping presents and soaking up the festive atmosphere. In recent years, the tradition of Christmas markets has made its way over from the continent to become a firm fixture on our winter calendars. Many of us flock to teeming city centres or even a European city break for an authentic experience but, you needn’t suffer the stress of crowds and arduous journeys, North Wales has its share of fabulous Christmas markets too.
Whether you’re looking for handmade decorations, scrumptious foodie treats or some unique gifts, Christmas markets offer a brilliant day out for the whole family. Here’s our round up of the biggest and best across the region.
Llandudno Christmas Fayre
Llandudno – 15-18 November
Head to North Wales’s most famous seaside resort for the annual Christmas Fayre, which has become one of the biggest fixtures on the town’s calendar. Here you can enjoy traditional festive entertainment, including carols and Santa’s grotto, while you stroll around more than 130 food, craft and gift stalls. It’s a great day out, whatever the weather, as many of the stalls are undercover too.
This market gives visitors an opportunity to experience a variety of local goods not found on the high street, with its main aim to promote quality products from Wales and beyond at this most special time of year.
Distance from hotel by car: approx. 45 minutes.
Beaumaris Victorian Christmas
Beaumaris – 24-25 November
A weekend of seasonal fun awaits in the beautiful resort of Beaumaris on Anglesey as the whole town gets into the festive spirit. Over two days the town will transform into a winter wonderland, culminating in a grand parade and fireworks on Saturday evening.
Visitors can enjoy live music and entertainment, stalls, games and fairground rides, plus tempting food and drink as they wander the town indulging in a little Christmas shopping in the many quirky and unique shops here.
Distance from hotel by car: approx. 30 minutes.
Goleuo Bwyd Lleol Food Market
Denbigh – 30 November
Hosted by Llangollen & Dee Valley Good Grub Club, the jewel in the Vale of Clwyd, Denbigh, will be hosting a Carnival Christmas Extravaganza, with dozens of irresistible stalls selling local cheeses, preserves, chocolate and other yummy delights!
Organisers ask you to empty your cupboards and arrive hungry! They promise locally produced food as well as some great entertainment: carol singers, Santa, a fun fair, craft demonstrations and most importantly, the Christmas lights switch on!
Distance from hotel by car: approx. 60 minutes.
Portmeirion Food & Craft Festival
Portmeirion – 30 November – 2 December
A fairytale location, food and festive frolics – who could resist? This dreamy village’s annual Christmas event is a celebration of the best local food, drinks, gifts and entertainment.
With more than 120 artisan stalls exhibiting the best Welsh produce, there is also a full programme of entertainment, including seasonal cooking demonstrations, musical entertainment and Santa’s Grotto.
Join in the merriment and find the perfect present while you’re at it!
Distance from hotel by car: approx. 50 minutes.
Ruthin Christmas lights switch-on and market
St Peter’s Square – 1 December
Get involved in a longstanding Christmas tradition in historic Ruthin with the switching on of the Christmas lights! This year the lights on the town’s Christmas tree will be switched on by the Mayor of Ruthin, followed by a dazzling parade of vehicles in the Convoy of Lights.
A Christmas market will also be held in St Peter’s Square, with various stalls and entertainment, and more retail therapy undercover in St Peter’s Church.
Distance from hotel by car: approx. 70 minutes.
Wrexham Victorian Christmas Market
Wrexham town centre and St Giles’ Church – 6 December
Wrexham’s Christmas Market is one of the most eagerly awaited events in the town’s calendar, this year once again boasting a Victorian theme. Visitors can browse over 100 stalls in the town centre but what makes this market really special is that it spills into the beautiful parish church of St Giles – a glorious haven on a cold winter’s evening.
Stalls this year will be selling a selection of festive gifts and treats alongside Victorian street entertainers and a traditional carousel. There will be all sorts of hot, freshly prepared food, including German sausages, festive mince pies, mulled wine and hot chestnuts.
Distance from hotel by car: approx. 90 minutes.
What else is on?
But that’s not all; there are many other Christmas events happening across the region in November and December. While not strictly markets, most feature some fabulous stalls and/or are situated around great spots to buy or try local produce.
The medieval Winterfest in Conwy is a firm favourite with locals; the Santa train events at Llangollen Railway are always popular with families; and Christmas centrepiece workshops at Erddig and festive dessert tasting evenings at Bodnant Garden are just a couple of the seasonal delights hosted by the National Trust in Wales.
Stay with us
Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, and where better to enjoy the frosty Welsh winter than over good food and a party atmosphere at the Royal Victoria? Celebrate, shine and sparkle with your favourite people at our Moulin Rouge themed party nights throughout December, or enjoy an extended warm welcome by spending the Christmas break at our luxurious and festive hotel. Why not take a look at our great value Winter Stay & Dine deal… but, hurry, dates are filling up fast!