Everyone needs a break before the stress of the festive season begins - consider a weekend away in Cardiff to explore its history and unique culture whilst enjoying the atmosphere at the city's Christmas Market.
Visitors can spend an afternoon exploring the Craft Folk Christmas market in the heart of Cardiff city centre where you can soak up the sights whilst enjoying some of the city's warm festive cheer. The market will be open until the 23rd of December, showcasing some of the best of the Welsh capital's interesting culture at this celebratory time of year.
The market is beautifully decorated with colourful lights and is set against the back drop of St John's Church. You can pick up a few early Christmas presents from one of the many unique stalls selling goods like local pewter, Welsh slate products, carved love spoons and other metalwork. You can also buy some of the area's locally made bespoke items such as thrown pottery and traditional wooden toys.
If you are feeling peckish after an afternoon of Christmas shopping, you can sample some of the many delicious festive treats on offer at the market. Sip a glass of mulled wine or homemade cream liquors whilst you enjoy a fresh pancake with Nutella and strawberries or a hot cheeseburger straight from the grill with smoky cheese and piccalilli.
For those considering hiring a plot at the Christmas market, there are a number of taster stalls encouraging young artists and new businesses to come along and trial your products from around £40 per day.
If you want to avoid the crowds, the Cardiff Waterfront Christmas Market is conveniently located to the south of the city centre next to the Millennium Centre in the Roald Dahl Plass. Held from the 7th- 9th December this year, the market plays host to some of Cardiff's best talent and showcases performances from live musicians, street theatre companies and even a visit from Santa Claus! The same unique gifts and food items are on sale here too, so be sure to check out some of the local stalls for the very best of Cardiff's festive favourites.
Hotels such as the Radisson Blu in Cardiff city centre are well within walking distance of the Christmas market and many other local shops, attractions, restaurants and bars. Take a few days to explore Cardiff and its traditional home-away-from-home atmosphere whilst you pick up some Christmas bargains.