Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sunday's spotlight - Lincoln's Christmas Market

By guest blogger Pete.

They say that you can tell Christmas is close when you can buy Easter Eggs in the shops. Guess what?

Lincoln's famous Christmas Market begins next Thursday (December 3rd) and runs for four days. This market really is the city's Festive highlight and in the present financial climate many of the local businesses see it as the last opportunity for them, at least, to break even for the year. The original idea for the market came from Lincoln's twin German city of Neustadt. The first market had 11 stalls but that has grown to well over 300 this year. Neustadt will, once again, be well represented by stalls from that town. Most locals who visit the Market do it on the comparatively quiet Thursday evening when the market is opened. I emphasise the words "COMPARATIVE" and "QUIET". One stall, I notice, is advertising seating for up to 80 people. With the thousands that come each day that will be but a drop in the ocean.

The market takes places around the Cathedral and the Castle so the setting is ideal for the Victorian costumes that the stall holders adopt. The Christmas lights are on, all the shops are open, carol singers entertain, the Cathedral is open, various hot toddies and refreshments are available (all of a seasonal nature) and so the atmosphere of Christmas is found around that ancient part of the city. For anyone who likes photography this is an unmissable opportunity although I would suggest Thursday as the best day for this because the crowds are lighter then and there will be more chance of a good sharp photo.

The really busy day - when the locals who don't have to go uphill spend time at home or as far away from the city as possible - is Saturday. The city is then swollen with folk discharging from special trains and coaches arriving from all parts of the country. No where else in the U. K. is there a Christmas Market that can compare with Lincoln's. Experience has taught the authorities,the police and the other services how to deal with such crowds. Parking takes place outside the city in the show ground with special buses bringing people in from there. Coaches are allocated strict unloading and departure times and places so everyone has to be on time or their coach will have to do the trip around the city and come back in for them. Such a trip wouldn't make the latecomers the favourite passengers amongst their fellow travellers.

If you live in Lincolnshire and have never been then shame on you. You really should come if it is only for the experience of the event. If you live outside the county and have the chance to visit the Christmas Market then I would recommend that you accept that chance.

As I write this blog I am recovering from 'flu. I do hope that they are "aaahhhhhhhs" that I can hear! No visit to the art group this week so no new painting begun.

Enjoy the preparation for Christmas and don't let BUSYness get you down.


'fancypicnic' said...

Lovely post! Hope the throngs arrive in their masses and the marketstall holders and shops in Lincoln have a bumper time.

This has really put me in the mood for tomorrow - off to Bath's Christmas Market for the first time...similar to Lincoln, I believe. Can't wait!!

PeterB said...

Hi Charlotte,

Used to live in Warminster and often visited Bath but they didn't have a Christmas Market in those far off days. Hope you enjoy your trip. We were in Bath earlier this year and had a great day there - plenty of sunshine.

I got my dates mixed up re our Christmas Market. It doesn't end until this Sunday so I won't be able to report on it until the following week.

Ruth said...

Hope the market was fun Charlotte. Were you selling there or buying?