The UK has many outdoor and indoor markets. Most large towns and cities have more than one. Some markets are open daily whilst others are open for business on selected days of the week and during certain times of the year.
Many small towns have their own traditional markets; in fact many of these small country towns are called market towns.
Come with me then while I share a sample of just a few of these markets available in the UK.
This should give you an idea of what is out there when you visit the United Kingdom, but more specifically England.
The capital city of England, namely London, seems a good place to start our journey
This fine city has many boroughs, or areas, most of which have their own attractions or specialities. Many will have one form of market or another.
Check out Camden Market and The Portobello Road, for a traditional market in great surroundings.
The Portobello Road is a bustling street market with plenty of shops. It is often full of tourists and shoppers. Camden market has Camden Lock with its waterfront restaurants.
It is a more trendy modern market. When we visited Camden Market, some years ago, a young Roland Gift, the man who went onto fame as lead singer with The Fine Young Cannibals, had a stall at Camden Market.
London Markets will offer you basic goods such as fruit and vegetables, fresh meat, cheap household products, fresh fish, fake goods, clothes and so much more. You can often find unusual items which may make perfect souvenirs of your vacation. Be wary of items such as watches which may not offer longevity. If the market has casual retailers you will find the seller hard to track down and therefor be unlikely to secure a refund, or exchange, if the goods do not live up to expectations.
Most major cities in the UK have at least one market
Some markets are enclosed in what are called market halls. This could be a great place to visit for the building if nothing else. There are still some markets held in buildings which were built many years ago and may incorporate traditional Victorian tiles and architecture.
Other markets are assembled and dismantled each time they are opened and closed.
Cottingham which is a small village near where I live has a small market each Thursday held on what is called Cottingham Green. It is not green though and is a concreted area. It has a nearby bus terminus, pub, plenty of shops and the Civic Hall. It may only be a small market but it is popular and in the run up to Christmas is where Cottingham's Christmas lights are most prominent.
With changing times many traditional market places are no more
However Farmer's markets seem to be catching on. My city has a farmer's market, in quite a nice setting, usually once a week. These market stalls offer local produce but the goods on sale may be a little pricier than supermarket fare; they offer excellent quality and very fresh produce though. In summer, autumn and spring the stalls also sell a good selection of bedding and house plants.
Market Towns, such as nearby Beverley, have managed to maintain their traditional markets. Beverley has a large market in its main square each Saturday and a smaller market held in the Wednesday market place on a Saturday and a Wednesday.
When there is a race meeting in Beverly the market becomes even busier.
There are many such markets and market towns around the UK.
If you are visiting the UK consider checking out the markets available
Whether you are touring or staying in one location, there is bound to be at least one market being held in the region. Research online the local tourist offices for full details. They should be able to show or send you details of what is available and when. Remember outdoor markets may vary their running times in bad weather or out of season.
That said there are extra markets held at times such as Christmas.
My city holds a Victorian market in the run up to Christmas and more than once during the year holds a French or Dutch market. The fine city of Lincoln holds a large but busy Christmas market annually. These are just a few of those available.
English markets usually have some stalls selling snack food such as chips (fries), fish and chips, hot chestnuts in winter and autumn and jacket potatoes. Markets usually have the appetising smells of these foods and their accompanying fish and chips which whet your appetite.
As with all such packed places make sure that your valuables are safe and out of the reach of would be pickpockets.
Also if something for sale seems to good too be true, it probably is.
Check out the - Festival of Christmas Beverley Yorkshire
Market Day Mahon and Ciutadella Menorca
The Festival of Christmas, Beverley, would just as easily fit in our travel our or Christmas blog but in the end we have opted to post in our events section.
We found out about Beverley's Festival of Christmas almost by chance. Working on the computer with the radio blaring out one December Sunday morning the Festival of Christmas received a plug.
It was being held that very day!
With a limited Sunday bus service we had to get our skates on but in the end arrived in Beverley a little after 1.15pm.
It was a typical grey winter's day with a nip in the air and a cold wind blowing. That however had not stopped visitors to the Victorian market which was heaving.
The sights, smells and sounds made for a noisy enjoyable experience. There were so many people being swept between the stalls it was difficult to look at anything too closely.
We opted to take lunch in the King's Head which was also packed to the rafters but service was good.
The food was a little pricey but tasty. Hot mulled win was available at £3 for a tall glass.
For those who preferred a cheaper lunch hot snacks and drinks were available outdoors in the market.
Other cafes were also open.
By the time we were back in market square the crowds had thinned a little. It was still busy but I managed to take a few snaps and look at the goods on offer more closely.
Many of the stalls were selling food stuffs such as a variety of cheeses, quirky beers and wines, meats, confectionery, cakes, jams, honeys and more.
There were also many craft stalls. Plenty of the goods on sale were pricey but the event was free.
Stall holders had rose to the occasion and dressed up in Victorian style clothes. Others were spotted here and there dressed in a myriad of strange attire.
Shops in Beverley were also open and trade was booming.
Where is Beverley?
The historic market town of Beverley is around seven miles from the city of Kingston-Upon-Hull on the North Bank of the River Humber. It is in the county of Yorkshire.
In summer race-goers flock to the town but Beverley racecourse is also host to other events.
For a small town Beverley has plenty to offer including historic buildings, the Saturday and Wednesday Market, folk music events, pubs, cafes, restaurants and the Westwood which is a great area for walks.
Check out the Festival of Christmas website and bookmark the page for upcoming details of next year's event.
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