Shop Local this Christmas - Market Dates in Aberdeen


The winter woollies are out of the wardrobe, the lights are up in the city centre and the ice-rink opened yesterday. I think it's official: Santa is on his way! 

The countdown to Christmas is on - well and truly - and the more organised among us will already be stocking up on goodies to hide beneath the tree. This year, I'm trying to be a little less last-minute with my present purchases; to select gifts with a unique or personal touch; and to give a bit more thought to where I spend my money. We have an incredible range of producers, creators and retailers right here on our doorstep in Aberdeenshire and Aberdeen City, and I'm making it my mission to '#supportlocal' throughout this year's festivities. 

Markets are by far my favourite way to discover local goods. We're lucky to have a number taking place regularly throughout Aberdeen, but the lead up to Christmas is set to see even more popping up across the city. 
Here's my pick of the bunch, from this weekend through to December 23rd:

FLOCK Contemporary Craft and Design Fair

Sunday 19th November - The Barn, Burn o' Bennie, Banchory
With hands-on craft workshops and some 50 vendors, The Barn has curated a line-up of some of Scotland's best makers and creators for this festival-format shopping event.  

FINE Food and Drink Market 

Thursday 23rd - Sunday 26th November - Christmas Village, Marischal College, Aberdeen 
One of three markets taking place at Marischal College - the new location for this year's Christmas Village - this foodie weekend looks set to delight with plenty of 'FINE' treats from across Aberdeen and the North East. The list of stallholders has my mouth watering already!
Website | Facebook Listing 

Belmont Street Market

Saturday 25th November, 2nd, 9th, 16th & 23rd December  - Belmont Street, Aberdeen
Belmont Street's regular monthly market is set to take place not just once, but every Saturday between now and Christmas. Regularly featured products include preserves, cheese, meat, fresh fish, vodka, gin, craft ales, woollen goods, cupcakes and my favourite almond flour brownies!
Facebook Listing

Maggie's Christmas Fair

Sunday 26th November - Maggie's, Elizabeth Montgomery Building, Westburn Road, Aberdeen 
Supported by the Ministry of Craft team, the Maggie's Christmas Fair will feature a Santa's Grotto and tombola alongside a range of market stalls. Entrance is charged at £5 with proceeds helping Maggie's to support people with cancer and their loved ones.
Facebook Listing

Old Togs New Tricks

Sunday 26th November - Spin, Littlejohn Street, Aberdeen 
This regular vintage fayre has a new venue for this, their last event before Christmas. Relocating to Spin on Littlejohn Street while Underdog undergoes a bit of a refurbishment, this market promises a line-up featuring house-plant lovers, The Potting Shed, alongside a range of vintage goodies. 
Facebook Listing

Etsy Made Local - Aberdeen 

Friday 1st - Sunday 3rd December - Foyer Restaurant and Gallery, Crown St, Aberdeen 
Perhaps one of the most popular places to shop online for that unique, handmade gift, the Etsy website has been brought to life thanks to the Aberdeen Etsy Team, offering shoppers the chance to  buy direct from local designers, makers and vintage collectors.
Facebook Listing

Ministry of Crafts

Saturday 2nd December - Methodist Church, Crown Terrace, Aberdeen 
Taking place on the first Saturday of every month, the Ministry of Crafts market is probably my favourite in Aberdeen. It regularly features a wide range of crafts, jewellery, paper goods, cakes (and everything in between!), from popular vendors such as Hannah Bakes Cakes, Paper Pine Tree, Embroidreams and Whimsical Lush. Watch their Facebook page for this month's line-up.    
Facebook Listing

HAAN Design Market 

7th-10th, 14th-17th, 21st-23rd December - Christmas Village, Marischal College, Aberdeen
Another part of this year's Christmas Village at Marischal College, the design market is set to offer up a range of high-quality haan-made ("handmade" in Aberdonian.. get it?) products  from local, national and international designers and makers. Taking place over three weekends before Christmas, the events will also offer a pop-up cafe and DIY craft opportunities.
Website | Facebook Listing

Thistle Street Food Market 

Saturday 9th December - Thistle Street, Aberdeen 
Hosted by The West End - Aberdeen team, the Thistle Street market takes place on the second Saturday of every month, offering up an array of locally-made foodie treats, including (but by no means limited to) cheese, smoked salmon, lemon curd, chocolate brownies, peanut butter, pasta, soft drinks and gin!

