Christmas markets in the Cotswolds
11:32 26 September 2016
From festive light switch-ons and Santa’s Grottos, to Victorian Christmas Fayres and late-night shopping, we’ve covered what’s on in the Cotswolds this season.
From November 24 the Christmas lights of Bath will be twinkling once again this festive season. Enjoy a host of entertainment, including carol singers, children’s entertainers and musicians, while you peruse the Christmas market stalls.
Bath’s Christmas markets will be open November 24 to December 11 and offer 170 traditional stalls, Santa’s Grotto, an ice rink and an Après Ski Bar.
Friday December 2 will see a lights-on extravaganza in Bourton-on-the-Water. The Christmas tree lights will be switched on at 6.30 p.m by Cotswold Life BBC Radio Gloucestershire’s Mark Cummings, and the High Street will be shut to traffic for the evening.
As well as a trip from Santa and various attractions for children to enjoy, there will be a late-night shopping fair 4-9pm with plenty of stalls to browse for special Christmas gifts.
Broadway will be open for late night shopping November 25 and December 2, so soak up the festive season with carol singers, street entertainers and hundreds of twinkling Christmas lights. There’s an abundance of independent shops, local tea rooms, pubs and restaurants to visit – all of which will be open 5.30pm until 8.30pm or later.
Treat yourself to a mulled wine and a warm mince pie while you enjoy the festivities in the charming Cotswold village.
Cheltenham’s beloved Christmas Market will be running November 24 – December 17 along the beautiful promenade. Enjoy a mug of hot mulled cider and a warm winter bap, whilst you browse over 40 stalls selling traditional homemade gifts, knick knacks and lots of tasty and unusual food and drink. Stalls will be open from 10am-6pm.
December 4 will see free parking, late-night shopping, carol singing and a hog roast in the wonderful market town of Chipping Norton. Ben Fogle will also be judging a range of festive competitions, such as ‘Best dressed shop window’ and ‘Best shopkeeper’s Christmas jumper'.
The big festive light switch-on will be held in the Market Place November 26. There will be live music, plenty of delicious food stalls, fireworks and a celebrity lights-on ceremony.
November 26, December 3 and 4, enjoy the Cirencester’s town market adorned with festive lighting, a mix of stalls to browse and live music.
Dursley's Christmas lights switch on is an evening of Victorian themed festive entertainment, local shopping and Christmas market stalls. Visit the town on Friday November 25 to embrace the festivities.
Festive fun in Evesham begins this year on November 26 with the light switch-on taking place from 12pm onwards. With Christmas carols and live music throughout the day, and a Christmas Craft Fayre taking place in Evesham’s town hall, there’s plenty to see and do before Father Christmas and his reindeer arrive at 3pm. From 5.30pm, the countdown to the Christmas lights switch-on begins followed by a fireworks extravanganza.
Evesham’s traditional Christmas market is taking place on the High Street December 17-24. Visitors can expect a host of Christmas themed stalls with handcrafted gifts, festive decorations and tasty seasonal food. Evesham’s regular market will also be taking place throughout the seasonal activities.
Fairford’s Market Place will play host to a Christmas market full of stalls selling a variety of festive foodie treats and unique gifts. Get into the festive spirit on Friday December 2 from 6.30pm where, while you shop, live street entertainment, fairground rides and an appearance from Father Christmas will be there for the whole family to enjoy.
Forest of Dean
Lydney’s Christmas lights switch-on to be confirmed.
Explore the magic of ancient Puzzlewood, where you can find Father Christmas and his elves roaming the woods during the Wednesdays and weekends of December 3-4, 7, 10-11, 14, 17-18 and 21.
For an unforgettable festive experience, follow the magical tale of Evie’s airplane and the chance to meet Father Christmas in the mesmeric setting ofClearwell Caves, November 26 until January 6.
Dean Forest Railway is running Santa Specials on selected dates from December 10 until Christmas Eve. You can meet the man in red on his own steam train, enjoy a warm mince pie and all children will receive a free gift.
