A Weekend of Christmas Markets

This year we decided to avoid the hustle and bustle of the bigger Christmas Markets and instead enjoy some of the smaller and more local festive offerings. Once we'd chosen the markets, we realised that they all took place over the same weekend. We decided therefore to have a whole weekend of festive fun and browsing!

Our first market was at Levens Hall. The weather was so Christmassey, with snow and frost and very cold. We enjoyed some hot drinks and snacks, as well as a mooch around the many stalls of local craftsmen. The topiary gardens were spectacularly lit and the house beautifully decorated. It was easy to imagine the famous ghost of the Grey Lady haunting the Hall, in the dimly lit rooms and freezing temperatures.

Our next market was Halecat's Artisan Christmas Fair. Halecat House is located on the edge of the Winster Valley, near Witherslack, and is home to a number of local artisans and artists. We thoroughly enjoyed selecting a number of gifts, mostly for ourselves, from the wonderful selection on offer. We purchased a couple of paintings from Fiona Clucas, a beautiful piece of glass from Fran Fry and some bowls from Lara Clahane. We also enjoyed some hot drinks and a walk around the estate. I think that this was our favourite fair of the weekend. 

Our final market was Rydal Mount's Christmas Fair. The former home of William Wordsworth, now back in the hands of the Wordsworth family, was looking very festive. We combined our visit with lunch at Rydal Hall opposite and a walk around the frosty gardens. I was delighted to find that one of my favourite knitwear designers, Oubas from Ulverston, had a stall at the market, and quickly snapped up a couple of their latest designs. 

We were followed around Rydal Mount's gardens by a very tame robin, and I was reminded of Dorothy Wordsworth's pet robin who visited her bedroom when she was unwell and bed ridden. In her journals she writes of the "sweet robin" whose singing enters her bedroom from the garden.

Our final destination was Ambleside which felt very festive and jolly and completed our highly enjoyable weekend of Christmas treats. As we sat by the fire and drank some of our spiced rum with blackberries, which we'd purchased at Sizergh Barn, we felt that the Christmas period had really started.