17/10/2013
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Our top 10 motorhome campsites for Christmas markets

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Wrap up warm and experience retail therapy of a different kind with a spot of festive shopping. It's a veritable feast for all the senses ...




Lincolnshire
Hartsholme Country Park Campsite

Skellingthorpe Road, Lincoln LN6 0EY
Tel: 01522-873578  Web: www.lincoln.gov.uk/hartsholmecampsite
Open: 1 March – 31 October and during Lincoln Christmas Market 
Price: From £15.10 (2 adults, pitch, electric)

Lincoln is a cathedral city with over 2,000 years of history and here in 1982 the first German Christmas market in the UK was held, spawning what has become something of a new industry. From 5-8 December, the medieval square between the Norman castle and cathedral becomes the backdrop for the Christmas market (www.lincoln-christmasmarket.co.uk). With cultural entertainment and over 250 stalls, the market has developed enormously since the first event, which had just 11 stalls.

Hartsholme campsite is located in beautiful country park surroundings, yet within a city location. Lincoln city centre is three miles away and a regular bus service runs from near the site entrance. There are 26 electric pitches, with toilet and shower facilities available. The site is popular during the market so early booking is advised.


Wiltshire
Alderbury Park

Southampton Road, Whaddon, Salisbury SP5 3HB
Tel: 01722-710125 Web: www.alderburytouringpark.co.uk
Open: All year  Price: From £13.00 (2 adults, pitch, electric)

The historic cathedral city of Salisbury will hold its market, inspired by traditional German Christmas markets, from 28 November to 21 December (www.salisburychristmasmarket.co.uk). At the heart of the city, in the eighteenth century Guildhall Square, are beautifully decorated wooden chalets, inspiring gifts and gourmet foods – the majority being of British origin. Traditional music by local choirs adds to the festive atmosphere. The evening of the first day, 28 November, sees a spectacular paper lantern procession to usher in the market.

Based in Whaddon, with the Three Crowns Pub opposite, Alderbury Park is a small campsite five miles from Salisbury. A bus stop a quarter of a mile away makes access to Salisbury easy, and local attractions include Stonehenge and the New Forest.


Bath Christmas MarketPremier ParksSomerset
Newton Mill Holiday Park

Newton Road, Bath BA2 9JF
Tel: 08442-729503 Web: www.newtonmillpark.co.uk 
Open: All year  Price: From £15.00 (2 adults, pitch, electric)

Just a short walk from Bath Spa Station, in the city centre, you’ll find Bath Christmas Market (www.bathchristmasmarket.co.uk). This is one of the largest Christmas events in the UK and, surrounded by all that ancient architecture, definitely one of the most beautiful. From 28 November to 15 December, over 100 chalet-style stalls will line the squares and streets around Bath Abbey selling all manner of gifts, food and drinks. The city will be illuminated by festive lights and Christmas trees, providing a magical experience.

Newton Mill is located close to Bath city centre, with local bus services and a cyclepath making access to the city easy. The campsite has a shop, restaurant and bar, along with toilet and shower facilities.


Suffolk
Brighthouse Farm

Melford Road, Lawshall, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk IP29 4PX
Tel: 01284-830385  Web: www.brighthousefarm.co.uk
Open: All year  Price: From £15.00 (2 adults, pitch, electric)

Between 28 November and 1 December the historic centre of Bury St Edmunds will be home to the tenth annual Christmas Fayre with over 300 stalls, a world market, stage, funfair and street entertainment (01284-764667
www.burystedmundschristmasfayre.co.uk). The date coincides with the cathedral’s Christmas fair and the medieval fayre in Moyse’s Hall Museum. The weekly street market will be open on 29 November and runs for the three days, while a local farmers’ market will be open on 1 December. Five designated motorhome parking bays are available at Ram Meadow car park (IP33 1XP) for about £3.00 per day.

Brighthouse Farm is set in six acres with landscaped gardens and countryside views. The campsite has toilet and shower facilities, the local village is within walking distance, and a bus stop close by provides services into Bury St Edmunds.


Premier ParksCheshire
Elm Cottage Touring Park

Chester Lane, Nr Winsford, Cheshire CW7 2QJ
Tel: 01829-760544  Web: www.elmcottage.co.uk
Open: All year  Price: From £16.50 (2 adults, pitch, electric)

Chester’s annual Victorian Christmas market (www.whycheshire.com/aboutus/christmas) has had a makeover this year with new chalet stalls offering quality giftware, clothing and food and drink. Open from 21 November to 15 December, it is located in front of the Town Hall on Northgate Street. Just half-a-mile away, Chester Racecourse’s Winter Wonderland (21 November – 31 December, www.winterwonderlandchester.co.uk), includes an ice rink, funfair and German market, making it the perfect place to keep kids occupied. Also don’t miss the Winter Watch Parade departing from the Town Hall Square on 5 and 12 December. The parade dates from the 1400s, and performers include dancers, fire breathers and sword fighters.

Elm Cottage is on the A54, 12 miles from Chester. The site’s touring field has all-weather and full service pitches. It has an amenity block, and there’s a pub only 400 yards away. The park and ride at Boughton Heath (CH3 5QD) has bays for motorhomes, while Little Roodee car park (CH1 1SL) is opposite the racecourse and has no restrictions.


