When does Harrogate Christmas
Market take place?
November to Sunday 20th November 2016
What time is it open?
10am to 8pm
daily, except the final day, Sunday, when it closes at 5pm.
Where is it?
Walk, Harrogate. HG1 2RZ. It is on the Stray in Harrogate, near the Crown Hotel
and the White Hart Hotel.
How much do tickets cost?
Entry is completely free to all visitors.
Is the site accessible for
Yes, entry is
fully accessible, including to our marquees. Although the event is on the Stray,
all walkways are on the tarmac paths.
that it can become very crowded at peak times, making it harder to navigate the
aisles with wheelchairs and pushchairs, and you may find it more comfortable to
visit at a quieter time.
Can I bring my dog with me?
allowed on site, but we ask that you keep them on a lead at all times. We also
suggest you consider whether your dog will cope with the large crowds and busy
atmosphere before bringing them to the Christmas Market.
Dogs are not
allowed inside the marquees, and we request you keep dogs at a safe distance
from the reindeer next to Santa's Grotto.
There are a few dog friendly
pubs nearby that also serve food - The Old Bell Tavern and Major Tom's Social -
click here for a link to Harrogate establishments on Doggie Pubs UK
Where should I park?
Being held in
the centre of Harrogate, the Christmas Market is surrounded by parking. There is
paid parking on street and in the multi-storey car parks in the area, and free
parking for up to three hours in the disc zones. You can pick up a free disc
from Harrogate Tourist Information Centre and many of the local shops.
Click here for further information
What about disabled parking?
holders are entitled to park free in on-street and multi-storey parking bays in
Harrogate. This is monitored by Harrogate Borough Council and North Yorkshire
County Council (not by the Christmas Market organisers) so if in doubt, please
contact them to clarify.
I can’t be bothered with driving
and finding a parking space. What shall I do?
Good news –
there are plenty of options for using public transport to get to Harrogate
Christmas Market! Harrogate is on a direct train line from both York and Leeds
and there are buses into the town centre from across the area, including the
rather luxurious 36 service Leeds and Ripon
Virgin Trains East Coast have
added direct trains between London Kings Cross and Harrogate on the Saturday and
Sunday of the market - click here for more details.
arrive at the rail or bus station, make sure you take advantage of the FREE
shuttle bus taking you from Stand 1 directly to the Christmas Market, up to
every 10 minutes, throughout the four days. Alternatively, stroll through the
shopping streets and make your way down to the market, just a few minutes' walk
away. Find out more on the location here.
When is Santa’s Grotto open and
how much does it cost?
Grotto is open every day throughout the market opening hours (except for short
breaks when Santa needs to go and check on his reindeer!). Entry is £5 per
child, including a small gift. (Click Here for Market
Layout - Santa's Grotto is marked Z4.)
Will we have to queue for Santa’s
times, there may be a queue to get into Santa's Grotto, as Santa likes to spend
a few minutes speaking to each child who comes to see him. If you'd rather not
wait, why not wander around the market until it's quieter, or visit one of the
great cafés or restaurants on our doorstep in Harrogate town centre?
Alternatively, plan to visit outside peak times when it's quieter.
Are the reindeer OK?
absolutely. We use a professional company to run Santa's Grotto and bring the
reindeer. They have the highest standards of welfare for their animals and are
registered with the local authority, which is more than happy with the way the
reindeer are cared for. We have also met the vet who looks after all the animals
and he knows how well they are looked after.
reindeer have been raised in captivity and are more than comfortable around
people. We would not allow the reindeer to be there if we believed they were
unhappy - and neither would their owners. (Click here for more details.)
Can I busk at Harrogate
We love having live music to
keep our visitors entertained. We have a busy schedule of ‘buskers’ who perform
– they’re mostly from local schools, churches and community organisations, and a
lot of them have been joining us for several years now. You’ll find the busking
area on row M, close to the Information Point, so please stop and have a listen
as you’re passing.
If you would like to take one of
the busking slots, there are still a couple of slots available.
