Yule be sorry to miss the Newcastle Christmas market

Arts Editor Caitlin Rawlings reviews the Newcastle Christmas market

Caitlin Rawlings
22nd November 2019
Tis the season when the queue for the Fenwick’s window is lining Northumberland Street and the Christmas market has taken over the heart of the Toon.

The market officially opened on the 15th November. Whilst it may have been raining rather than snowing this did not prevent revellers enjoying everything this year’s market had to offer. 

It’s official. The Newcastle Christmas market is serving the glow up of the season. The market has had a complete transformation from the tiny group of stalls which surrounded Monument in 2018. The 2018 Christmas market was quaint and offered a quirky alternative to the larger scale markets in other Northern cities such as Edinburgh and Manchester. However, this year the council are clearly attempting to compete as everything appears bigger and better than before. 

Michael Bublé’s Christmas album is blaring through the streets and the smell of mulled wine is wafting through the crowds

Independent stalls are dominating Northumberland Street whilst food and drink businesses are thriving down on Grainger Street and Grey Street. The festive atmosphere is infectious. Michael Bublé’s Christmas album is blaring through the streets and the smell of mulled wine is wafting through the crowds. Every lamppost is laced with fairy lights and everybody is excited for Christmas. A Christmas market is supposed to make us feel merry and the Newcastle market succeeds in achieving this and more.

However, due to the expansion of the size of the market for 2019 a large amount of space around the city centre has been consumed by stalls, rides and decorations. Whilst it is wonderful to see Newcastle decked out ready for this joyous season it is a shame that more time was not spent planning the layout of the market. Due to the presence of the stalls lining the centre of Northumberland Street it is a slight squeeze to try and weave around the city centre.

Personally, I would have liked to have seen more independent shops emerging at the market offering quirky and alternative Christmas gifts. It feels like food, drink and amusement rides have been prioritised by the council this year. The extravagant bratwurst stall is particularly peculiar too. To have the nativity characters above a food stall to me seems an odd design choice. Nevertheless, the market is providing us all with the Christmas joy we need as we approach December. 

Featured Image: Pixabay @Blackout_Photography

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