HARROGATE'S Christmas Market has been cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Organisers of the market on the Stray say it cannot be made “Covid-secure” to meet the requirements of North Yorkshire County Council and Harrogate Borough Council, due to the open nature of the site with access available from all sides.

"Furthermore, the event normally attracts over 80,000 visitors from all over the North of England, including many places in West Yorkshire, Lancashire and the Midlands where lock-down restrictions still apply," said a spokesman.

"It would be impossible to limit the numbers on site and ensure social distancing at this very popular event.

"We are naturally very disappointed that our normally very popular Harrogate Christmas Market cannot take place this year, so we are turning it into a virtual on-line market.

"Most of our traders will be able to promote their goods through their own web sites, all linked to the main market site: www.HarrogateChristmasMarket.org In addition this web site will feature links to numerous local businesses that normally support our Christmas Market and its many visitors.

"Looking ahead we are investigating the possibility of organising a new Spring Market in May and our next Christmas Market in November 2021."