Edinburgh
Edinburgh Caravan Club Campsite 

35-37 Marine Drive, Edinburgh EH4 5EN
Tel: 01313-126874  Web: www.caravanclub.co.uk
Open: All year Price: From £16.30 (2 adults, pitch, electric)

Christmas in Edinburgh is a variety-packed affair. Beginning on 24 November, glittering lights, fairground rides, circus shows and pantos, an ice skating rink and the famous German Christmas market combine to create a festive party atmosphere (08445-738455; www.edinburghschristmas.com). Explore the market for unusual gift ideas and delicious German fare. Get your skates on and glide around Europe’s largest open air ice rink and enjoy unique views of Edinburgh Castle from the top of a 100ft tall Ferris wheel.

The best site for access to the city is Edinburgh CC site. Located on the Firth of Forth, there’s a bus stop half-a-mile away, or you can use the park and ride at Ingliston (EH28 8LS) which is six miles from the site. Facilities on site include hardstanding pitches, toilets, showers, a laundry and motorhome waste disposal.


Oxford Christmas MarketOxfordshire
Oxford Camping & Caravanning Club Site 

426 Abingdon Road, Oxford OX1 4XG 
Tel: 01865-244088 Web: www.campingandcaravanningclub.co.uk
Open: All year  Price: From £12.10 (2 adults, pitch, electric). Non-member fee £7.20 extra

Oxford Christmas Market (www.oxfordchristmasmarket.co.uk) is held from 13 to 22 December on historic Broad Street, close to the Sheldonian Theatre and surrounded by the famous ‘dreaming spires’ of the university buildings. This is a German-style market with around 40 decorated wooden stalls offering a selection of Christmas gifts and seasonal treats. Local choirs and bands perform carols throughout the 10 days, and an opening night celebration is planned for Friday 13 December.

The Oxford Club site is one mile from the city centre and a two-mile walk from the Broad Street market. A bus stop is located right outside the site, with numerous stops across the city. It is in a busy location, but is tree-lined to give a countryside feel. There are toilet and shower facilities along with WiFi.


West Yorkshire
Moor Lodge Caravan Park

103 Blackmoor Lane, Bardsey, Leeds LS17 9DZ
Tel: 01937-572424 Web: www.moorlodgecaravanpark.co.uk 
Open: All year Price: From £20.00 (2 adults, pitch, electric)

Covering the whole of Leeds’ Millennium Square for the festive months, Christkindelmarkt (01133-950891 www.leeds.gov.uk/christmasmarket) is one of the largest traditional German markets that visit England. With over 40 wooden stalls, wares include authentic wooden tree decorations, candy canes, gifts, jewellery and handcrafted toys. The market brings a party atmosphere to the city with fairground rides and mugs of hot glühwein, plus traditional German food including bratwurst and stollen. There are several bus stops close by and Leeds rail station is a ten-minute walk.

Moor Lodge is an adults-only campsite, 20 minutes from Leeds city centre. There’s a heated toilet block, private dog walk area and easy access to Harewood House. The Bingley Arms (which claims to be England’s oldest pub) is half a mile away and public transport can be found one mile from site.


Portsmouth Victorian FestivalHampshire
Southsea Leisure Park

Melville Road, Southsea, Portsmouth PO4 9TB
Tel: 02392-735070  Web: www.southsealeisurepark.com
Open: All year  Price: From £25.00 (2 adults, pitch, electric)

Portsmouth’s historic dockyard comes over all Victorian from 29 November to 1 December. A visit to the new Mary Rose Museum, HMS Victory, HMS Warrior 1860 and National Museum of the Royal Navy is made even more special when you visit during the Victorian Festival of Christmas (www.christmasfestival.co.uk). Festival favourites include a large Christmas market, Fagin’s Real Ale Tavern, Dickensian-style snow-covered streets, a traditional Father Christmas (dressed in green) stage show and a wonderland of Victorian characters and entertainment.

Southsea Leisure Park receives mixed reviews, but it is by a long way the closest site to Portsmouth which is open off season and so is the one we’d choose – especially as a bus service runs to the city centre from here. The park has a beach location and facilities include a restaurant and bar.


Premier ParksConwy
Bron-Y-Wendon Touring Park

Wern Road, Llanddulas LL22 8HG
Tel: 01492-512903 Web: www.bronywendontouringpark.co.uk
Open: All year Price: From £20.00 (2 adults, pitch, electric)

This year’s Llandudno Christmas Fayre (www.llandudnochristmasfayre.co.uk) is open from 21 to 24 November in the town’s main retail area, right in the heart of Victorian Llandudno. This is a sizeable event, attracting around 30,000 visitors to experience local produce, tastings and samples, craft demonstrations, handmade gifts and plenty of seasonal cheer.

Bron-Y-Wendon lies 20 minutes from Llandudno and offers panoramic sea views, heated facilities and hardstanding pitches. Access to Llandudno is easy, either by a 20-minute train journey from Colwyn Bay station (3½ miles away, but there’s a bus service close by) or park at Maelgwyn Road car park (LL30 2YN) in Llandudno. It’s half-a-mile to the retail area, and under a mile to the beach.


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