I've been known to visit Manchester quite often, its a beautiful place that I honestly feel like I can call a home despite not living there. Usually I do my best in avoiding busy towns with people speed walking towards you and having to make your way through a sea full of people, but Manchester is a place I can tolerate quite easily due to the bright and friendly atmosphere.
Fortunately I got to visit again this month and arriving I noticed the Christmas markets, which looked completely fantastic all lit up at 6pm in the now early darkness. I desperately wanted to stay and look around but I was at risk of missing my next train, I was coming back anyway so from how I saw it just walking past? It was beautiful.
I came back the next day, probably a stupid decision during the evening (7pm?) to see it jam packed with people. Obviously a big mistake due to the amount of people starting their nights out and families trying to tire out the kids before taking them home. It was filled with people, so I honestly didn't really get to see much, I was more focused on holding my friends hand to make sure I didn't lose him in the abyss of people and end up getting myself lost in Manchester. (Which would of lead to shouting down the phone from not knowing any street names and having to identify buildings to find each other again, chaos!) So my experience of the Manchester Christmas markets was basically walking past them to just get out of there, I'm quite impatient, so staying would of drove me crazy.
I recommend, if anyone plans visiting to go during the week and through school/college hours to avoid the stampede of families and students, however an early evening start may be required if planning to try out the food and beer. However it was really nice hearing a lot of live music throughout. The markets certainly make a change from my own, which are a hill of stalls covered by waterproof plastic and a table with items on. (not very 'Christmassy' whatsoever) So to see cabins lit up with bright lights and friendly faces was a pleasant change and I did love the atmosphere.
I feel very grateful to of experienced Manchester's Christmas markets and hopefully I'll get to visit them again next year with a better idea of when to go!