Click here for the Busking Schedule
Where’s the beer tent?
There is no
beer tent at Harrogate Christmas Market because it's a family event. You will
find bottled alcohol from local producers on site, which you're welcome to take
home with you. If you'd like a drink or two, there are numerous fantastic bars
in the local area, including several on Montpellier Hill and Royal Parade, just
over the road from the market.
Where are the toilets?
There are no
public toilets on the site itself, but Harrogate Borough Council runs public
toilets nearby on Crescent Gardens. They are signposted from the Christmas
What stalls will I find at
Harrogate Christmas Market?
almost 200 stalls at the Christmas Market, and traders are handpicked by our
team of volunteers to ensure they give a good mix of products to keep all our
visitors happy. You'll find everything from local cheeses and ales to hand-made
Christmas decorations and unusual Christmas gifts. (Visit the Stalls page
here for a full listing.)
Can I eat at Harrogate
Yes! We have a selection of
great traders offering hot and cold food and drink to eat while you’re with us.
You can eat it as you wander the aisles, or sit at the tables in the Food &
Drink Marquee. There are lots of bins around the site for you to dispose of the
wrappings once you’re done!
You’ll also find delicious
cheeses, pork pies, chutneys, sweets, cakes, drinks and much more to take away
Are special diets catered
We have encouraged our food and
drink traders to offer options for special diets, such as gluten free. However,
we know it’s not always easy to do this properly in a small area with limited
facilities. See also Food and Drink page
If you can’t find what you need around our stalls, there are lots of
excellent local businesses who offer menus for special diets, including the
White Hart Hotel (over the road from the market at the bottom of Cold Bath
Road), Baltzersen’s café and Norse restaurant (Oxford Street), William &
Victoria (Cold Bath Road), Mama Doreen’s (Cold Bath Road), Deano’s Graze & Grill
(Oxford Street) and So! Bar and Eats (Cold Bath Road/Otley Road junction).
Why isn’t there a
German/continental theme like at other markets?
Lots of towns
and cities have German Christmas Markets. In Harrogate, we like to offer
something a bit different! We have chosen to have a Yorkshire focus for our
Christmas Market. You won't find cheap, imported goods at Harrogate Christmas
Market. Instead, you'll find high quality, home-made, hand-crafted and fairly
traded items from the best traders our region has to offer.
Why is a Christmas market being
held in November?
One of the
main aims of Harrogate Christmas Market is to bring lots of visitors into town
to enjoy the many attractions it has for the festive season, including our
brilliant independent businesses. We work closely with the owners of those local
businesses, as well as organisers of other events in Harrogate and nearby towns,
and the dates of our market are the best available.
clashing with other similar events elsewhere, including in Knaresborough, and
with big events at Harrogate International Centre which take place closer to
Christmas and bring in a lot of visitors with accompanying traffic. This means
we also spread the peak visiting times across several weekends, which is
important to local shops, hotels and restaurants.
Why is it just four days?
also restrictions on the number of days that the Stray can be used for events
like ours due to the strict laws governing its use.
Christmas Market is run by a team of volunteers, and four days is a manageable
length of time for them to commit. Incidentally, a four-day market requires
almost a week on site setting up in advance, along with a couple of days taking
also like the length of the market, because many travel to several Christmas
markets around the country in the run-up to Christmas. If ours was longer, they
may not be able to commit to it.
When should I visit Harrogate
completely up to you! You are welcome to come to the Christmas Market for a
whole day, or just an hour, or anything in between – and if you want to visit
several times during the four days, that's great!
certain times when the aisles get particularly busy. While this may appeal to
some people, we know others prefer to visit when it's a bit quieter. To help you
decide when to visit, our peak times are usually:
11am to 5pm
11am to 3pm
always the chance we'll be surprised and it will be quieter at these times, or
busier at others, but experience tells us these will be the busiest periods.
It’s too busy – what shall I do?
