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These types of open-air Christmas markets are traditionally held in town squares and sell a variety of foods from Bratwurst sausages to Christmas ginger bread men or Stolen (a kind of sweet bread) and there’s always the odd mince pie to be found! Why not sample a warm mulled wine or hot chocolate whilst you’re browsing the festive stalls? The markets sell everything from traditional Christmas decorations to a variety of hand-made and food-based gifts, so you are sure to find that perfect Christmas gift.

Some smaller towns may celebrate with a Christmas festival instead of a Christmas market and have a larger variety of small activities such as fairground rides, fireworks or a mini ice rink and of course the Christmas lights switch on is definitely one not to be missed if you love local radio personalities and pantomime actors!

Christmas markets and festivals are a great way to experience the local community if you are considering moving to a new area.  A town that can pull together a great event is often also a great place to live. You can usually find out details of Christmas events on the local council website, local facebook groups, and Google is always a winner for local event searches.


Here is our guide to the top 5 Christmas events in England

 

1. Winchester Christmas Market, Winchester, Hampshire

Where is it?
Winchester Christmas open-air market is in Winchester Cathedral’s Inner and Outer Close. The market has free entry.
The market is similar to the traditional German Christmas markets and is recognised as one of the best in Europe due to the 100 or so pretty wooden chalets that surround the open-air ice rink. Find out more about Winchester Christmas market.

When is it open?
20 November – 22 December
Sunday – Wednesday 10am – 6pm
Thursday – Saturday 10am – 7.30pm

What’s on offer?
The stalls sell a variety of items including cashmere scarves, gloves and hats, woollen socks and jumpers, pottery, paintings, jewellery, Christmas decorations, candles, wreaths and bath bombs.

How do I get to the Winchester Christmas market?
Winchester station is just a ten-minute walk to the Cathedral. If you want to drive, there are a number of short-stay car parks in the city and there’s also a park and ride available.
If you’re thinking of visiting this Christmas market and are also considering a retirement move to the area, why not check out the retirement developments in Winchester and the surrounding area while you’re there?

 

2. Fleet Christmas Festival, Fleet Hampshire

Where is it?
Fleet Christmas Festival fills almost the entire stretch of the high street with over 100 stalls offering a variety of Christmas gifts and crafts as well as a delicious selection of food and drink to purchase or to take home as a gift. Admission is free. Find out more about Fleet Christmas Festival.

When is it open?
29 November 3pm – 9pm

What’s on offer?
As well as a variety of festive stalls, the festival also offers live music from local choirs, fairground rides and a Christmas lights switch on. You could also have your family photo taken in a real snow globe!

How do I get to the Fleet Christmas market?
Fleet station is approximately ten-minute’s walk away and is on the same road as the Christmas Festival. Although the high street is closed to traffic, there are buses that run from the station towards the high street. There’s also a multi-story car park available in the town.
If you’re thinking of visiting this Christmas market and are also considering a retirement move to the area, why not check out the retirement developments in Fleet and the surrounding area while you’re there?

 

3. Bath Christmas Market, Bath, Somerset

Where is it?
The award-winning Bath Christmas market is in its 17th year and has over 200 festive stalls spread out across the picturesque Georgian streets of Bath.
When is it open?
23 November – 10 December
Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday 10am – 7pm
Thursday, Friday & Saturday 10am – 8:30pm
Sunday 10am – 6pm

What’s on offer?
The opening ceremony is one not be missed as there will be live entertainment from the Bath Spa Band and an opportunity to meet the Snow Queen. The market offers a variety of musical entertainment form children’s choirs to three-piece entertainers, pianists and chamber choirs - so there’s something to suit all musical tastes. In addition, there will be children’s festive storytelling and children’s Christmas crafts. Take a break from the stalls and enjoy a winter warmer from Bath Ales’ Lodge on Stall Street and enjoy a glass of mulled wine. Find out more about Bath Christmas market.

How do I get to the Bath Christmas market?
Bath Spa railway station is situated in the centre of Bath which is only a short walk to the market. Bath is lucky to have three park and rides running seven days a week and it’s just a 10-minute bus ride into the centre of Bath. Bath has several bus operators operating in the city so travelling to the market is easy.
If you’re thinking of visiting this Christmas market and are also considering a retirement move to the area, why not check out the retirement developments in Bath and the surrounding area while you’re there?

 

4. Warwick Victorian Evening, Warwick, Coventry

Warwick Victorian Evening is a traditional themed Christmas market located in the city centre and admission is free.


When is it open?
30 November 5pm – 9pm


What’s on offer?
The Warwick Victorian Evening in Warwick's town centre has a fantastic atmosphere and the local radio station Touch FM host the evening. In the market there are a variety of Victorian themed market stalls and charity stalls to browse through. There’s also a traditional steam-powered carousel, a Victorian Ferris wheel, traction engines, fire spinners, fairground organs, walk about acts, a policeman on stilts, Church choir and a competition for shopkeepers and stall holders for the best dressed Victorian outfit. 

Half way through the evening, Father Christmas will help the Major of Warwick switch on the town’s Christmas lights. Towards the end of the evening, the Spa Centre Panto will make an appearance with the cast of Sleeping Beauty. Find out more about Warwick Victorian Evening.

How do I get to the Warwick Christmas market?
Warwick railway station’s just over ten minutes’ walk away from the City centre, however, there are plenty of taxis and buses available to take you to the City centre. If you fancy driving, there is a car park in Linen Street or New Street and it is open all night.
If you’re thinking of visiting this Christmas market and are also considering a retirement move to the area, why not check out the retirement developments in Warwick and the surrounding area while you’re there?

 

5. Chester Christmas Market, Chester, Cheshire

Where is it?
Chester Christmas market is located in the heart of Chester in Chester Town Hall Square. Entry is free and there are over 70 traditional festive wooden chalets all set around a stunning traditional sparkling Christmas tree.


When is it open?
16 November – 20 December
Sunday - Wednesday 10am – 6pm
Thursday 10am – 8pm
Friday & Saturday 10am – 7pm


What’s on offer?
The chalets sell a variety of traditional festive gifts, local and regional products, clothing and traditional wooden crafts. Some other items on offer include Belgian coconut macaroons, candles, gingerbread, toffee, chocolate wine, cheese, fudge, hog roast, jewellery and garlic.
There’s also warm mulled wine and hot chocolate on offer to keep you warm whilst you’re walking around. Find out more about the Chester Christmas market.

How do I get to the Chester Christmas market?
Chester Railway station is approximately 400 metres away from the Christmas market, so it can be reached by foot but if it’s too cold, why not take a taxi? If you prefer to travel by bus the city is well served by local bus services and has its own ‘City Centre Bus’ which picks you up from the Railway station and drops you off at the city centre for a very low fair.
If you’re thinking of visiting this Christmas market and are also considering a retirement move to the area, why not check out the retirement developments in Chester and the surrounding area while you’re there?
   
              

 

 

 

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