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Christmas 2018: The top 10 BEST Christmas markets in the UK revealed | Travel News | Travel

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Christmas sees traditional markets coming to life up and down the UK, offering the perfect opportunity to squeeze in last minuter Christmas shopping for loved ones as well as treating yourself to delicious food and drink as well as even some fairground rides or impressive shows. Some of them only have a few days left so now is the best time to go and soak up the best of the festive atmosphere. Here the top 10 Christmas markets in the UK

Edinburgh

16 November – 5 January

Edinburgh celebrates Christmas at Princes Street Gardens with a plethora of bespoke and traditional Christmas stalls. There’s a festive atmosphere and a huge range of artisan gifts and traditional food and beverages.

From 17 November to 24 December children can enjoy Santa Land with festive fairground rides, a Christmas Tree Maze and even a visit to Santa’s grotto. Alternatively, head to St Andrews Square to take a spin on the ice rink with a gorgeous backdrop of the glittering city.

Manchester

9 November – 23 December

Manchester Christmas market was ranked number one, according to research by travel website Booking.com. Famed for its shimmering Santa Claus, this year will be the last time the market graces Albert Square for at least the next four years.

Spread across the city, the stalls are bustling with gift ideas and culinary delicacies – guaranteed to get you in the festive spirit. Once you’ve shopped for homemade crafts, toys, gifts and garments, treat yourself to a traditional bratwurst, Hungarian goulash, Spanish paella or a good old-fashioned hog roast.

Winchester

17 November – 20 December

Coming in at second place in Booking.com’s rankings and set next to Winchester’s breathtaking cathedral is the Winchester Christmas Markets.

This is the perfect event to take in the local architecture and history. Inspired by traditional German markets, the pretty wooden chalets, enchanting nativity scene and open-air ice rink make for the perfect family day out.

York

15 November – 23 December

With a beautiful medieval backdrop, York Christmas Festival boasts stalls bursting with local produce, ice skating and even festive pantomimes.

Check out the market stalls of St. Nicholas Fair, explore the alpine chalets on Parliament Street or sample food and drink at St Sampson’s Square with tasty treats such as hot chestnuts and warm mulled wine.

Lincoln

6 December – 9 December

Voted the third best Christmas market by Booking.com, Lincoln Christmas market is set in the heart of the medieval city.

The historic and enchanting gothic cathedral makes the perfect backdrop to the 200 stalls there are to explore – offering everything from handmade presents to hand-poured candles, hand-crafted wooden toys and locally created art, as well as excellent fresh produce from the local area.

London

22 November – 6 January

Although the capital offers numerous Christmas markets, the King of them all is undoubtedly Hyde Park Winter Wonderland.

This Christmas extravaganza is a festive event not to be missed with market stalls, Santa Land, funfair rides and an ice kingdom. This year there are new attractions including Ice Sculpting Workshops and Peter Pan On Ice. The Magical Ice Kingdom is returning with a sparkling new theme – “The Secret Forest”.

Bath

22 November – 9 December

Bath’s Christmas Market is brimming with local designers showing off their artisan products making it the perfect place to find unique homeware, Christmas decorations and special gifts for your loved ones across 180 twinkling chalets.

There are sights and smells throughout to satisfy any appetite, including burgers, hog roasts and mulled wine.

Cardiff

15 November – 23 December

Cardiff Christmas Market has been around for over 20 years and offers an alternative shopping experience. Each year, there is an extensive rolling programme of over 200 individual businesses selling a wide variety of diverse arts and crafts interspersed with seasonal food and drink. Make a day of it, buy someone something special and enjoy some delicious and heart-warming Welsh cuisine.

Birmingham

15 November – 23 December

Birmingham German Christmas Market was ranked the fifth best Christmas market in the UK by travel website Booking.com.

Stalls can be found scattered around the Victoria Square and New Street areas. If you’re looking for the ultimate German market experience, this is the place to visit, due to its close ties with Frankfurt, with Pretzels, schnitzels, bratwursts, and roasted almonds as well as glühwein, weissbeer, or hot chocolate all there to tempt your taste buds.