Slains Handmade Christmas Market 

Sunday 17th December - Slains Castle, Belmont Street, Aberdeen
Belmont Street pub, Slains Castle, are set to host a line-up of local sellers, offering handmade gifts from in and around Aberdeen, with proceeds going to Mrs Murray's Cat and Dog Home. 
Facebook Listing

Purchases from the last Ministry of Crafts market.

What are you waiting for? Time to track down that perfect gift for your loved one, while supporting local producers in and around Aberdeen!


THE CITY // Lane7


Lane7 Aberdeen - drinks - Laura Whispering Blog

I might be marking myself out as something of a freak by saying this, but in my almost-30-years on the planet, I reckon I've only ever experienced one, maybe two, "nights out." It's not that I'm anti-social - I want to be able to enjoy nights out in my friends' company; it's just that I'm anti-making-a-total-fool-of-myself and this has often crippled me. I find nightclubs - with their darkness, sticky floors, drunken antics and too-many-bodies - deeply unnerving and the idea of dancing in public gets a big fat 'No!' from me and my anxiety. 

I feel like I've missed out on all these usually-enjoyable experiences, when perhaps all that was really missing was a dance-free activity to focus my night around. 

Well, that opportunity is missing no more, thanks to Lane7's arrival in Aberdeen! 

Licensed 'til 2am on Fridays and Saturdays (or should that be Saturday and Sunday?), Lane7 offers a boutique bowling experience and a great alternative venue for your next night out, right in the centre of the city. 

Lane7 Aberdeen - Bowling Heaven - Laura Whispering Blog
Lane7 Aberdeen - Shut Up and Bowl - Laura Whispering Blog

Opened on Friday, the old Tiger Tiger site on Shiprow has been transformed into an open and inviting space, decked out with clever signage and quirky graphics (including a shoe selfie circle!) that bring a relaxed, tongue-in-cheek vibe to the place. 

Some friends and I were kindly invited to their preview night on Wednesday and gladly popped down to drink and play.

Lane7 Aberdeen - Laura Whispering Blog
Lane7 Aberdeen - Bar - Laura Whispering Blog

First up there was the bar ("Beers here."), with a well-stocked selection of wines, craft beers, spirits (hello, all of the gin) and soft drinks, and a menu of cocktails, mocktails and hard or soft shakes. I opted for a Whitley Neill rhubarb gin and light tonic, complete with a garnish of pink peppercorns, which went down an absolute treat! 

Lane7 Aberdeen - Bowling - Laura Whispering Blog
Lane7 Aberdeen - Bowling - Laura Whispering Blog

Next up came the bowling ("Shoes here.") , where we exchanged our shoes, submitted our names and headed to our lane. There are six lanes altogether (cheekily missing out number 1 to get the 7 of the name), accommodating up to 7 players a piece, with optional bumpers available for any kids (or grown-up cheats). As it was, I probably should have asked to put up the bumpers as my "skills" were somewhat lacking in this particular game and one friend out-bowled the rest of us quite considerably! Still, it was a good laugh and on the plus side, my bowling efforts were far less humiliating than my dancing attempts would be!

If bowling isn't enough, the competitive among you can continue the battle over the collection of arcade games, pool and ping pong tables which occupy the rest of the space. We never quite managed to secure ourselves a table on this visit but enjoyed watching the wide range of table tennis "skills" on display, while having a good old nose around and grabbing a few photo opportunities.

Lane7 Aberdeen - Laura Whispering Blog
Lane7 Aberdeen - Shoe selfie - Laura Whispering Blog

If all of that competition works up a bit of an appetite, they're currently in the process of installing a kitchen so that they can serve up pizza and nibbles alongside their drinks. If the Newcastle menu is anything to go by, my hopes are fairly high for some tasty sounding treats! (Beer cheese fritters with sriracha sauce, please.)

All in all, I really enjoyed my little Lane7 sneak peek and am delighted to see something like this popping up in the centre of the city. Open 7 days a week, with kids welcome 'til 7pm and a live DJ playing every Friday and Saturday night, it seems like a great venue for a variety of different occasions (especially in the run up to Christmas!) and I can definitely see myself making a return.

1 Shiprow, Aberdeen, AB11 5BY
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