With its rich history and dramatic riverside cliffs, Knaresborough presents a year-round inviting backdrop for visitors.
As the chill of winter settles, the town becomes a festive hub, drawing crowds to its annual Knaresborough Christmas Market.
In this guide, I’ll walk you through all the essential details, highlighting the confirmed 2023 dates, opening times, locations, and the standout local specialties you shouldn’t miss.
Knaresborough takes on a magical ambience come wintertime, with its historic buildings adorned in twinkling lights.
As you wander its streets, you’ll encounter an array of festive activities, blending both local traditions and modern celebrations, ensuring a distinctive Christmas experience.
Knaresborough Christmas Market 2023
The Christmas market in Knaresborough, set in the picturesque North Yorkshire town, presents a brilliant fusion of tradition and modern festivities.
Centred around the historic Market Place, the event showcases quality stalls and brings together the town’s independent shops and eateries, ready to offer unique products and a genuine Yorkshire warmth.
As you meander through the town, make sure to venture into the Castlegate area, home to numerous independent businesses and the enchanting Green Dragon Yard.
Don’t miss the iconic river view from the castle ruins and the delightful window trail around town.
A further highlight is the Christmas Tree Festival at St John’s Church, where over 70 trees shimmer with festive decorations.
As a grand conclusion to your experience, witness a spectacular fireworks display marking the culmination of Knaresborough’s festive events.
Dates and Location
Knaresborough Christmas Market dates: 2nd to 3rd December 2023.
Location: Market Place.
Opening times: 10am to 5pm.
Fireworks: 3rd December at 4:30pm.
Christmas Day: Closed.
Ice skating: No.
Vegetarian: Yes, plenty of options.
Vegan: Yes, some options.
Gluten free: Yes, but limited.
Pet-friendly: Yes, but not recommended during busy periods.
Parking: Please take public transport to help limit congestion. There are regular buses from Harrogate.
Reason to visit: Historic setting, over 100 artisan stalls, live entertainment, North Yorkshire vendors.
Specialities: Yorkshire Pudding wraps, Wensleydale cheese, locally brewed ales; unique flavours of North Yorkshire.
Where to stay: The Mitre Inn is a highly-rated hotel, 4 minutes from the Christmas market.
Hotels near Knaresborough Christmas Market
If you’re visiting Knaresborough and looking for somewhere to stay, the city centre or anywhere near the train station would be convenient for access to all the city’s activities.
For a comfortable and convenient stay, I’d recommend The Mitre Inn, which is well-rated and situated ideally for enjoying the Christmas market.
After exploring the magic of Knaresborough, I recommend checking out my Best Christmas Markets UK 2023 guide for more insights into festive markets throughout the UK.
Location of Knaresborough Christmas Market
Christmas in Knaresborough
Christmas Specialties in Knaresborough
Yorkshire Pudding Wrap: A modern twist on a British classic, the Yorkshire Pudding Wrap incorporates roast meat and vegetables, all bundled up in a large, soft Yorkshire pudding. It’s a handheld meal, perfect for wandering the market streets.
Wensleydale Cheese: Native to North Yorkshire, Wensleydale cheese is often enjoyed with cranberries during Christmas. Creamy and crumbly, it pairs beautifully with festive beverages and is frequently found in various food stalls.
Parkin Cake: Deeply rooted in Yorkshire tradition, Parkin Cake is a sticky gingerbread treat made with oatmeal and treacle. It’s especially popular around Bonfire Night, but its spicy warmth makes it a favourite throughout the winter season.
Hot Cider: A warming beverage for those cold market nights, hot cider, often infused with spices like cinnamon and cloves, is both aromatic and invigorating. It’s a go-to drink for many visitors looking to warm their hands and hearts.
Bratwurst: A nod to the international flavours at the market, the German Bratwurst sausage is a popular choice. Grilled to perfection and served in a bun, it provides a hearty snack as you peruse the various stalls.
Mulled Wine: While mulled wine can be found in Christmas markets across Europe, each stall might add its unique twist with a blend of spices. Sipping on this warm, red wine infused with spices like star anise, nutmeg, and orange peel is a market tradition.
Mince Pies: A British Christmas staple, often dusted with icing sugar, they’re a sweet treat that encapsulates the essence of the Christmas season.
Roasted Chestnuts: A simple yet delicious snack, roasted chestnuts are often sold by vendors who roast them over open flames. Their nutty and slightly sweet taste is a reminder of traditional winter flavours.
Christmas Gifts and Stocking Fillers
Yorkshire Tweed Accessories: with its durability and classic design, Tweed has been a Yorkshire staple for centuries. Scarves, hats, and gloves made from this fabric offer warmth and add a touch of local fashion to your wardrobe.
Local Artisanal Soaps: Yorkshire is known for its artisanal products, and soaps made in Knaresborough often incorporate regional ingredients. Lavender, rose, and mint are just a few of the fragrances you might find, each packed in decorative wrappings perfect for gifts.
Wooden Toys and Puzzles: Handmade wooden toys are a timeless gift. From classic cars to intricate puzzles, these toys entertain and serve as keepsakes for years to come.
Locally Brewed Gins and Ales: North Yorkshire has a growing reputation for its craft beverages. Bottles of local gin or ale make for a special gift, allowing recipients to taste the flavours of Knaresborough.
Hand-knitted Woollens: With the cold Yorkshire winters, hand-knitted woollens are a practical and thoughtful gift. Each item is crafted with care and provides snug warmth, from socks to sweaters.
Traditional English Fudge: A sweet treat that’s always a hit, traditional English fudge from Knaresborough often incorporates unique flavour combinations. Packaged in decorative tins or boxes, it’s an ideal stocking filler.
In terms of essential resources, Visit Harrogate has some information with details for any visitor planning a trip to Knaresborough.
Sustainable Christmas Tips
Here are a few tips on how we can travel more responsibly in Knaresborough at Christmas.
Reduce Food Waste: Remember to only buy food that you can consume to minimise waste, particularly at the Christmas market, where the enticing array of food stalls can easily lead to overbuying. Also, some local restaurants partake in food waste reduction schemes, where you can buy surplus food at the end of the day for reduced prices.
Ethical Shopping: Be a conscientious shopper at the Christmas market by purchasing from local vendors and artisans. This supports the local economy and reduces the carbon footprint associated with imported goods. Be thoughtful about only buying what you really need and can use.
Eat Locally and Seasonally: Embrace a sustainable diet by choosing locally sourced and seasonal produce. The Christmas market in Knaresborough is a prime spot to try regional dishes made with ingredients grown in the surrounding Yorkshire countryside.
Use Sustainable Transport: Consider utilising Knaresborough’s public transport network, which includes efficient train and bus services, for your commute. For shorter distances, the town is very walkable, with many attractions clustered together, and cycling is also a viable option as Knaresborough features multiple cycle paths.
The Knaresborough Christmas Market 2023 takes place from Saturday, 2nd to Sunday, 3rd December 2023.
The Christmas Market in Knaresborough is located at Market Place and the surrounding streets.
Knaresborough Christmas Market opens Saturday and Sunday 10am to 5pm.
If you would like to leave a review of Knaresborough Xmas Market, comment below.
Recommendations are independently chosen based on personal travel experiences and extensive research. This post contains affiliate links to hotels and tours in Knaresborough, United Kingdom. This means I get a small commission from any bookings at no extra cost to you.