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Market research; We check out some of the best festive shopping opportunities to help you grab the perfect gift.

WHETHER it's the mulled wine, roast chestnuts or inspiring gifts it's hard not to feel festive at a Christmas market.

From street markets to grand houses all dressed up in lavish festive glory, there are now many across Scotland well worth a visit. For inspiration or a chance to get a head start with your Christmas shopping, cheer up a wet weekend with a visit to one of the markets near you.

ROWALLAN CASTLE WINTER FAYRE November 19 There will be more local suppliers than ever this year showcasing products, including paintings, Arran Aromatics, deli foods, hats, handbags, cashmere and jewellery, in the beautiful setting of this Ayrshire Castle. Afternoon tea will also be served in the castle, with home baking and other treats throughout the day.

HOPETOUN HOUSE CHRISTMAS SHOPPING FAYRE December 1-3 Shop to your heart's content at this annual shopping fair in East Lothian, which features more than 60 stands offering a wide range of high quality and unusual gifts for Christmas. Entry is PS6, with a percentage going to charity but the quality of the products is legendary.

GLASGOW CHRISTMAS MARKETS November 9-December 22 This year, the markets will return to George Square and St Enoch Square offering a wide selection of festive gifts and delicious street food as well as gluhwein from the Gluhwein House, operated by Markus Kochems from the Mosel valley and continental beers from the Bavarian bars.

The centrepiece of the George Square market is a carousel, the iconic big wheel and a whole host of family-focused street entertainment. There's no ice rink this year but the festive lights and nativity display are always loved by kids.

PERTH WINTER WONDERLAND Various dates throughout December In the run-up to Christmas, Perth city centre is transformed by festive activities, including a number of markets to complement an eclectic range of independent shops and cafes, where you can pick up something that can't be found on the high street. Their Alpine chalet-style stalls and a heated marquee mean you can enjoy the atmosohere whatever the weather.

ABERDEEN WINTER FESTIVAL November 25-January 8 The Aberdeen Christmas Village returns for its second year, with double the number of market stalls lining both sides of Union Terrace, offering stocking fillers such as traditional wooden toys, crafts and confectionery and German treats like bratwurst and great beer. There will also be a series of events and parades, an open air ice rink and an entertainment marquee.

STIRLING CHISTMAS SHOPPING FAYRE December 5 This annual fayre in the extraordinary setting of the Great Hall and Chapel Royal at Stirling Castle hosts a wide variety of stalls featuring products from local independent businesses covering foodie treats, drink, fashion and beauty, arts and crafts - and a brass band will ensure the jolly atmosphere.

EDINBURGH CHRISTMAS MARKETS November 7-January 7 Probably Scotland's most famous Christmas market returns to East Princes Street Gardens with a host of traditional and bespoke festive items.

This romantic market in the heart of the capital offers a unique shopping experience for every visitor with its fair of crafters, artists, gift shops and gastronomic surprises. The market also spreads to George Street, where stalls will offer an array of great gifts for shoppers.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Nov 9, 2017
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