Why not take
some time out and visit the town centre? There are lots of great local shops,
cafés, restaurants and bars to visit, all just a stone's throw from the
Christmas Market. Our Visitor Guide has details of some of the interesting local
shopping streets, and if you need directions you can ask one of our friendly
Market Makers (in the orange tabards) who will be more than happy to help!
Why can’t you make the site
bigger so more people can fit in?
first opened in 2012, we've steadily altered the site layout to make it as
comfortable as possible for visitors. However, the nature of the site means we
are limited by surrounding roads and the hill leading up to the town centre. We
now fill all the available space! But every year, we make small changes and
tweaks to make the aisles wider and access to stalls easier. As it's a free
event, on public land, we are unable to limit the number of people who visit and it does get
very busy at peak times – but our traders love it!
Why can’t Harrogate Christmas
Market be held somewhere else where there’s more space?
Trust us, we
have looked at numerous other sites! None offers the right combination of a
central location, lots of paths for easy pedestrian access, nearby roads for
traders to unload, and sufficient space to put out the number of stalls needed
to make the event a success. We know our current site has its limitations, but
we have done a lot of research and believe it is the best place for Harrogate
Christmas Market to be held.
I’ve lost my coat/shopping/wife –
what should I do?
property (including people) should be handed in to the information point on St
Mary's Walk, next to the busking area and just along from the shuttle bus stop.
If you've lost something, please call by to see if it has been handed in. (Click
here for Market Layout - the Information Point is marked Z1 near the Fairground
We often end
up with an assortment of items by the end of the Christmas Market, which we try
to reunite with owners, so please
keep an eye on our social media accounts too.
I want to stay for a few days/see
other attractions while I’m in Harrogate. Where can I find out the information I
www.visitharrogate.co.uk where you'll find everything you need to know about
tourism in Harrogate. The Tourist Information Office is just round the corner
from the market on Crescent Road, and is open 9.30 am to 5pm Monday to Saturday
and will open specially for the market on Sunday 20th November, from 11am to
2pm. Tel: 01423 537300.
Who runs Harrogate Christmas
Christmas Market is run by a team of volunteers from the Harrogate community and
local businesses. We have fantastic support from Harrogate Lions and the Rotary
Club of Harrogate, as well as many individuals. The committee meets regularly
throughout the year to plan the event, and we are joined by numerous additional
volunteers during the four days who act as Market Makers. They support traders
and help visitors to get the most from their time at Harrogate Christmas Market.
organiser of the event is Yorkshire Business Market Ltd, a not-for-profit
company limited by guarantee, based here in Harrogate. It takes care of all the
bookings and the professional services brought in (such as marquee hire and
security), and distributes any surplus made to the chosen good causes in
Why do you use volunteers at
Harrogate Christmas Market?
not-for-profit event, we rely on volunteers to make Harrogate Christmas Market
work so well. Our key aims are to bring visitors into Harrogate to support local
businesses, and to raise money to contribute to other events and organisations
that promote tourism in Harrogate. We're very grateful that our volunteers
recognise the value of those aims and are willing to give up their time to
How can I get a stall next year?
register as a potential trader by visiting the Traders page of our website
here. When you send us your completed form, we
will add you to the list and let you know when stalls are available. Priority is
given to established traders based in Yorkshire and selling home-made,
hand-crafted and fairly traded goods.
How can I get involved without
taking a stall?
If you'd like
to volunteer with us, that would be great! We are particularly looking for
companies to encourage their staff to join us as part of their CSR, or local
groups or organisations to work alongside us. If this applies to you, email
Alternatively, you can help simply by encouraging your friends to visit and
spreading the word online. We also have official posters and flyers to give out,
so if you have a shop or other business where you could display them, please get
Where can I find out more about
Harrogate Christmas Market?
website! Alternatively, if you have a specific query that hasn't been answered,
you can contact us via social media (www.facebook.com/harrogatechristmasmarket
www.twitter.com/hgchristmasmkt) or email
email@example.com. Please note that during the market itself
it may take us longer than usual to respond, as we'll be very busy on site.