Xmas Markets are go!
Love to shop local? Grab your tote and head to one of these cracking 18 Xmas markets around Devon to get your shopping list sorted. (Just in case the magic elves are a no-show.)
So here it is, Merry Christmas.. okay, not quite but hey, the festive fairs and markets across Devon have already started, a chance to get off the high street and support the county’s fabulous local talent. Ready to shop? Too right you are!
When: Fri 30 – Sat 31 Nov
What to expect: two days of live music, kids entertainment, a Christmas fair and all of Dartmouth’s lovely art galleries and shops to explore, with a pretty lantern procession on the Saturday night.
Exeter Christmas Market, Cathedral Green
When: 16 Nov – 19 Dec
What to expect: Ever since the cathedral took over the running of the market on their green a few years back, the quality has gone up shed-loads. Treat yourself to a handmade necklace or grab a bag of fudge for the perfect stocking filler. A quality, totally tat-free zone.
Sigi’s Pop Up, Totnes
When: 25 – 30 Nov
What to expect: A not to be missed annual pop-up at Nine, Totnes, curated by clothes designer Sigrid Verschraegen – lots of fab local clothes and craft makers to choose from, including ceramics, textiles and handmade belts and bags.
Present Makers, Honiton
When: until 21 Dec
What to expect: Get a load of the talent of South West-based contemporary crafts people and designer-makers at the Thelma Hulbert Gallery, Honiton. I defy you not to tick off that Xmas gift list, with a range of top-notch hand-made jewellery, furniture and prints on offer.
When: Every Tuesday 3,10,17 Dec
What to expect: Totnes Tuesday nights in the run-up to Xmas are not to be missed: shops are open till 9pm and the streets are lined with stalls, selling street food, art, craft, scented candles – if this doesn’t get you feeling Xmassy (or at least the hot mulled punch) nothing will.
Butcher’s Hall Christmas Market, Tavistock
When: 6 and 19-23 Dec
What to expect: A curated Miss Ivey event, jam-packed with perfect gift ideas for everyone on your list with a range of artisan traders selling a wide range of festive prezzies; from food to drink to unique trinkets. It’s free entry from 9:30 until 4:00, so shop your heart out.
When: until Sun 5 Jan
What to expect: Only the best quality local craft your hard-earned cash can buy. Bovey’s annual exhibition of designer-makers with over 50 UK designer-makers to the rescue.
When: 28 Nov – 19 Dec
What to expect: More than 50 traditional cabins including the Bavarian Bar, with bling, homware, artwork and clothing on sale, and once you’ve had your fill of those cherry-bakewell favoured Retro Shotz, you can get go your festive selfie at the illuminated bauble.
When: Sat 30 – Sun 1 Dec
What to expect: Fifty indie creatives under one roof, at Maker Mart next to Coolings Bar on Gandy Street, with a Thursday night preview from 5-9pm with live music, drinks and ooh, eco-glitter face painting.
When: Sat 14 – Sun 15 Dec
What to expect: A pop-up to enhance the already tempting shops – including toys, crafts, kitchen and glassware and outdoorsy clothes – with cooking demos, live music and fun for the kids kids craft in the shape of face painting and magic shows with Elfic the Juggler – plus as a special visit from Father Christmas. Then you walk up the hill to the gardens and grab lunch or a hot choccy at The White Hart.
When: Thurs 5 Dec
What to expect: An evening fair with an eco-friendly bent, steering you away from gift-related waste and to hand-made, recycled, reusable and wildlife focused products from local, responsible businesses.
When: Just three days before the big day so you can buy fresh – Sun 22 Dec
What to expect: more like what not to expect! Cheese, herbs, olives, meat, coffee, wine, fruit and veg. Free entry and good doggies welcome.
Bath Christmas Market, Bath
When: 28 Nov – 15 Dec
What to expect: A whopping 150 wooden chalets set along Bath’s pretty Georgian streets (lots of which are from local artisan makers #supportlocal). It’s been voted Number 1 UK Christmas Market so is bound to be a goodie, plus you can pop to one of the spas afterwards for some post-shopping R&R.
The Harbourside Christmas Market, Bristol
When: weekends until Sat 14 Dec
What to expect: A 50-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.
When: until Sun 1 Jan 2020
What to expect: All things Alpine, from the Alpine market to the two-storey Alpine Lodge. Just no Alps. The Christmas Tree Wonderland free festival trail with 100 glittering trees and illuminations including a walk-through giant tree and ice-skating sounds good though.
When: 7 Nov – 23 Dec
What to expect: For its 20th year the Frankfurt Christmas market will be open for an extra week this year. It’s all very German – heavy on beer, sausage and pretzels – with over 80 stalls sprawling out along New Street and in Victoria Square. The ice rink and Big Wheel will be returning for 2019.
Southbank Centre Winter Market, London
When: 8 Nov – 5 Jan
What to expect: As well as Christmas produce, artisan treats and other goodies sold from Nordic-themed chalets standing along the river, there’ll be an Applebee’s pop-up restaurant and alpine-style lodge under the bridge.
Hyde Park Wonder Wonderland, London
When: 21 Nov – 5 Jan
What to expect: The big one. Along with 100 wooden chalets there’ll be *deep breath* ice skating, ice bars and sculpting workshops, rides, Santa Land, shows, boozy Bavarian Village and, new for 2019, A Christmas Carol, 70m lit-up ferris wheel, Paddington and Mr Menshows for children. It’s free to enter and get in on the festive atmosphere, but you’ll have to pay for the attractions.