It is that time of the year when people come together to celebrate and spend time with loved ones. Yes, it’s Christmas, a time for hope, happiness and togetherness. It is no wonder that across the world, villages, towns and cities are decked in bright lights, Christmas trees and other festive decorations. Liverpool during Christmas time is a sight to behold. Whether it is the Liverpool Christmas market at the St. John’s garden, or the huge Christmas trees at various spots in the city or the ice festival at the pierhead, this city ushers the festivity in style. Join us as we explore the same.
Liverpool Christmas Market – The Best Festive Market in the Region
A few days ago, we went to Cheshire Oaks to see the biggest artificial Christmas tree in the UK. It was indeed a beauty. But, apart from the tree, we did not find much of Christmas festivity or lights. It was abuzz with shoppers making the most of Christmas deals at the designer outlets.
We visited the Liverpool Christmas market a couple of days afterwards and the contrast was evident. The Liverpool Christmas market is brighter, more lively, with a lot of festive cheer all around. There are lot of stalls and rides, along with a windmill bar and a Ferris wheel to add to the vibe. All in all, it is a great place to enjoy time with family and friends.
Christmas Market – A Brief History
A Christmas market is a street market organised in connection with the celebration of Christmas. It functions during the four weeks of Advent. Although Christmas markets originated in Germany during the late middle ages, they are now popular in many other countries. The concept of Christmas market gradually spread from the German-speaking part of Europe to other parts of the former Holy Roman Empire, including the eastern regions of France. They gained popularity as an Advent custom during the Reformation era.
The first ever Christmas Market was the Striezelmarkt in Dresden in 1434. The earlier markets of the season were popular as December markets. Traditionally held in the town square, the market offers food, drink and seasonal items for sale from open-air stalls, accompanied by traditional singing and dancing.
Liverpool Christmas Market
Christmas markets reached England rather late – in 1982 at Lincoln with over 300 stalls that attracted over 100,000 visitors in four days. It is still one of the most extensive Christmas markets in the UK. By 1997, Christmas markets came to Birmingham, Edinburgh, Leeds, and Manchester. Other large Christmas markets in England include Bath (since 2000) and Liverpool (since 2006).
Liverpool Christmas Market started in 2006 and is held at the St George’s Plateau. Set against the backdrop of the magnificent St George’s Hall, right across the Lime Street Station, the market draws people from far and near. The major attractions include mulled wine and other festive tipples with the Windmill Bar and Gin Tin adding to the festive feel. The Ski Lodge with its karaoke cable cars is definitely worth checking out!
Foodies can enjoy the festive treats – ranging from the Bavarian Grill, roasted marshmallows and Belgian fries to sweet treats including waffles and pancakes. It is also the place to taste some dipped pretzels, Yorkshire pudding wraps, German sausages, crêpes and hot chocolate. You can do some last minute Christmas shopping for your tree decoration and gifting. There are several stores featuring local arts & artisans, handmade decorations and candles. The beautiful festoon lighting and vintage fairground rides add to the overall mood. The market is free to enter and ends on 23 December.
Liverpool Christmas Trees
Liverpool decks up in Christmas festivities well in advance. The giant Christmas trees placed at different parts of the city are a spectacle in themselves. Anyone visiting the city during this period shouldn’t miss them. From the Christmas market, head to Williamson Square to see the brightly lit up walk through Christmas tree. Even from afar, the changing lights make it a visual treat. Once you’ve admired it from a distance, walk in and look up to see the play of lights. It is an amazing spectacle that fills your heart with joy.
Head to the Church street to see the huge Christmas tree decked with lights. Unlike the tree at Williamson Square, this is not artificial. It looks very beautiful and lovely, thanks to the wonderful decorations. As you walk to Liverpool One, you’ll see more lights and decorations. There are a couple of huge reindeers and several lights all along the way.
As you approach John Lewis, you’ll see the huge Christmas tree with full of heart designs and a bar at the bottom. Usually decked in pink and other colours, it was lit up in green (in support of NSPCC and Childline).
Royal Albert Dock Ready for Christmas
From John Lewis, walk past Hilton (there is a beautiful reindeer and Christmas tree by its side) to the Royal Albert Dock. Beautifully lit Neptune and Triton welcomes us. If you walk around, you’ll come across the Liverbirds, Bella & Bertie decked in lights as well (we met a friend after a long time and in the excitement, we forgot to look for the Liverbirds). The entrance, pathway, trees and buildings at the dock were decorated with lovely lights, giving the entire place a festive look and feel.
Liverpool Christmas Ice Festival
Liverpool Pierhead transforms into a winter wonderland during the Christmas season. The main attractions include adventurous rides, food stalls, games and the greatest crowd puller, the ice rink. Popular as Liverpool Ice Festival is a great place to hangout with both families and friends. We saw several youngsters enjoying the rides and families having fun together.
The ice festival is on until January 3rd. So, if you wish to enjoy some fun time, head to the Liverpool Pier-head and make the most of it.
Christmas in Liverpool – A Memorable Time
We have spent a few Christmases in Liverpool. The city is always fun and lovely, more so during Christmas time. The hustle and bustle, the festivities, the joy on people’s face, the sight of familiar buildings decorated in shiny lights – all makes it extra special. Although it might not be spectacular or massive like some of the Christmas markets or celebrations elsewhere in the country, Liverpool Christmas festivities have a charm of their own. It is something we’ve come to love and enjoy during our time here. It fills our hearts with hope and happiness – much needed in these troubled times.
So, here’s wishing you all a Merry Christmas full of festive cheer and happiness. May this Christmas brings you good things in life.
Before you go, check out our vlog to see the Christmas Vibes in Liverpool.
If you wish to read our earlier blogs, click here.
We wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!