There’s nothing quite like a festive day out to get you feeling merry in the run-up to Christmas day. Wrapping up warm to pick out your presents, embracing a flurry of snow, and sipping on a mulled wine are simple seasonal moments worth looking forward to all year.
When it comes to Christmas days out, Northumberland delivers in abundance – especially with Christmas markets. Here’s what we’ve got to look forward to in 2023.
What makes Northumberland Christmas markets so magical?
There’s something about Northumberland that feels inherently festive. From the magical historic castles and quaint market towns to the dark starry skies, it all takes on a new life at Christmas time. Whether you’re a local exploring your neighbouring towns, or you’re coming from further afield, winter is a wonderful time to see what the region has to offer.
Having said that, Northumberland also has a thriving market scene all year round, with Bedlington, Blyth and Greenhead being just a few of the regular fixtures.
Must-visit Christmas markets in Northumberland this December
If you’re hoping to find some unique gifts and enjoy the warm glow of twinkling fairy lights, here are some must-visit Northumberland Christmas markets to explore.
Ford and Etal Christmas Market
Now with 75 vendors, the Ford and Etal markets extend over three sites, in Ford, Etal and Heatherslaw. But don’t let that put you off – exploring this wider area is all part of the fun. Why not make your market visit an adventure and take a winter walk between the three? Alternatively, jump on the Heatherslaw Light Railway or make the most of the double-decker bus which operates as a shuttle for the event.
Across the three, you’ll be rewarded with local shops, cafes and entertainment – and that’s on top of the confectionery, pottery and treats for furry friends at the markets themselves. We’ve also heard Father Christmas himself could be in attendance.
This year, the Ford and Etal Christmas Market is on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th November. Mark the dates in your diary – it’s one for the whole family to enjoy.
The Christmas Fair at Belsay Hall
There’s always a beautiful selection of specialist crafts at Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens traditional gift fair, from festive trinkets to gorgeous homewares. There are countless ways to make a day of it, with the Grade I listed gardens, Crag Wood Walk and medieval castle a matter of steps away. As an added benefit, entry is free for English Heritage members.
The Christmas Fair at Belsay Hall is on from Saturday 25th - Sunday 26th November – the perfect time to get ahead on your Christmas shopping. But if you can’t make that weekend, the festive event fun is far from over. Father Christmas will be visiting each Saturday from the 2nd to the 23rd December.
Hexham Christmas Market
The picturesque town of Hexham is another must-visit for Northumberland Christmas markets, with a variety of stalls lining Beaumont Street up into the abbey for one day only.
Pick out your favourite seasonal delights from local artisans and treat yourself to a tipple. With the surrounding trees strung with lights, it’s a beautiful scene to be a part of. You might even have the chance to spot reindeer in the park. By the time Saturday 9th December comes around, the Christmas countdown will be well and truly on.
It’s easy to see why Hexham Christmas Market proves popular year after year.
Experience a winter wonderland with Christmas in Northumberland
This is just the beginning of the wonderful winter events happening in Northumberland this Christmas. Once you’ve decided on the Northumberland Christmas markets you’d like to visit, you can discover all the other festive events taking place throughout November and December.
No festive day out or weekend away in Northumberland would be complete, without passing the hours in a cosy pub next to a roaring fire. Explore all the places to eat and drink in Northumberland for hearty grub, including some of the region's best Sunday lunch options.
Get your Northumberland Christmas market shopping wishlist in order and join in on all the festive fun.