Gloucester Quays’ Victorian Christmas Market will run November 17-20. The market will be selling delicious food, drink and festive gifts whilst Christmas carols, a brass band and buskers will fill the historic docks with music.
There will be fun and festive treats, locally-made gifts and crafts, tasty local produce and over 60 stalls at the annual Christmas Market taking place on November 26.
You can also expect Father Christmas to make an appearance at The Redesdale and in attendance at the carol service by the town's Christmas Tree.
Oxford’s Christmas Festival is running November 25-27, where an exciting programme of arts, culture and performances will be taking place across all of the city’s best-loved venues. While visiting Oxford, why not take a look round the city’s pretty neighbouring villages.
To the backdrop of choir singing and gorgeous aromas of mulled wine, Oxford’s Broad Street will become home to the Oxford Christmas Market December 8 – 18 full of homemade crafts, festive foodie treats and fun knick-knacks.
Dates for the annual Christmas Tree Festival and Father Christmas’ appearance are yet to be confirmed.
Stratford’s famous and well-loved Christmas light display will be switched on November 24, with festive activities taking place from the morning onwards. Visitors to the medieval town can enjoy late-night shopping, festive markets and plenty of street entertainment to enjoy.
Enjoy Beauty and the Beast from December 16 at the Attic Theatre for Stratford-Upon-Avon’s annual Christmas pantomime.
Now in its 12th year, the much-anticipated Christmas Tree Festival will be marking the start of the festive season in Stroud. Hosted by St. Laurence Church, the tree lights will be switched on November 27 by BBC Radio Gloucestershire Saturday morning presenter Faye Hatcher. The festival will be held between November 27 and December 4.
The dates for Stroud’s Christmas Farmer’s Markets, brimming with local produce ready for your Christmas dinner, will be announced shortly.
Stroud’s annual Goodwill Evening will be taking place December 2, from 5pm. Visitors can take a trip to Santa’s workshop, indulge in a spot of late-night shopping and embrace the festivities.
Tewkesbury’s annual Festival of Lights is taking place November 20 and festive celebrations will be held from 12pm. There will be traditional carols, street dancing and plenty of stalls to browse.
Father Christmas is turning the lights on at 5pm and children should get their wish lists ready as he’s promised to reply to every one.
The historic streets of Worcester will come alive November 24 when the renowned Victorian-themed Christmas Fayre returns. Up until the 27, visitors can browse 150 stalls of artisan gifts whilst enjoying the joyful sounds of instrumental performances and the heart-warming smells of roasting chestnuts.
The Arboretum is holding an Enchanted Christmas event to celebrate the beauty of Westonbirt’s trees. Visitors can walk a one-mile illuminated trail and Father Christmas and his wife will be in attendance each evening to hand out gifts and tell seasonal stories. The event is running November 25 - December 18 and the trail is open from 5pm.
A Christmas Festival brimming with music, festive food, gift stalls and entertainment is taking place in Winchcombe December 6 5-8pm. Plenty of stallholders will be setting up shop in the town centre for the evening and there will an exciting line-up of seasonal, live entertainment. North Street will be closed to traffic and the Abbey Terrace car park will also be used to host activities, stalls and entertainment.
Enjoy a Christmas market full of stalls showcasing plenty of gift ideas from jewellery to woodcrafts, all held at St May Magdalene Church. Choral entertainment can be enjoyed throughout the day.
Woodstock’s Christmas lights will be switched on at 6pm.
Christmas comes to Blenheim Palace on November 25 to January 2 with the estate becoming a winter wonderland of illuminations.
Like this? Have a look at our:
24 reasons to spend Christmas in the Cotswolds
Daylesford Christmas Fair 2016
Cotswold Christmas Day lunches: 14 of the tastiest places to visit
Cotswold Christmas pantomimes
8 stunning Cotswold stately homes to visit this Christmas