The traditional Yorkshire market is the perfect place to bag a bargain
PUBLISHED: 14:29 13 November 2013 | UPDATED: 14:37 13 November 2013
There's something about bagging a bargain that gives you a little glow of satisfaction (not unlike your first sip of egg nog on a cold winter night).
Yorkshire hosts an abundance of specialist Christmas fairs every year from Harrogates Christmas Market (Nov 28th to Dec 1st) and Leeds Christkindlmarkt (Nov 8th to Dec 18th) to Beverleys Festival of Christmas (Dec 8th) and Sheffields Christmas Cabins (Nov 16th to Dec 24th) but this doesnt mean that shoppers have to limit themselves to one-off festive treats when theres a whole smorgasbord of bargains to be had at the countys myriad weekly markets.
Whether its Christmas, Diwali, Eid, Yom Kippur or just your average wet Wednesday, theres a market somewhere in Yorkshire with bargains a-plenty. Here is a small selection to get you started (just dont forget your purse).
Northallerton has not one but two market days a week, with both sides of the long main street coming alive with stalls on Wednesday and Saturday. Youll find a wide range of goods on offer, from fresh food and hardware to clothes and computers. And theres the added bonus of a farmers market selling local produce on the fourth Wednesday of the month.
Nearby Thirsk holds its twice-weekly markets on Monday and Saturday (including bank holidays). The south side of the Market Place is taken up with a variety of stalls and, on those vitally important bank holidays, the entire square is filled with buyers, sellers and bargains. Luckily, car parking is free for an hour (with a relatively small charge for longer stays), there are regular buses and the railway station is just a mile away.
Otley is home to one of the largest local markets in West Yorkshire with around 100 stalls spilling over from the main square into neighbouring streets every Friday and Saturday (with a smaller additional market on Tuesday and a farmers market on the last Sunday of the month).This is a real treasure trove of a market with an artisan feel that sits comfortably with the towns Victorian lanes and independent stores.
Pudsey market was rebuilt relatively recently but still remains one of the regions most traditional local markets, serving a loyal customer base every Tuesday, Friday and Saturday. Its a small but perfectly formed shopping haven with a central core of traders who have years of experience and a wealth of local knowledge.
Theres been a market in Todmorden for more than 200 years; the first opening its doors for business in 1802. The town is blessed with both an indoor covered market (Monday to Saturday) and a popular open market (Wednesday, Friday and Saturday) right at the heart of the community near the grand Town Hall and the impressive railway viaduct built by George Stephenson. Watch out in particular for the Incredible Edible blackboards peppered about the place that indicate that the produce on sale is from the local area.
Hebden Bridge has a compact 40-stall open market selling secondhand goods on Wednesday and a good choice of general retail items on Thursday.
It also has the enviable benefit of being surrounded by lovely countryside, making a popular destination for tourists and walkers looking for a great buy to round off their great day out.
Often overshadowed by its big brother in nearby Beverley, Driffields Thursday market is well worth a visit. It has more than 30 stalls that line the main street from top to bottom, making it a popular draw for shoppers, particularly since its move from Cross Hill car park brought it right into the heart of the action in 2001.
And finally, when Doncaster claims it has the best market in the country, its not an idle boast. It was named Market of the Year in both 2011 and 2012, and was also recently voted Britains Favourite Market. It has no fewer than 400 shops, stalls and stands, providing employment for more than 1,000 people, and takes up a hefty 25 per cent of the towns refurbished pedestrian centre.
There are four spacious market halls: an impressive fish and game market; an international food hall offering quality produce from around the world; the Victorian listed Corn Exchange, which offers quality retail, a balcony tea room and a forum for arts and crafts; and the historic Wool Market, the largest of the quartet, which hosts all manner of speciality stalls in recently refurbished, re-roofed, re-wired and reinvigorated surroundings. To get the most out of your visit, pop in on Tuesday, Friday or Saturday.