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    Get festive and head to a Christmas Market

    Is it too early to start talking about Christmas? No we don't think it is either; let's all get in the festive spirit! A great way to do that is by planning a trip to some of Europe's finest Christmas Markets.When we think of Christmas Markets one place in particular springs to mind; Germany, and that is because the tradition that sees tourist flock to the German cities originated in the Late Middle Ages in the German speaking parts of Europe. During the four weeks of Advent, streets are turned into Christmas Market wonderlands with hand crafted trinkets and locally produced food and drink; all designed to keep you warm through the Christmas period.

    Hire a car in Germany and drive to Dresden, home to one of the first recorded Christmas Market, way back in 1434! The typical gifts you can expect to find here are; candle-holders, gingerbread from Pulsnitz and the traditional 'Pflaumentoffel', a chimney-sweep figure that is made of dried prunes.If you travel into Austria you can drive your car hire to Graz and experience the romantic setting for this Christmas Market. In front of the city Town Hall you can admire the huge Christmas tree and the old fashion merry-go-round, and in the Landhaushof you can see the famous nativity scene which has been sculpted from ice!If you don't have the time to fly over to Europe then how about a Christmas Market right here in the UK; we have some great ones you can shop at. Manchester has German style markets spread across the city centre, with German beer tents and an Alpine House! Winchester Cathedral gets in the festive spirit by adding an ice skating rink to their market and Birmingham has great live music shows every lunchtime and evening from a traditional bandstand!

    This is only the start of our Christmas blogs, we have tips on how to travel at Christmas and ideas on where to go, so do keep reading!

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