Swansea

16 November to 20 December

At Swansea Christmas Market there are over 40 traders offering a fantastic selection of arts, crafts, fine foods, beautiful decorations and unique gifts. There’s also a selection of festive food to fuel you up and a Christmas Bar where you can relax with a mulled wine.

There’s also a Christmas Parade and Waterfront Wonderland. Fill your day with ice-skating, Santa’s Grotto, a fun fair, and scrumptious food from the Alpine dining cabins. The Swansea Christmas Express and Father Christmas himself are just some of the many exciting things to see during the parade.

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American woman faces $2,800 parking bill after leaving car in Toronto during pandemic

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Parking in the city can be costly, but one American woman is learning just how bad it can be after being unable to retrieve her car for nearly a year.

Detroit resident Kim Richardson left her 2004 Honda Element at the Park2Sky lot by Pearson airport in March 2020 before flying out to Europe for a medical procedure. She originally planned to retrieve it within two weeks but partway through her trip, the Canada-US border got closed due to COVID-19 precautions.

Richardson’s return flight was rerouted to Detroit and she’s been unable to return to Toronto since.

What was originally a $100 bill has now inflated to $2,800 as the lot’s owner says he has a business to operate and is owed payment for 11 months of storage. However, Richardson believes she’s being extorted for an issue beyond her control.

Park2Sky personnel claim that several Americans who found themselves in similar predicaments have had their cars shipped home.

“I don’t understand, I don’t know what’s going on here. Business is down, I’m not making any money at all. People who leave their car are paid. She’s the only one that hasn’t paid,” said the owner to CBC News this week.

The stalemate is expected to last a while longer as travel restrictions remain in place and Ontario Provincial Police have said they won’t get involved in a civil matter.

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All systems are go for St. Lawrence Cruise Lines in 2021

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KINGSTON — Despite Canada’s newly extended cruise ship ban, Canadians still have a small-ship cruising alternative in 2021 with St. Lawrence Cruise Lines.

The small-ship operator, which sails on the St. Lawrence and Ottawa Rivers, has confirmed operations for 2021, with overnight cruises on both rivers from May 20 to Oct. 24. A variety of cruises ranging from four to seven nights will depart from Kingston, Ottawa and Quebec City, sailing exclusively in domestic waters with stops at select ports in Ontario and Quebec.

On Feb. 4, Canada’s Minister of Transport, Omar Alghabra announced that Canada’s cruise ship ban will be extended until Feb. 28, 2022. This measure, which effectively prohibits cruise vessels carrying more than 100 passengers from operating in Canadian waters, does not impact the small-ship operations of St. Lawrence Cruise Lines and its 32-stateroom CANADIAN EMPRESS.

“We are excited to offer travellers a small ship option for the 2021 season,” said President Jason Clark. “Our overnight cruises stay close to shore in Canadian waters and our COVID-19 Health and Safety program has been recognized for its high standards.”

This past December, the cruise line was awarded the Safe Travels Stamp by the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO) for adherence to global standards of health and hygiene. The program includes a wide range of safety measures, including reduced passenger loads, masking, physical distancing and hospital-grade electrostatic disinfecting for both private staterooms and shared spaces. Plus, all staterooms have access to fresh air, climate controls and views of the river.

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Here’s How Canada’s ‘Screening Officers’ Will Check On Travellers During Quarantine

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The federal government is reminding all travellers in Canada that “Screening Officers” may pay them a visit post-arrival.

In a statement about the country’s latest travel restrictions, Transport Canada confirmed that newly-trained officials would be tasked with checking up on travellers during their two-week quarantine period.

The role of the Screening Officers will be to visit travellers’ quarantine locations to “establish contact, confirm identify and confirm that travellers are at the place of quarantine they identified upon entry into Canada.”

This is to make sure individuals are complying with Canada’s mandatory 14-day quarantine requirement.

The checks will be conducted across 35 Canadian cities, having already started in Montreal and Toronto back in January.

The officials will provide “compliance education” and will be able to issue verbal warnings, but stronger enforcement action will be referred to the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and then law enforcement for follow-up checks. 

Failing to comply with the Quarantine Act or with Screening Officers’ instructions could result in fines of up to $750,000 or even jail time.

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