‘Tis the season to start your Christmas shopping.
Why not get a head start and find the perfect gift for that special someone at your local festive market? Here are the 11 best Christmas markets to visit across Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Moray and the Highlands and islands.
Christmas Market, Bettridge Centre, Newtonhill
When: 10am – 2pm, Sunday, November 26.
The centre in Newtonhill, Aberdeenshire, will transform into a Winter Wonderland with more than 20 stalls for attendees to browse and explore.
There will be plenty to purchase from handmade goods to food and drinks, so it would be a great place to get a head start on your Christmas shopping if you haven’t already.
The event begins at 10am and finishes at 2pm, giving you lots of time to get into the seasonal spirit.
The BIG Switch-On, Inverurie Town Hall
When: 2pm – 6pm, Sunday, November 26.
Nothing beats a classic Christmas lights switch-on event.
Head along to the Inverurie Town Hall for an afternoon of fun with the family. Visitors will be treated to the St Andrews Parade with pipe bands and local community groups taking a part and showcasing their talent; live entertainment; a funfair; traditional market stalls; food vendors; and will finish off the evening with a fantastic fireworks display above the Town Hall.
The free event runs from 2pm until 6pm.
Eden Court Christmas Fair, Eden Court, Inverness
When: Friday, November 17 – Sunday, November 19.
The Eden Court complex in Inverness hosts two popular Christmas markets in the heart of Inverness – known as Eden 1 and Eden 2.
Visitors from near and far are in for a festive treat at the weekend (NOV 17 – NOV 19). A selections of goods will be on display over the course of the three days.
Stalls will feature antler inspired gifts; various art styles such as textiles, illustrations and prints; woodworks; metal works; cushions and throws; ceramics and more.
Elgin Christmas Market, Moray Sports Centre
When: 10am – 3pm, Saturday, December 16.
The Elgin Christmas Market will feature more than 100 local artists, makers and bakers with plenty potential Christmas gifts
No Christmas trip would be complete without a visit from the man himself! Families are encouraged to snap a photo with Santa when he makes a quick stop in Elgin from the North Pole.
Logie Steading’s Festive Mini Markets, Forres
When: 10am – 4pm, Saturday, November 25.
More than 30 exhibitors will attend a range of Christmas Mini Markets in Forres for visitors to shop locally and support independent businesses.
The Christmas Market welcomes several food producers, vendors and crafters from across the Moray and the north-east.
Aberdeen Christmas Village, Marischal Square
When: Thursday, November 16 – Sunday, December 31.
Aberdeen’s beloved Christmas Village has returned with its cosy Christmas market, outdoor ice rink and festive fairground – the countdown is officially on!
This year marks the introduction of a new Ice Fun House while the Helter Skelter and Candy Can Bungee Trampolines are back to draw in the crowds. For event information go to aberdeeninspired.com
Oban Winter Festival
When: Friday, November 17 – Sunday, November 26.
Visit the award-winning Oban Winter Festival to take part in a series of fantastic festive events. There will be a range of market stalls with goods from local makers and artisans.
The list of activities and events at the festival is alternated daily and range from popular classics such as the Reindeer Parade and extravagant Christmas light switch-on to a traditional ceilidh.
For more information go to obanwinterfestival.com
Elgin Christmas Light Switch On, High Street
When: 10am – 5pm, Saturday, November 25.
The Elgin Christmas event is set to be filled with festive entertainment through the entire day.
Families can pop along into city centre to get into the Christmas spirit and explore the market before they are dazzled by the Christmas lights as the evening comes to a close.
The lights will be turned on at around 4.20pm.
Christmas Market, The Old Brewery, Cromarty
When: 10.30am – 4.30pm, Friday, December 1 – Sunday, December 3.
Cromarty’s Old Brewery is hosting its very own Christmas market across the first weekend in December.
Visitors are welcome to attend Friday’s preview event where they can enjoy a glass of mulled wine and some mince pies before festivities commence the following day.
The Haven, Stonehaven
When: 10am – 2pm, Saturday, December 2.
Local businesses will have their crafts and goods on display at The Haven Christmas market in Stonehaven. Hand crafted items are available for purchase as are wellbeing books donated on behalf of a Holistic Therapists Magazine.
The event also features a raffle which visitors can enter for a chance to win a hamper.
Entry is free.
Peterhead Fire Station
When: 12pm – 4pm, Sunday, December 3.
Youngsters and their families are invited to browse a range of stalls and take part in an afternoon of fun at this Christmas fair.
The fire station will play host to a bouncy castle, assault course, bottle stall, hook a duck, and a kids fire house for curious minds to explore.
A visit to Santa will complete an exciting day with the chance for youngsters to have a go on the Christmas train too.