THOUSANDS of people kickstarted the festive season this weekend with a trip to Holker Hall’s annual Winter Market.
The three-day event, held at the 400-year-old stately home near Grange-over-Sands, featured a record number of stalls - with more than 110 craftspeople, artisans and makers selling a wide range of gifts, products and treats.
The lively market drew crowds of more than 7,500 people from across the region who soaked up the bustling atmosphere while browsing the range of unique finds, handmade items and clever crafts on display.
A programme of live music and entertainment from Andy Jester and The Bread and Butter Theatre Company, The Jazz Swing Trio and Jon Dawes of The Paper Cranes kept visitors of all ages busy throughout each day.
Holker Hall manager Heather Creasey said the weekend had been an unrivalled success.
“We had more than 7,500 people enjoy a visit to Holker over the weekend and once again it was fantastic to see the grounds transformed into a bustling market filled with exciting gifts and treats.
“We know lots of visitors will have seized the opportunity to get their Christmas shopping off to the perfect start with the opportunity to buy unique or handcrafted gifts for family and friends.
“The atmosphere was fantastic. There was a real buzz throughout the three days, particularly as our programme of entertainment offered something for everyone and went down a storm.”
Visitors got the chance to browse the wide range of products available at the Winter Market while chatting to individual stallholders.
And a selection of hot food stalls were located on site while Holker’s own cafe and Ilex Brasserie offered a menu packed with freshly cooked dishes with a local provenance.
Heather added: “A huge amount of hard work goes into organising Holker’s Winter Market.
It’s one of the highlights of the year and we know it’s a favourite with many of our visitors.
“So we are all delighted it has been such a success, both with stallholders and the thousands of people who enjoyed a great day out here at Holker.”