As we mentioned in our last blog, the South West isn’t just for summer. There’s plenty to do over the winter months if you’re in the area for a holiday, and even more so now that we’re in the run-up to Christmas. If you’re looking to get into the festive spirit, here are our recommendations for the best Christmas markets in the South West.
28th November – 15th December
First on our list of the best Christmas Markets in the South West is Bath. Bath’s award-winning Christmas market is a wonder to behold in one of England’s most picturesque cities.
What makes Bath’s Christmas market so special is the backdrop of the Georgian streets, creating a truly immersive winter wonderland experience. Bath’s Christmas market has over 150 chalets selling a range of homewares, handcrafted jewellery, food and drink, personalised presents and more, with many of the chalets run by local designers and craftspeople.
If you want to take your Christmas market experience a step further, you can buy a Bath Christmas Market Experience, which allows you to join in on the crafting by making a festive wreath, followed by a two-course champagne lunch. Of course, no trip to Bath is complete without a visit to the Roman baths, so why not finish your trip by experiencing the Christmas decorations from Thermae Bath Spa’s rooftop pool?
16th November – 19th December
Exeter’s Christmas market is a long-established event that locals and visitors alike look forward to all year round – so much so that the market attracts over 600,000 visitors each year. With Exeter Cathedral providing a beautiful backdrop, the Cathedral Green is filled with wooden chalets boasting a selection of crafts, gifts and fresh food. There’s also the Bavarian-style bar where you can get drinks to take with you as you shop, or stop and enjoy the merry atmosphere.
With Exeter high street only a stone’s throw from the market, you can get all of your Christmas shopping done. The Cathedral also hosts carol services, exhibitions, concerts, children’s craft fairs and more over the Christmas period. A trip to Exeter, and one of the best Christmas markets in the South West, will certainly get you in the holiday spirit.
8th November – 23rd December
Bristol is one of the UK’s trendiest cities, and their Christmas Market is one of the liveliest in the South West. As well as having over 50 stalls selling crafts, unique gift ideas and food, there is also live music and heated seating in the Jäger Barn Bar, where you can really unwind after a day of shopping. Over the course of the market, Santa and his reindeer will also be visiting to entertain the little ones.
However, Bristol isn’t home to just one Christmas Market. Spread throughout the city, you can find other hubs of festive cheer, such as the Harborside Christmas Market with its idyllic waterfront setting. One of the best markets in the UK is St Nicholas Market, and there’s also the Local Christmas Market, where you will find stalls by Bristolian artists, craftspeople and merchants – all offering wares you won’t find anywhere else.
3rd, 10th & 17th December
Totnes’ Night Market is on every Tuesday in December in the run-up to Christmas, from 3:30pm to 9pm. The market is run by traders for the local community. Rather than a month-long installation like other Christmas markets, the Totnes Night Market is a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it event that offers an experience that is uniquely Devon.
The Night Market hosts performances from local schools, community choirs and local bands. There are lantern parades and Santa will even be in his grotto to hear your Christmas lists! Even though it houses over 50 stalls, what Totnes offers is a more intimate and cosy market atmosphere, suiting of its town setting. With great entertainment and local food, cider and mulled wine, this is one not to be missed if you’re in the South West during these dates.
Finally, if you’re looking for the best Christmas Market in the South West to kick off the holiday period, look no further than Frome. Frome’s Christmas Extravaganza Market is just as special as it sounds, even more so because it’s only around for one night! Frome is one of Somerset’s real gems, voted one of the best places to live in Britain. It’s filled with historic buildings and independent businesses and is worth a visit any time of the year, but the Christmas Extravaganza is not to be missed.
Admission is free, and the market is full of stalls selling crafts, jewellery, artwork, ceramics, and clothes, accompanied by an abundance of options for food and drink while you browse. The Extravaganza also includes the Frome Christmas Light Switch-On, which is the perfect way to officially start the countdown to Christmas.
Hopefully this list has given you some ideas about where to spend the festive period! If you want to spend more time holidaying in the South West, why not browse our static caravans for sale in Devon and Somerset?