Saturday, 1 December 2012

Perfect gifts at market

Below is my “Big Day Out” column from the Saturday, December 1, 2012, Swansea edition of the South Wales Evening Post.



Perfect gifts at market 
A big day out!
the Christmas Market in Swansea.

WHY? At the Swansea Christmas Market you’ll find all the ingredients for a perfect Christmas this year, including food, spirits, cheeses and handmade gifts available from Welsh and continental traders.
WHAT’S THE BUZZ? The familiar green wooden chalets have returned again to Oxford Street in Swansea, transforming the city centre into a Christmas Market for the festive season. With over 39 stalls selling everything from glassware and jewellery to perfumes and luxury chocolates, you’ll have no problem finding the perfect Christmas gifts for friends and family. And to keep you entertained while you shop, school choirs and street dance groups will be performing at the market.
ANY HISTORY? The Christmas Market has been a feature of Oxford Street in the build-up to Christmas for several years now, but there is a much longer history of markets in the city centre. Swansea Market was re-sited from Castle Square to Oxford Street in 1830, but this market proved too small for the ever expanding Swansea town and plans were made to improve the market. A new purpose built market was opened in 1897 on Oxford Street and for the first time the market was completely enclosed. The new market building’s roof was the largest structure of glass and wrought iron works in the UK at that time. The current Swansea Market building was opened in 1961 after the original building was devastated by the German Luftwaffe in the Second World War.
WHAT TO TAKE? It is an outside street market with no cover, so bring a rain coat or umbrella with you encase it starts to rain. There are food stalls selling everything from delicious hotdogs to Indian cuisine. Parking is available in the High Street car park for up to four hours any time after 10am for just £1.
LOOK OUT FOR? Don’t forget to call into Swansea Market. Inside the steel and glass building you will find over a hundred stalls offering a huge selection of traditional Welsh cuisine, as well as cards, flowers, clothes, sweets and other gifts.
Waterfront Wonderland is also nearby where you can enjoy ice skating on the main Admiral Rink and child friendly Rocky's Rink, visit Father Christmas in his Grotto, as well as enjoy the funfair rides like the Miles Hire Giant Wheel.
WHEN TO GO? The Swansea Christmas Market will be doing business until 16 December. The market's open hours are 10am to 5.30pm everyday, except Thursdays when the market will be open late until 8pm. 
TELL ME MORE: The Swansea Christmas Market is located on Oxford Street and Princess Way in the city centre, just outside Swansea Market and Quadrant Shopping Centre. For more information go to