Thursday 15th - Sunday 18th November 2018
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FAQs

When does Harrogate Christmas Market take place?

Thursday 16th November to Sunday 19th November 2017

What time is it open?

10am to 8pm daily, except the final day, Sunday, when it closes at 5pm.

Where is it?

St Mary's Walk, Harrogate. HG1 2RZ. It is on the Stray in Harrogate, near Bettys Tea Room, the Crown Hotel and the White Hart Hotel at the bottom of Montpellier Hill.

How much do tickets cost?

Nothing! Entry is completely free to all visitors.

Is the site accessible for wheelchairs/pushchairs?

Yes, entry is fully accessible, including to our marquees. Although the event is on the Stray, all walkways are on the tarmac paths.

Please note 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. Click here for our comprehensive information sheet about access to the market site.

Can I bring my dog with me?

Dogs are 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 (always check the signs!) 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?

Blue badge 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. Click here for our Disabled Access Information Sheet.

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 www.northernrailway.co.uk, and there are buses into the town centre from across the area, including the rather luxurious 36 service Leeds and Ripon www.harrogatebus.co.uk, No. 62 from Otley, Ilkley & Keighley and 747 from Bradford.

When you 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.

When is Santa’s Grotto open and how much does it cost?

Santa's 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 Grotto?

During peak 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?

Yes, 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.

These 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 Christmas Market?

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 few slots available. 

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 Market.

What stalls will I find at Harrogate Christmas Market?

There are about 200 stalls at the Christmas Market with a focus on Yorkshire. 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 Christmas Market?

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 with you.

Are special diets catered for?

We have encouraged our food and drink traders to offer options for special diets, such as gluten free. Please them ask if you can't see anything on their menus. 

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 (Oxford Street), Norse restaurant (Swan Road), 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.

We try to avoid clashing with other similar events elsewhere, including in Knaresborough, and with big events at Harrogate Convention 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 - and car parks!

Why is it just four days?

There are restrictions on the number of days that the Stray can be used for events like ours due to the strict laws governing its use.

Harrogate 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 down afterwards.

Our traders 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 Christmas Market?

It's 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!

There are 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:

Friday 5-7pm
Saturday 11am to 5pm
Sunday 11am to 3pm

There's always the chance you'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?

Since we 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 and Harrogate Borough Council 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?

All lost property 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 rides.) Lost children should be taken to the Security & First Aid Post (Z2) on Montpellier Hill by the Zebra Crossing.

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 need?

Brilliant! Go to 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 19th November, from 10am to 2pm. Tel: 01423 537300.

Who runs Harrogate Christmas Market?

Harrogate 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.

The official 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, electrics and security), and distributes any surplus made to the chosen good causes in Harrogate.

Why do you use volunteers at Harrogate Christmas Market?

As a 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 support us.

How can I get a stall next year?

You can 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 info@harrogatechristmasmarket.org.

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 in touch.

Where can I find out more about Harrogate Christmas Market?

On this website! Alternatively, if you have a specific query that hasn't been answered, you can contact us via social media (www.facebook.com/harrogatechristmasmarket or www.twitter.com/hgchristmasmkt) or email info@harrogatechristmasmarket.org. Please note that during the market itself it may take us longer than usual to respond, as we'll be very busy on site.

 


Harrogate Christmas Market
PO Box 888, Harrogate, HG2 8UH   Tel: 01423 879208  Fax: 01423 870025 
E-mail: info@HarrogateChristmasMarket.org  Website: www.HarrogateChristmasMarket.org

Organised by Perlex Associates for Yorkshire Business Market Ltd - a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee.
Registered in England No 04002044