St Albans Christmas market opens this week

St Albans Christmas Market

St Albans Christmas Market - Credit: Archant

The city’s Christmas market returns for a third year with the opening of the new Vintry Village this Thursday.

The festive fun on opening night runs from 5-7.45pm, and includes live music, Bjorn the animatronic polar bear, and other seasonal attractions.

The European-style market has undergone a facelift this year, with the creation of the wintry Vintry Village in the grounds of St Albans Cathedral, which comes complete with street names to make it easier to find specific stalls, such as Rudolph Row, Tinsel Terrace and Pudding Place.

Last year, the Christmas market doubled its visitors to 90,000, up from 45,000 in 2013. This year the market is hoping to attract even more people, significantly increase the turnover of traders and give visitors more product choices.

But previous markets have faced criticism from visitors and traders alike, who complained about the lack of Christmas atmosphere, poor running of the market, and the burglary of 17 chalets despite the presence of nearby security staff. Figures released earlier this year also showed that it had run at a loss for the two years it has been in operation.

This year’s market is promising goodies made by local designers as well as suppliers from across the UK, including traditional, wooden, crafted items to personalised gifts, decorations, jewellery and fashion accessories. Food and drink stalls will include new fare as well as old favourites like bratwurst and hot pork rolls.

The market will run through to Sunday December, 20, and will be open on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 11am-6pm, Thursdays from 11am-8pm, and Saturdays and Sundays from 10am-6pm.