Saturday 24 November 2012

Christmas Market at Harrogate

A white penetrating frost came with the morning on Tyneside but there was also a clear blue sky which heralded what I hoped would be an enjoyable day out to Harrogate Christmas Market in North Yorkshire. Heading south we soon hit banks of freezing fog and the blue skies were gone. Instead we were blanketed in  grey mist with a very pale and watery sun that offered no heat whatsoever.

The coach we travelled on was freezing and by the time we got to our first stop at Thirsk my toes felt like they would drop off. We spent two hours at Thirsk and my prime objective was to get a pair of fur lined boots. I was lucky and thankfully my toes were a lot warmer for the rest of the day. While at Thirsk we also browsed around the market and John bought me three cyclamen plants, two red and one white, for my birthday. They are very pretty and hopefully will last throughout the Christmas Season.

Needing to warm up we decided to get a hot drink and a snack and visited the Yorks Tea Rooms in Thirsk where I enjoyed gluten free toasted muffins and Christmas spiced tea while John had the best ever bacon sandwich in granary bread with salad garnish and a generous cup of latte.

We continued our journey through eerie landscapes but by the time we got to Harrogate the mist had lifted a little and it wasn't so cold. 


We had three hours at Harrogate and headed straight for the Christmas Market. It was packed with people and difficult to stand still long enough to check out the festive stalls. We did manage to buy some speciality cheeses. Cheddar with Ale and Mustard, Goat Cheese and cheese with Garlic and Chives.

We also took time to visit Santa's reindeer!

The penetrating cold was setting in again and we looked for a restaurant to get warm and have something to eat. It seemed that everywhere was full, brimming at the seams with 45 minute waits for tables. We were lucky to  get a table at the Petit Bistro, which is anything but petite when you get inside and although we waited a considerable time for our meals we were able to enjoy hot drinks first and get warmed through again.

The busy order of the day spilled out into the main shopping area of Harrogate and Christmas shopping was in full swing. I would have loved to spend more time there but next time I will visit mid week when there shouldn't be such crowds of shoppers.

Festive lights and Christmas cheer were abundant each way we turned and it was good to bring the Christmas spirit home with us.

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