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Christmas Market Returns for Fifth Year

The European-style St Albans Christmas Market is gearing for up its busiest year yet after organisers decided to extend the number of days that the market is open from 25 to 29 days. 

The market, now in its fifth year, will open on 25 November and close on 23 December, giving shoppers the opportunity to get some last-minute festive gifts from the market's wide range of stalls.

The market is unique because it takes place in the walled Vintry Garden in the shadow of St Albans Cathedral (once the Abbey vineyard, tended by Monks), in the beautiful ancient quarter of the town.

This stunning location lends itself to a magical family experience - the walled garden is like a secret garden, overlooked by the majestic Cathedral.
 

Many of the stallholders have given it the accolade of the prettiest Christmas Market in the UK. And, New for this year is the best dressed chalet competition, which visitors will be able to vote for online, and which is guaranteed to make the market prettier than ever.

The market will have more than 60 stalls selling a wide range of gifts and goodies, including decorations, jewellery, clothing and homeware. There will also be festive food including German-style bratwurst and gluhwein.
 

Market organiser Liz Marcy said: "The St Albans Christmas Market has gone from strength to strength since its early days back in 2013. The 2016 market attracted 118,000 visitors across the 25 days it was open. Now that the market is opening for 29 days with a bigger and better shopping and entertainment offering, I am confident we will build on the success of previous years."

St Albans is no stranger to hosting market, with more than a 1,000 years' experience of being in the market trade business. The city lays claim to having the longest-running market held in the same place in the city, in the UK.

 For families: The Nutcracker Trail and Santa's Grotto

Another new addition for 2017 is The Nutcracker Trail, which will feature 15 6ft 5ins tall Nutcracker soldiers and one 12ft Nutcracker King, who will be dotted around the city from the end of November.

Visitors will be given a Nutcracker booklet containing a map to find the soldiers and write down their names. Once they have completed the trail sheet, they pop them in a special post-box in the city centre to be in with a chance of winning an iPad.

There will also be a huge programme of festive entertainment and a magical Santa's Grotto, which will be the only one in the city centre.

City Tours

And for any group travel organisers keen to offer their groups the chance to experience festive St Albans, there is a dedicated St Albans at Christmas tour, incorporating a 12 Days of Christmas Cathedral tour, with optional festive refreshments.

After lunch, there's time to squeeze in an Historic St Albans - A City Revealed tour before heading back to the Christmas Market to enjoy a glass of gluhwein.

Coach parking

Coach parking will be free again and it is advisable to book in advance by emailing stalbanschristmasmarket@stalbans.gov.uk.

For more information, go to enjoystalbans.com/

For group bookings, email jenny.swatton@stalbans.gov.uk

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