After scanning the internet on Sunday last week for some inspiration to fill up Hubby’s day off work I came across the Living North Christmas Fair at Newcastle Racecourse. I hadn’t seen it advertised anywhere despite it being on 6th – 9th November.
Hubby and little man went for some kind of almost matching attire for the day and we trundled up to Newcastle Racecourse.
Parking and entrance was well organised with stewards directing traffic and giving information on where to park. Sadly, for me, it all goes a little down hill from there.
The event was absolutely heaving, even though we arrived just before 11am. The event itself was spread throughout the inside of the Racecourse with parts under Tipis and marquees outside.
You’re given a bag containing a map and leaflets when you arrive. It gives a brief run down on what you can expect to find. I was rather excited to see so many local business show casing their lovely products.
I was able to get a few pictures of some of the stalls in the main part of the racecourse but it was too busy in food hall to get my phone out without fear of it disappearing under the stampede of feet.
I found the beautiful Vintage Glow stall selling beautiful soya wax candles in an array of vintage knick knacks.
The Illustration and Surface designer Laura Gee who was selling such sweet wooden dinosaur key rings which obviously Hubby needed to buy. Who doesn’t need a Terence the T Rex?!
I fell in love with the stunning handmade Nordic Christmas decorations from Tonttu Gifts which reminded me of my trip to Iceland a couple of years ago.
Such stunning shabby chic decorative items from Amanda Mercer. The beautiful heart bunting is so sweet.
The foodhall was home to a wide range of food sellers, including chutneys, cheeses and even Grasmere Gingerbread! There were some lovely things on sale but it was extremely different to get near most of the stalls. It was simply too busy.
Though there were so many stalls selling tasty goodies I didn’t think there was that much on offer to actually eat. I’d have liked somewhere to sit down and have a sandwich or something hot, but the choices were very limited, with the only option being the Park View Suite which is part of the venue. We did visit with the intention of eating and feeding the little man but there were no seats and the queues were ridiculous.
I loved the things that were on sale at the event. There were so many different things on display and I think it was a fantastic way of finding out about new local talent. I’ve got a list of things I intend to buy online from some of the people we found.
We’d read online before we visited that you couldn’t take pushchairs into the event, fine we thought, we’ll use our baby sling, only to get inside and find so many people with pushchairs! As the event event was so busy using the sling wasn’t the easiest, people were barging past and pushing others out the way, not ideal when you have a 9 month old baby attached to you who we really didn’t want to get squashed.
My other gripe is the entrance price. I think it was scandalous! Adults: £8, Concessions: £6, Children under 12: Free. My student card was still valid so it cost us £14 purely to get inside, which I think is very expensive! Had they included maybe a hot drink or redeemable voucher for something then it’d have made it more acceptable.
I picked up quite a few little things, not necessarily anything for Christmas, though I did get a very rude and offensive Christmas card for my Brother in Law!
On the whole I enjoyed the event. I think better organisation to reduce the crowds and better food options would be a welcome addition for next time but I probably would return next year.
There’s a York version of this too and it’s on 14th-16th November at York Racecourse.