With the season to be jolly well-and-truly upon us thanks to all those lovely retailer and their Xmas TV ads, we thought we’d look at what’s going on in towns across the Cotswolds and beyond to help you plan your Christmas shopping.
The Christmas lights in Bath will be twinkling from 24th November onwards. There’ll be carol singers, children’s entertainers as well as musicians to entertain you whilst you enjoy your seasonal shopping.
Bath’s Christmas markets also open on November 24th and run until December 11th, offering 170 traditional stalls as well as Santa’s Grotto, an ice rink and an Après Ski Bar.
The lights-on extravaganza takes plan on 2nd December in Bourton-on-the-Water and will be switched on at 6.30 p.m by BBC Radio Gloucestershire’s Mark Cummings. Remember the High Street will be shut to traffic for the evening.
As well as a visit from Santa plus various attractions for children, there will be a late-night shopping fair 4-9pm with plenty of stalls to browse for those special Christmas gifts.
This beautiful Worcestershire town on the edge of the Cotswolds will be open for late night shopping from November 25th to December 2nd. Carol singers, street entertainers and hundreds of pretty Christmas lights will put you in the mood to enjoy the independent shops, local tea rooms, pubs and restaurants, all of which will have late opening hours.
Cheltenham’s wonderful Christmas Market will run from November 24th to December 17th and can be found within the town’s beautiful promenade. Enjoy a mug of hot mulled cider and a warm winter roll whilst you peruse more than 40 stalls selling traditional homemade gifts, knick-knacks and tasty treats. Stalls will open from 10am-6pm.
On December 4th there will be free parking, late-night shopping, carol singing and a hog roast in the stunning market town of Chipping Norton. None other than Ben Fogle will be on hand to judge the festive competitions being organised, such as ‘Best dressed shop window’ and ‘Best shopkeeper’s Christmas jumper’.
Chipping Sodbury plays host to its popular Victorian Day, this year held on 3rd December.
As if by magic, Chipping Sodbury is transformed into a wonderland of delights.
The High Street and Broad Street are filled with Side-Shows, a Helter-Skelter, a Big Wheel, Steam Engines, Fair-Ground Organs, Father Christmas and even roasting chestnuts!
The event launches with school choirs performing in the street, followed by entertainers on two stages.
A snow machines guarantees the Winter atmosphere, and Father Christmas in his sleigh parades through the town headed by a Scottish piper.
The streets are lined with stalls from local charities and organisations, and many people dress up in Victorian costume to enhance the atmosphere.
The Christmas lights switch-on will be held in the town’s Market Place November 26th . There will be live music, plenty of delicious food from lots of different stalls together with festive fireworks.
The market will be open on November 26th , December 3rd and 4th featuring a mix of stalls and live music.
Dursley’s Victorian-themed festive entertainment and Christmas market takes place on Friday November 25th.
Evesham gets into the festive mood on November 26th from 12pm. Carol singers and musicians will be giving it their all throughout the day, plus you can visit the Christmas Craft Fayre taking place in Evesham’s town hall.
Father Christmas and his reindeer arrive at 3pm and from 5.30pm, the countdown to the Christmas lights switch-on begins followed by a fireworks extravaganza.
Evesham’s traditional Christmas market happens on the High Street from December 17th-24th.
Fairford town Market Place is the location for its Christmas market packed with stalls selling a variety of festive foodie treats and unique gifts. It all takes place on Friday December 2nd from 6.30pm onwards together with live street entertainment, fairground rides and an appearance from Father Christmas.
Explore the magic of ancient Puzzlewood where you can find Father Christmas and his elves roaming the woods on Wednesdays as well as the weekends of December 3rd-4th, 7th, 10th-11th, 14th, 17th-18th and 21st.
Discover the magical tale of Evie and her airplane plus the chance to meet Father Christmas in the mesmeric setting of Clearwell Caves from November 26th until January 6th.
Dean Forest Railway is running Santa Specials on selected dates from December 10th until Christmas Eve. As well as meeting Father Xmas himself on his own steam train, everyone will be treated to a delicious mince pie whilst every child will be given a free gift.
Gloucester Quays’ Victorian Christmas Market runs from November 17th-20th. The market will be selling all sorts of delicious food and drink together with festive gifts, whilst Christmas carols, a brass band and buskers will fill the historic docks with music, fun and games.
Festive treats, gifts and crafts – all locally made plus tasty local produce and over 60 stalls make up the annual Christmas Market taking place on November 26th.
Father Christmas will make an appearance at The Redesdale and will also attend the carol service by the town’s Christmas Tree.
Oxford’s Christmas Festival is running from November 25th-27th where an exciting programme of arts, culture and performances will be taking place throughout all of the city’s best-loved venues. .
Oxford’s Broad Street becomes home to the Oxford Christmas Market from December 8th – 18th brimming with homemade crafts, festive foodie treats and lots of Xmas goodies.
Painswick’s Goodwill Evening takes place in the town centre on Friday 25th November complete with Santa’s grotto.
Stratford’s famous Christmas light display goes lives on November 24th complete with festive fun throughout the day. There’ll be late-night shopping, seasonal markets and plenty of street entertainment to enjoy.
Enjoy Beauty and the Beast from December 16th at the Attic Theatre.
Now in its 12th year, the much-anticipated Christmas Tree Festival marks the start of the festive season in Stroud. Hosted by St. Laurence Church, the tree lights will be switched on November 27th by BBC Radio Gloucestershire’s Faye Hatcher. The festival runs from November 27th to December 4th.
Stroud’s annual Goodwill Evening takes place on December 2nd from 5pm. Visitors can visit Santa’s workshop as well as indulge in a spot of late-night shopping.
Tewkesbury’s annual Festival of Lights takes place on November 20th and celebrations begin at 12pm. There will be traditional carols and lots of different stalls to browse.
Father Christmas turns on the lights on at 5pm and children should have their wish list ready as he’s promised to reply to everyone.
The historic streets of Worcester will come alive from November 24th until 27th when the renowned Victorian-themed Christmas Fayre returns. Visitors can browse 150 stalls of artisan gifts whilst enjoying instrumental performances and lots of authentic charm.
The Arboretum’s Enchanted Christmas event promises to celebrate the beauty of Westonbirt’s trees. Visitors can walk a one-mile illuminated trail at the end of which Father Christmas and Mrs Christmas will be handing out gifts and telling seasonal stories. The event runs from November 25th – December 18th with the trail open from 5pm daily.
A Christmas Festival comprising music, festive food, gift stalls and entertainment takes place in Winchcombe on December 6th from 5-8pm. As well as numerous stalls, there will be seasonal 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 throughout the day on November 26th with stalls showcasing gifts from jewellery to woodcrafts at St Mary Magdalene Church complete with the sounds of choral singers.
Woodstock’s Christmas lights will be switched on at 6pm.
Christmas comes to Blenheim Palace from November 25th to January 2nd with the estate becoming a spectacular winter wonderland of illuminations including swaying and singing Christmas trees.