Saturday, 22 December 2018

Manchester Christmas Markets 2018 | Photo Diary & Haul

Hello guys! I'm sure I am not the only one who's having a super hectic start to the weekend, with all the last minute preparations for Christmas. I've been so busy and I haven't even wrapped a single present yet!! It's going to be a lonnnnggg weekend! Who else is a member of Team Leave Everything Until the Last Minute, this year? I'm usually a lot more organised than this! It's the curse of 2018, I cannot wait until its over with, haha! Anyhow, today I thought I'd share with you all some photographs from my annual visit to the Manchester Christmas Markets! I've gone every year for the last several years and have blogged about it each time (well expect in 2016, but let's ignore dreadful December!), so why break the little tradition I have going on :) Hopefully no one is sick of reading about it yet! I usually do a separate haul post showing you guys what I picked up at the markets, but this time round I'm going to include my haul in this post too. Have a wonderful weekend everyone, and try not to pressure yourself too much in the run up to Christmas! Make sure you take breaks from the present wrapping mayhem to look after yourselves too :) 

Manchester Christmas Markets, 2018

One of my favourite things to do during the festive season is to visit Christmas Markets! I always missed out on these when I was younger because I don't live in a city and my local town doesn't host everything like this around Christmas. Well for the last couple of years, they've made an attempt to dot five or six random cabins around the town centre and called it a market :D The closest big city to me is Manchester, and ever since I've moved back home after university, I have made it a tradition to mine to hop onto the train and go to the markets! 

Manchester Christmas Markets, 2018

There's just something so appealing to me about markets, of any kind. I love how you can find all sorts of things there! There's always the most random stalls next to one another, from candle makers to fancy bakeries, et cetera. There is just something new to see around every corner! Christmas markets are especially lovely because of all of the festive goodness thrown in amongst the other stalls. They are almost like a little piece of winter wonderland to me, like walking into Santa's workshop, especially with the stall I photographed above. It's actually part of a collection of stalls grouped together that all sell decorations, and I love to have a nosey around it each year. I'm such a fan of over the top/in your face Christmas décor, and love the traditional red and green theme :) 

Manchester Christmas Markets, 2018

The Manchester Christmas Markets, like so many markets set up across the UK, are made to resemble the stunning market stalls of Germany, Belgium and The Netherlands, and lots of other places across Europe of course. I have dreamt of visiting one of the famous European festive markets for a long time, so getting to visit these markets in the meantime is super fun for me! I love all of the wooden cabins and huts as they reminds me so much of log cabins and at night when they are covered in lights, the glow makes me think of an open fire blazing away in a cabin somewhere. It's kinda magical! I have a vivid imagination and my mind likes to romanticise everything, haha, but I don't care, it makes me happy and so do Christmas markets :) 

Manchester Christmas Markets, 2018

Something that I love about Christmas Markets are all of the decorations on display! Not only are there the jolly and fun kind like these fabulous albeit garish elves from the North Pole, but there are lots of more traditional, almost rustic, wooden tree ornaments, which I just adore so much! I think they are really beautiful & I keep coming home with more and more each year! I love how intricate so many of the designs look and they usually feature animals that I associate with Nordic countries. I have forever wanted to visit Finland in wintertime and so I'm lovin' these decorations. You can bet that I picked up some more! 

Manchester Christmas Markets, 2018

I don't know what it is about things made of wood in general but I just love them, anything from wooden ornaments like the ones above to wooden instrument toys made for children. I just think they are super cute! Are any of you guys the same? I really wanted one of these adorable little owls but they were so pricey! That's the only downside to Christmas markets, they charge a lot for things! Sometimes the items you find there are just so unique that you can't resist the mighty need and spend half your budget on something that you could probably get for much cheaper online. Everything just looks so fancy and shiny and eye-catching nestled into their displays, surrounded by fairy lights and the festive cheer that's in the air!

I didn't take as many photos as I usually do this year because me & my best friend had so much Christmas shopping to do in the Arndale shopping centre that we were exhausted by the time we visited the markets! However I'll link my previous posts at the end of this one so you can see more of the markets if you're interested :) Another of my favourite things that you'll find at Christmas Markets are the food stalls. There's usually lots of European traditional foods on offer, as well as mulled wine and beer. There's whole cabins that are like mini bars dedicated to German beer! Me with my sweet tooth however always hunts for the Dutch Sugar Waffle stall.... they are so delicious! If you haven't tried one then I cannot recommend them enough :) 

Okay, so now it's time for me to show you what I bought on my day out in Manchester earlier this month, both from the markets and also just from shopping around the city. Enjoy! 

Manchester Christmas Markets haul

I only picked up a few things from the actual Markets themselves this year, and they are the same things that I purchase each time I go because I'm a creature of habit! :D As promised, there are more wooden decorations! I always find the stalls that sell them 3 for £5 because I think that's a great price! I picked up one of them for one of my friends for Christmas so I can't show it in case they are reading this post. I love the colourful one and I've never seen it before, so I just had to get it :) The other one I chose (top right) is actually layered so it's 3D in person, it looks really cool! 

The third decoration in the photo is actually from one of the stalls around the one in my second photo (with decorations galore!), and it's a very traditional Northern European handmade decoration. I keep buying one every year and somehow managing to loose it before next Christmas, but I am determined to keep this one safe! I have loved this type of decoration ever since I was sent one by one of my penpals. If you didn't know already, it's a Yule Goat! It is a Christmas symbol from Scandinavian countries, and has some origins in ancient pagan traditions. They are always made of straw and I would love to make my own some day! Maybe I will have a go in 2019 :) Until then, I'll keep picking one up from the markets because they are only a quid. 

