Fab Christmas fairs and markets
Get into the Crimbo spirit with mulled wine, minced pies and Muddy's pick of the best festive markets and fairs in Wilts, Glos and beyond
It’s Christmaaaaaaaaassss! OK, not quite – but I think we’re allowed to get a leeedle bit excited now. The Christmas parties, carol services and panto are all to come, but hey, November is already seeing the start of the festive fairs and markets across Wilts, Glos and beyond. Ready to shop? Hell yeah!
Christmas Shopping at Whatley Manor, Whatley Manor, Malmesbury, Mon 26 Nov to Wed 28 Nov
Take away the stress of Christmas shopping with this unique collection of independent shops in the beautiful surroundings of Whatley Manor.
Very Cowley at Christmas, Cowley Manor, Cowley, Weds 28 – Thurs 29 Nov
Bath Christmas Market, around the Abbey and beyond Thurs 22 Nov – Sun 9 Dec
Voted No 1 Christmas market in the UK in 2017, this is a biggie, with 160 twinkling chalets filled with stuff to buy (mostly from the South West), and stuff to stuff yourself. Up in Milsom Street, you can sing around a piano and get your presents wrapped for free. The Festive Family Artisan Market in Queen Square has a kid’s café, street food, festive storytelling, Christmas arts and crafts workshops every Sat. If this is the kind of thing you like, you’ll love it.
The Harbourside Christmas Market, Bristol, Sat 24 Nov and then each Sat until Sat 15 Dec
A 70-stall makers market, showcasing the city’s most creative small businesses, including handcrafted wallets, artworks, infused gins and artisan chocolates and more. World food (and Somerset cider) and live music. All set against the atmospheric harbour backdrop.
The Dorset Brocante, Larmer Tree Gardens, Tollard Royal, nr Salisbury, Fri 30 Nov to Sat 1 Dec
A Christmas market with everything you’ll need for the festive season, with over 40 artisan stalls including vintage textiles, gifts, handmade food, furniture and seasonal workshops – complete with peacocks.
Chipping Campden, Glos, Sat 1 – Sun 2 Dec
Traditional Christmas market with over 40 gift and food stalls, local choirs and entertainment. There’s a Christmas lights switch exclusive to Saturday but the market continues on Sunday.
Hestercombe Christmas Market, Hestercombe House, nr Taunton, Fri 16 – Sun 18 Nov
Some 60 stalls selling festive wares from across the West Country in the courtyard of this historic house. The choirs, hot choc – these grown up marshmallows – and a sparkling Christmas tree will all help get you into the mood.
Winchester Cathedral Christmas Market, Hants, Sat 17 Nov – Thu 20 Dec
Bustling German-themed Christmas market, which is often recognised as one of the best in Europe. There will be over 100 chalets to explore with festive foods, decorations, plenty of gifts and an open-air ice rink.
Hightclere Castle, Berks, Wed 5 – Thu 6 Dec
Christmas at Downton, I mean Highclere. Frock up we’re off to impress Lord and Lady Carnavon at their annual Christmas Fair. Carols in the Saloon, enormous tree, handpicked gifts to buy in the State Rooms. You can expect the same at Muddy Berks HQ. It’s grandeur all the way, baby. It’s all In aid of charidee – Thames Valley Air Ambulance and St Michaels & All Angels Church, Highclere – and if you throw a few quid in the bucket you check our the gallery and the bedrooms. Oh the temptation to dive onto the divan.
Prince’s Countryside Fund Racing Weekend & Christmas Shopping Fair, Ascot Racecourse, Berks, Fri 23 Nov
Giddee up to Ascot for a full day of jump racing as well as Country Living Magazine’s Christmas Shopping Fair. Loads of indie pop ups offering seasonal goodies not available on the high street. A complimentary shop-and-drop service is available so you can hit the bubbles. (So. Going.)
Blenheim Palace Christmas Market, Woodstock, Fri 23 Nov – Sun 16 Dec
Blenheim doesn’t do things by halves and this Christmas in no exception. The Illuminated Light Trail will be back to light up Oxon’s skies with lasers, along with a brand spanking new Christmas market in the Great Court promising a hand-picked curation of gifts from textiles and homewares to leather goods, accessories and food. Also making its debut this Yuletide is the Cinderella experience, with the Palace State Rooms being transformed into scenes from the fairytale, Nov 23 – Jan 13.
Oxford Botanic Garden and Arboretum, Sat 1 – Sun 2 Dec
A little quieter and a little earlier than the main market on Broad Street. Along with your usual cohort of handcrafted gifts, Oxford Botanic Garden is promising floral mulled wine, Hot Toddies courtesy of The Oxford Artisan Distillery and Oxford University’s home grown Physic Gin.
Oxford Christmas Market, Broad St, Fri 7 – Sat 22 Dec
Oxford’s annual Christmas market runs almost right up until the big day. Broad Street will have 60 wooden chalets selling crafts, artisan booze and nibs – head for the hog roast!
Chipping Norton Christmas Market, Sun 9 Dec
What to expect: This annual Christmas market #liveslocal with over 70 stalls selling arts, crafts, food and drink including produce from the award winning Cotswold Distillery. Chippy is pulling out all the stops this year with a lantern procession, fairground, free pop-up festive cinema and the addition of a life-sized snow globe. There will, of course, be your obligatory mulled wine and live music. Profits will go to The Lawrence Home Nursing Team and The Friendship Club.
Southbank Centre Winter Festival, London, Sat 8 Dec – Sun 6 Jan
Up in London Town ? As well as purchasing Christmas produce, artisan treats and other goodies from the Nordic-themed chalets, visitors are in for a treat with Christmas shows, including Rumpelstiltskein, workshops, performances and other family-orientated fun.