Pic Mark Waugh

The dates for this year’s world famous Manchester Christmas Markets have been announced.

The annual festive spectacular, now in its 18th year, will be open from Friday, 10 November until Wednesday, 20 December, with the Albert Square market remaining open until 6pm21 December.

The Christmas extravaganza transforms Manchester into the Christmas capital of the UK with a winter wonderland of markets across multiple sites across the city centre, including King Street, St Ann’s Square, Exchange Square, and the return of the family area on Cathedral Gardens, complete with ice rink and fun fair.

Pic Mark Waugh

The market in Albert Square will be overseen, as always, by a six tonne giant Santa.

More than 300 traders will be selling the finest foods, drinks, arts, crafts and amazing gift ideas, bringing hundreds of thousands of visitors to the city centre and boosting the local economy by up to £90m.

Stay up to date on twitter with #MCRCHRISTMAS and @MCRSanta.

What's on your mind?