We were horrified by our family trip to one of the UK’s most famous Christmas markets – it is NOT child friendly | The Sun

FAMILIES were horrified to discover one of the UK's most famous Christmas markets is far from child friendly.

Visitors had expected alpine-style chalets selling cakes and trinkets at York's festive fair – but they couldn't believe their eyes when they got there.

While browsing the stalls, shoppers were confronted with dozens of explicit beer mats and keyrings emblazoned with swear words.

The crude coasters included ones which read "gin wh**e", "coffee sl*t" and "c(l)ockwater".

Others being flogged said "a smile a day keeps the w***ers away", "polite notice – place your f***ing drink here" and "real friends show me their boobs".

The vulgar display at the market – named the fifth best in the world by travel agency Planet Cruise – triggered complaints from visitors who said it was widely out of place.


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Debra Cox-Groden, 49, from London, said: "I wanted to come to York because it’s such a beautiful city and it’s the one place that really feels like Christmas.

"But there are stalls like this one that just are not appropriate. It’s not Christmassy at all.

"I’m not a prude but it doesn’t seem right to have children walking past looking at this stuff.

"There should be a sign outside saying that there is adult content."

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Her daughter Emily, who was wandering the market with son Leo, two, agreed the worst of it should be hidden from public view.

The 26-year-old said: "I get that it is dark humour and some people are going to love it – but I’m not sure that York Christmas market is the right place."

The gaudy mats – on sale for £3.50 each – also included designs such as "ginger k**b" and "you are a d***head".

Another, in a nod to the host county, said: "If it’s not from Yorkshire, it’s s**te."

Dad-of-two Tim Woodcock, 45, who was passing by, said of the X-rated products: "It’s not what you need this time of the year – or any time of the year.

"I’m not sure how it fits in at a family-friendly Christmas market. It’s hardly in the right spirit."

Angie Bainbridge, 51, from York, added: "There’s enough places online to buy this kind of stuff – you don’t need to see it at a Christmas market.

"I would be offended if I brought my child and they were reading words like that.

"I’d be absolutely devastated if some of those words came out of their mouth.

"It’s not acceptable at a Christmas market with families around.

"And there’s nothing even Christmassy about it."

I’m not sure how it fits in at a family-friendly Christmas market. It’s hardly in the right spirit.

But her daughter Holly, 19, was less offended.

She said: "I don’t personally mind it – it’s the kind of thing students have in their houses.

"But I don’t have children so maybe it is an age thing."

The unapologetic stall holder refused to comment over the display when approached by The Sun.

But York Council intervened after accepting that the lewd coasters where not in keeping with the festive spirit.

Lib Dem councillor Andrew Waller said: "I have raised concerns with [markets organiser] Make It York staff who have given me an assurance that they have taken up the issue with the stallholder.

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"The offending elements will be covered up overnight before trading.

"As this is an event drawing in families I will check myself that this has happened."

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