‘I visited the Christmas markets early – it cost me nearly £60 without drinks’

We may have only just entered November, but Christmas is creeping closer.

It's nearly the time for fun, laughter, family and lots and lots of food. One thing many Brits like to do on the run up to the big day is sample the Christmas Markets.

But it looks like visiting them could set you back a bit this year. One mum was left gobsmacked after she was set back £60 after heading to the stalls.

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Writing for Manchester Evening News, reporter Emma Gill said she wouldn't normally visit the markets this early, but they decided to pop in as they happened to be passing. There weren't loads of stalls in the zone she visited, as most of the sites open from November 10, but there was still quite a lot to look at.

You could snap up many festive goodies – from sausages to pancakes to Yorkshire pudding wraps. There was also mulled wine and hot chocolate up for grabs.

The markets are never super cheap, as you're also paying for the experience, but Emma admitted she was a little taken aback by the bill. It proved to be one expensive day out.

Emma said: "When I took three kids along for a bite to eat, I wasn't expecting the bill to come to almost £60 – without drinks! The bill for three hot dogs and two portions of chips (one with cheese) came to £30, and then one Yorkshire wrap added another tenner – although it was highly praised as 'the best I've ever tasted'.

"The portions of Dutch Mini Pancakes aren't huge, you get 10 altogether, but we decided to share three portions rather than get one each. That added an extra £18. So without even thinking about drinks, it came to £58 altogether.

"Thankfully only one of them wanted a drink and chose a bottle of water, which was £2 and the cheapest drink available."

It was previously reported that some prices have been hiked this year at the Manchester Christmas markets. The Yorkshire wraps are up from last year, and the mixed meat option has jumped from £10 to £12.

Mulled wine has also risen by 50p, which means it comes in at £5.50. Meanwhile, the deposit for the collectable mugs has leapt from £3 to £3.50.

This means a hot chocolate will set you back £7, and you can chose whether you keep the mug or not.

But, if you like a little sausage, you'll be happy to know they'll still cost you £7 each. It's the same story for the Dutch Mini Pancakes, which remain at £5 a portion.

Just bear in mind that prices can differ across the markets, and people won't know if they're the same at all zones until they officially open. These estimations were based on prices at Cathedral Gardens, where Emma visited.

Councillor Pat Karney, Manchester City Council's Christmas spokesperson, said: "We don't set the prices on our market stalls and nor could we as we don't know the costs involved in producing the goods on sale. Whilst we'll always check out any complaints that are brought to us, it's down to individual traders to set their own prices that reflect their overheads and the quality of what's on offer.

"Stallholders are however obviously subject to the same market forces as other retailers in that if what they're selling is too expensive, customers won't buy their products."

From November 10, market stalls will also take over Piccadilly Gardens, Market Street, Exchange Street, New Cathedral Street, St Ann's Square, Exchange Square, The Corn Exchange and King Street.

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