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I love Christmas markets. Because I love Christmas. I love being surrounded by Christmas decorations and gifts. I even love the crowds, which I would normally avoid any other time of year!
Leeds Castle Christmas Market 2018
On December 1st, my best friend and I went to Leeds Castle Christmas Market, near Maidstone in Kent. We went last year and loved it. It’s a bit pricey to get in (£25.50), but your ticket gets you free entry for a whole year. I love taking the twins to Leeds Castle in the Summer – the grounds are beautiful and they love the play area – so we tend to get our money’s worth. It’s definitely a bit too expensive, if you’re only planning on going the once.
It was raining on December 1st, and very muddy. We had planned to go in the morning, but decided to wait a bit, in the hopes that it would be less wet in the afternoon. It was less wet… but probably more muddy. We had to park on the grass in the overflow carpark, which resulted in the car getting stuck when we tried to leave, some poor guy having to help us escape, and me getting covered in mud… but that’s a story for a different time!
I didn’t see Santa
Since the twins were at home with Mr Becca, I didn’t get to visit the grotto. But, I was free to look more closely at all the stalls, without the double buggy, and enjoy all the lovely food without having to share. For the record – this one one of those planned days off my diet that I’ve talked about before. I got straight back on track on the 2nd.
I have to admit, I don’t think it was as good as last year
Last year, I came home with bags full of new decorations and gifts. This year… it felt like it was mostly gin and cheese. Which is great. If you’re looking for gin and cheese. But it just didn’t feel like there were as many gift or decorations stalls.
That’s not to say that the stalls that were there weren’t great. There were some real bargains to have, if you were looking for what they had on offer. My friend came home with curry sauce, cheese and some really gorgeous smelling soup and hand cream. They just didn’t have what I was looking for this year.
The Leeds Castle gift shop had lots of gorgeous decorations, but I missed finding amazing things I couldn’t leave without, like I did last year. Still, my bank balance was happier, I suppose.
The food was still amazing
You just can’t go to a Christmas market without eating sausages. German sausages, specifically. We had currywurst and it was so good. Definitely worth coming off plan for.
We also had a delicious Nutella hot chocolate and warm donuts. You just can’t beat Christmas market food.
No reindeer this year!
In previous years, there have been live reindeer at the Leeds Castle Christmas Market. As a result of the negative press lately about the welfare of those reindeer, Leeds Castle made the decision to not have them at the market this year.
I’ve always felt a bit sad for the poor reindeer being gawped at, even before the reports of poor treatment, so I was pleased that Leeds Castle made this decision. They still had owls there, and possibly other birds/animals. I would have preferred if they’d moved away from having animals to gawp at completely, so we didn’t go to see what was there.
Will I be visiting Leeds Castle Christmas market next year?
Absolutely! The market was still great, even if it wasn’t as good as last year (in my opinion), and it’s still a great day out. The castle itself is worth a visit and, like I said, the grounds are beautiful. Maybe I’ll take the twins to see Santa there next year!