A lovely one-day Christmas market in a rural British market town
Christmas markets originated in medieval Germany. Since then, they have become a fixture in many European countries. Their arrival in the United Kingdom is relatively recent. Lincoln, a city in the English east Midlands, brought the first traditional German Christmas market to the UK in 1982. Today, Christmas markets can be found in several UK cities, most opening in late November and running through much of December
Many smaller towns have their own one to four-day Christmas markets. I had the opportunity to visit one of these community markets in the town of Haslemere. Haslemere is the most southerly town in the county of Surrey. The oldest part of town is centered around High Street, where there are several buildings dating to the 14th and 15th centuries.
During the one-day market, stalls replace traffic on High Street and West Street. The stalls offer a variety of food and drink items for Christmas entertaining, items to decorate the home, and crafts and other products for gift-giving. There is Christmas music, rides for the children, and plenty of food items to eat onsite.
We entered the market on West Street. Stalls began in front of the Waitrose grocery store. Free samples of mince cake sat on a table in front of the store. Staff handed out free insulated shopping bags. I didn’t need to walk much further to realize how useful the insulated bags would be. The next section of stalls contained a variety of meats for your Christmas dining: sausage rolls, turkeys, chickens, ducks, geese, partridges, pheasants, smoked trout, and more.
The market contained a great variety of goods and produce and had a family, festive atmosphere. I thoroughly enjoyed my stroll through the market.
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Ken DowellDecember 10, 2017 at 9:58 am
These markets have a charm about them that we seemmostly unable to replicate in our part of the world. Maybe it’s the historic settings. Sure beats going to the mall.
Donna JankeDecember 13, 2017 at 5:46 am
Ken, the historic setting certainly adds to the ambience!
RoseMary GriffithDecember 11, 2017 at 1:03 pm
I love Christmas markets and have been to a few of them in Germany–what a treat! A few years ago Pittsburgh started one–it gets more authentic every year. Your photos of the food made me hungry!
Donna JankeDecember 13, 2017 at 5:48 am
RoseMary, imagine how hungry seeing the food in real-life made me!
Lyn aka The Travelling LindfieldsDecember 12, 2017 at 12:37 am
Trust the medieval Germans to come up with something so much fun. I don’t think we have Christmas markets anywhere in Australia – perhaps it is just too hot for people to tear themselves away from the beach.
Donna JankeDecember 13, 2017 at 5:53 am
Lyn, there are a few Christmas markets in Canada. I’ve visited the one in Vancouver, which was nice, but with not as many stalls as this one. In many places in Canada it is too cold to wander around stalls outside. Versions are held indoors, but they don’t have quite the same feel.
NancieDecember 12, 2017 at 4:43 am
Love all the food choices, and the homemade wreaths. Looks like a fab morning excursion.
Donna JankeDecember 13, 2017 at 5:54 am
Nancie, it was a fab morning excursion.
MicheleDecember 12, 2017 at 10:00 pm
Oh I miss Christmas markets, you are so lucky to have them. We returned to Australia this year after a few years in Europe, we had a local “Christmas Market’ advertised and was so disappointed when I got there, not even any decorations let alone food. This looks great, Merry Christmas
Donna JankeDecember 13, 2017 at 5:59 am
Michele, how disappointing. I’m hoping to also visit one of the larger, several week Christmas markets in England during this trip.
Karen WarrenDecember 13, 2017 at 6:16 am
That looks like a great day out. I love the idea of a living nativity scene – I haven’t seen one of those before!
Donna JankeDecember 16, 2017 at 5:09 am
Karen, it was fun. I hadn’t seen a living nativity scene before either.
judiboomergirlDecember 13, 2017 at 10:55 am
Your pictures are fabulous. I love holiday markets. The Christmas pies look so appetizing.
Donna JankeDecember 16, 2017 at 5:10 am
Judi, I love holiday markets too. All the food looked so good!
Carole Terwilliger MeyersDecember 13, 2017 at 6:02 pm
Thanks for taking me with you to this Christmas market in Surrey. The images are so much fun. I’d love to purchase one of those Christmas pies and some of those little carved animals.
Donna JankeDecember 16, 2017 at 5:16 am
Carole, there were a lot of tempting things to buy. Knowing I had limited room in my suitcase held me back, although we did buy a few treats to eat.
pattimorrowDecember 14, 2017 at 6:42 pm
That looks like so much fun! Beautiful crafts and yummy-looking food. Your photos make me want to go!
Donna JankeDecember 16, 2017 at 5:16 am
Thanks Patti. It was a lot of fun.
Anita and Richard @ No Particular Place To GoDecember 15, 2017 at 10:48 am
I loved all of your photos but especially the last one with the village in the background. And I had a huge chuckle at the picture of the sausage with the “Giggley Pig” label. We have Christmas markets in Portugal too but yours looked much bigger and, oh yum, had no end of goodies. With the Christmas carollers in the background, I’ll bet you it didn’t take much to put you in the Christmas spirit mood!
Donna JankeDecember 16, 2017 at 5:17 am
Anita, the market did indeed put me in the Christmas spirit mood.
Sue ReddelDecember 16, 2017 at 7:58 pm
I didn’t know there were Christmas Markets in England. I’m a huge fan and I see that they have plenty of different choices of food – the major attraction!
Donna JankeDecember 17, 2017 at 5:31 am
Sue, there are several traditional German-style markets in England which run for several weeks and a number of other towns put on this kind of one or two-day festival. The food here certainly was an attraction.