IT’S only May – but the thoughts of some are already running ahead to the Yuletide season.

It has been announced that one of the UK’s leading Christmas markets – the St Nicholas Fair in York – is to be extended from four days to more than three weeks.

For the first time in the event’s 23-year history it will last for 25 days, from November 27 to December 21.

Local cabinet member for tourism Sonja Crisp said: “St Nicholas Fair is firmly established as the most popular shopping event in York and last year we saw record footfall in the city centre in this period.

“With high quality Christmas markets on offer for the month before Christmas, we have decided to extend the St Nicholas Fair brand to that period so shoppers can enjoy an even better experience by having almost four weeks to visit, rather than just one long weekend.

“The Fair is a major contributor to the city’s economy, to the city’s diverse retail and events offer.”

There will be a rolling programme of different market stalls throughout the fair, and themed weeks of speciality stall featuring food, sparkles and toys.

As usual, snug wooden huts and pretty lights will line Parliament Street with a traditional carousel in St Sampson’s Square.

The main market will be complemented by others taking place across the city including the daily Newgate Market, the Made in Yorkshire art and craft market at the Guildhall, the Medieval Market at Barley Hall and an arts and crafts market at St William’s College.