When I first used to come to Bristol to visit my sister 10 years ago, there were two huge attractions for me. The vibrant nightlife, and the local markets. There is something really wonderful about spending a Saturday afternoon browsing market stalls and hunting for the perfect gift, for my loved ones, or for myself!

Now I’m turning into an old(ish) fart, the nightlife isn’t so appealing, but the markets hold their same attraction, even more so now that I fulfilled my long-held dream of having my own little market stall.

Here in Bristol we are spoilt for choice, and Bristol has such a thriving arts and craft scene there is something new to be discovered every weekend.

If it’s unusual gifts, entertainment and even workshops that you are after, a firm favourite of mine is Market at The Moon, a seasonal, alternative market at the Full Moon Pub in the vibrant Stokes Croft area of Bristol.

Another popular market happens monthly at the Tabacco Factory selling food, crafts and sometimes clothes.

Last Christmas I also had a stall at the glorious Tyntesfield Market. Being a lover of all things history, and handmade, this market at a National Trust property is my perfect weekend destination.

This year, I am mega-excited to have a stall throughout December at The Harbourside Christmas Market, this was the first Bristol market I ever visited, and it’s been a long-held dream of mine to have a stall there.

Why do I love local markets?

With mass produced items, you have no guarantee of quality, and you don’t necessarily know the conditions which the producers work under.  With handmade and local products, you can often trace the materials and learn about the techniques used. That’s why I love both selling my products and buying gifts for others at market.  You get to speak directly to the designer-maker, and for me this really brings each piece alive.  I want to be unique & original, and this is something which you don’t get with mass-produced items.  Who want’s to be a sheep and look like everyone else in the crowd!