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It’s the most wonderful time of the year… yes Christmas is on the horizon. To get you into the festive mood, how about checking out one of the many Christmas Markets that are popping up in towns and cities across the north of England?

Whether you want to stock up on cheeses and meats, meet some friends for gluhwein and hot chocolates, or pick up quirky gifts from the arts and crafts stalls, the Christmas Markets have something for everyone.

We’ve checked out what’s coming up and selected the best of the best for you, all easily accessible on a Northern train.

Blackpool is a popular destination for Brits in the summer, however it is also perfect for a festive day out to enjoy the Blackpool illuminations and to do some Christmas shopping. While the whole of Blackpool will be lovely to stroll around, there are a few streets in particular where you will find great independent stores and market stalls to browse and purchase unique gifts for your loved...

If you’re looking for a great day out shopping to pick up all the gifts on your list, then you can’t go wrong with Chester. Full of charm and character, with its cobbled streets and buildings dating back more than 700 years, there’s something a bit magical about Chester at Christmas. And, with its wealth of high-end boutiques, high street stores and vast number of independent shops, Chester...

Sheffield is probably best known for its out-of-town shopping mall, Meadowhall, which has a great array of mainly high street shops but if it’s independent shops you’re looking for, then stay in the city. Devonshire Street is home to Sheffield’s independent quarter and a great place to start your shopping expedition for something a bit different and personal.   For retro and vintage fashion lovers Check...

Hull has become a bit of a retail mecca for those in the know, offering everything from high-end to high-street stores, as well as some outstanding independent shops that will ensure sorting out your Christmas shopping is simple. With retail hubs across the city centre including St Stephens on Ferensway, the Prospect Shopping Centre and Princes Quay, combined with charming locations in the old...

Lincoln is a historic city which embraces its roots with a broad array of independent retail outlets making it the perfect destination for Christmas shopping. Whether you are looking for bespoke gifts, vintage fashion, artisan confectionery or specialist homeware and crafts, Lincoln’s shopping options will leave you spoilt for choice. We’ve explored three of Lincoln’s main shopping hubs –...

York has long been a favourite for shoppers throughout the year and it’s not hard to see why. With its ancient cobbled streets and passageways, you feel like you’re stepping back in time – or into a movie set with its very own Harry Potter shop (The Shop That Must Not Be Named).  Combine that with sparkling shimmering shop windows displaying their festive-wares (including a dedicated Christmas...

Manchester’s city centre acts as a beacon for shopping enthusiasts and it’s not hard to see why.  As well as a great mix of high-street stores, department stores including Harvey Nicholls and Selfridges, the city also has an abundance of designer boutiques and independent shops. What’s more, the whole of the city centre is easily walkable from Manchester Piccadilly, Victoria and Oxford Road...

With Christmas just around the corner, Liverpool is a shopper’s paradise when looking for those unique festive gifts thanks to the city’s array of independent shops. From jewellery and records to books and art, uncover Merseyside’s independent shopping scene for something a little different this Christmas.    If you’re wanting to avoid the busy mainstream stores this Christmas, check out...

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