It’s nearly that time of the year again! Dazzling lights dotted around the city, brightly coloured stockings hanging over the fire and the pleasant smell of hot chicolate filling the air.

In 2019, the number of people visiting Christmas markets in the UK rose to 34% this was 10% more than in 2013. This number increased again during 2015, a 9% growth from 2013.

To gather more information about Christmas markets, I interviewed Gill Barnes (the Secretary of Hersham Village Market) to get a better understanding of what their Christmas markets are all about. These markets are considered to be the staple of the area and all are encouraged to come on down and join in the festive fun.

“Our ethos is that everything we sell has to be home cooked or baked and home grown or handmade by local artists or crafted” . “Our producers /makers run the market with the help of volunteer helpers.” As quoted by Gill, Christmas markets are a great opportunity for people to seek out unique gifts that they wouldn’t ordinarily find in a high street shop.

 Post Covid, Gill explained that they had remained open up until March 2020 but due to a huge drop in numbers they made the difficult decision to close. “We continued opening up to 13th March that year. We fully intended to open again on the 20th, but within that week numbers had escalated to such an extent that we felt we should close. Initially, we thought we would be closed for about 6 weeks, but the situation got worse and in the end we were closed for 16 months, reopening at the beginning of July 2021”. It was clear to me that Covid has had a massive impact on the market and people were eager to find out when it could reopen.


Although, Christmas markets have always been a popular tradition around the UK, local ones are beginning to gain more popularity and are getting more visitors. It is estimated that 30 markets were visited in 2007 and it was recorded in 2017 that markets grew to over 100. They continue to be a festive hotspot for all and visitor numbers continue to increase.

I asked why people should visit this market over others and Gill explained that “Our market is the only one in Hersham and we pride ourselves for being a small friendly local market located in the centre of the village and selling goods and produce sourced locally or grown by local residents”. Local markets are a great way for people to communicate with others in their local area and it encourages people from all around to come and visit.

This reiterates what statistics have explained about the growth in Christmas markets and how it brings another element of joy to Christmas. More people are beginning to visit Christmas markets every year and they continue to bring communities together.