The final thing that I bought at the Manchester Christmas Markets, just before we headed to the train station to go home, was this official mug. They are available at several café stalls dotted about the markets, which are found on multiple streets all over the city centre, and you can either get one with your hot drink of choice, or just buy one on its own. They have a different design each year and even though I have enough mugs to open a small café myself, I just can't stop buying them! Is there anything that you buy every Christmas that you don't need but can't resist? 

Kenji Haul

Along with visiting the markets, the highlight of my day out was discovering the most fantastic little store called Kenji! It is a Japanese shop that sells all sorts of products, from kitchenware and useful household items, to stationery and accessories. It was like I'd found paradise and I got so over excited in this store, hahaha! I must have literally looked like a child in a candy store, I bet my bestie found it hilarious! I was 'AWWWW!' and 'oh my god, look at this!' at pretty much everything I saw! I was very good though and didn't buy too much because I had a budget to stick to and I hadn't gotten many Christmas presents up until this part of our trip. Most of the things I bought are cat-related because we all know how much I love them :D 

I also couldn't resist these super bright coloured bobble things... they are made out of something that reminds me of telephone cords! Gosh, it's been so long since we had a telephone that wasn't wireless. Most kids today won't even know how much these bobbles resemble those cords. Saying that makes me feel my age for once XD I picked up a few more bits and bobs from Kenji as presents for my loved ones. This store is awesome and I'm hoping that there's another store closer to my hometown! The products were really cheap too, everything I bought was either £1 or £2, and the adorable cat ornament above was £2.50. 

I also included in this photo a little bee pin that I bought for my dad because he doesn't know how to use a computer so there's no risk of him seeing it! It is too cute not to show you guys, and it only cost me £1.30 from a telegraph shop inside the Arndale. He's wanted a Manchester bee pin for a while and they are usually pricey, so I was really happy to come across this one :) 

TY Mini Boos Collectibles Blind Box

If you're a regular reader of my blog, you'll know that I am a fan of vinyl figures and that I have a bit of an obsession (who am I trying to kid? A lot of an obsession*) with those that come in blind boxes. I watch a lot of YouTube channels dedicated to toy collecting and I have really wanted to get my hands on some of the TY Mini Boos Collectibles ever since I watched unboxing videos of them! It's been so long and I didn't think they were sold here in the UK, until I found them in the toy store, The Entertainer, on my trip to Manchester! 

It was seriously such a challenge not to buy loads of boxes! I have always been a massive fan of TY, I collected the beanie babies throughout my childhood and I just love all of their plushies! The newer varieties have these big eyes that make them irresistible to me because they are just too cute. Well, these figures also have those eyes and I just needed some in my life. Keep scrolling to find out which ones I found inside my boxes :) Oh and before I forget to mention, they were only £3 each in The Entertainer, and they stocked all three series! 

TY Mini Boos Collectibles Series 2 Blueberry

*Apologies for the lighting quality, I love Autumn/Winter time but it sucks for photography! 

In my Series 2 TY Mini Boos blind box, I got Blueberry!! He's super cute! I have to admit though that he was my least favourite character available in this collection, but I would love to collect them all some day so I need him. Plus he's flocked (flurry textured) so that's awesome! I love the colour of his eyes and his name is so sweet :) My favourite figures in this collection are Tabitha, Tundra, Skylar and Glitter. Which one(s) would you most like to get? Now onto my Series 3 box...

TY Mini Boos Collectibles Series 3 Speckles

How gorgeous is this little leopard figure!? Before I opened this blind box, I wished to get Speckles, Cracker, Muffin or Bubblegum, and I was so surprised that I got one of the ones I wanted! Speckles isn't flocked like Blueberry, but I love him so much! His eyes remind me of the amber that is found on trees, they're gorgeous :) I think they will look so pretty in the sunshine so I can't wait to take these out and about, and get some photos of them. Something that I really adore about these figures is that they have included the iconic TY heart tags on their ears! Let me know in the comments which of these figures you would like to receive most. I'm super happy that I found out where I could get these blind boxes from, but goodbye money XD

Manchester Christmas Markets, 2018

Every year I try to get a decent close-up photo of the fan? windmill? thing (whatever it's called) on this fabulous tower that is on top of one of the traditional German stalls, and without fail it always blurs because I cannot keep my hands still :D Nevermind, I think this one turned out pretty cool! I had an awesome time visiting the Christmas Markets and I can't wait to go again next December! To top off a great day, my best friend and I went to Frankie & Benny's and enjoyed a scrumptious meal. I arrived home exhausted and my fibromyalgia was flared up for days, but it was worth it and next year I am determined to be more organised with present shopping so I don't have to do everything in one day! Someday I will learn! I hope this post wasn't too rambley and that you enjoyed reading all about my little adventure to the Christmas Markets. 

Thankyou for reading! 

Have you ever been to the Manchester Christmas Markets?
How about any others? Do you go each year like me?

What's your favourite thing from my haul? 

Wanna read about my previous visits to the markets? Check out these posts:


  1. I always loved visiting Manchester's Christmas Markets it's grown so much over the years and takes over nearly the whole city center now, it's one of the things I miss most about Christmas just visiting that market with my family and trying out all the food! So glad you got to visit it's such a great market xoxo

  2. Aww I remember you telling me all about how you were going to the German Market and then how it had gone! It looked like such fun and I love everything you picked up afterwards! :D

  3. I've never been to the Manchester Christmas markets as it's a three hour drive (on a good day!). But I'd love to; I've heard so many good things about it. I'm glad you had a great time. :-)

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


Blog Design Created by pipdig