With December fast-approaching, Christmas spirit is in the air! From towering trees covered in twinkling lights going up in town squares and supermarket aisles lined with Christmas confectionery, there is no denying that Christmas is upon us! We believe that there is nothing better than wrapping up warm and visiting a Christmas Market and, fortunately, the South West has some fantastic ones taking place this year for you to visit.
Bristol Christmas Market, Bristol
9th November – 23rd December 2018
The hustle and bustle of a German Christmas Market is unlike any other, and a visit to one is perfect if you’re looking to kick-start the festive season. This traditional Bristol German Christmas Market offers a selection of authentic food and drink stalls, where you can tuck into an assortment of Aberdeen aged burgers, a traditional Shwekengrill hog roast, indulgent crepes and giant bratwursts, either whilst walking amongst the stalls or sitting down with a large hot chocolate to wash down.
New for this year at the Broadmead location is a three-land curling rink, where you can test out your skills with friends and family before exploring the homemade gifts on offer. The stalls have a range of products that are perfect for you to give this Christmas, as well as to pick up for yourself!
The convenient location in the Bristol Shopping Quarter means that there is plenty of parking nearby. Cabot Circus car park has over 2,500 spaces and is situated within walking distance, with The Galleries shopping centre also offering 1,000 spaces.
Etsy Made Local Exeter Christmas Market, Devon
1st – 2nd December 2018
The Exeter Phoenix is set to come alive over the first weekend of December, with the Etsy Made Local Market coming to town! The online marketplace is a haven for handmade and vintage items, and visitors can expect to see a wide variety of things on offer – wonderful if you’re looking for something extra special to give! The first of its kind in Exeter, all the items on offer have been made in the South West, with 45 stands for you to look round whilst enjoying music from local singer-songwriter Sadie Horler and musician Bradley Hicks.
Group spokesperson, Rosie Johnson said “we are thrilled to be hosting the first ever Etsy Made Local market in Exeter. We have such a wealth of talent in the area and this is the perfect opportunity to show it off! Etsy is a well-known and respected online marketplace, we love selling and shopping there. The beauty of these markets is that you get that same high-quality product with the bonus of being able to meet the person who made it. We are proud of the creative businesses here in the South West and we look forward to doing all we can to support and promote them in the future. Get your Christmas shopping done and dusted in one weekend while supporting your local independents. Win-win!”
Although general parking is unavailable at the Exeter Phoenix, there are a number of parking spots around the city which can be found on the Exeter City Council website. If you are a Blue Badge holder, and perhaps a member of the Mercedes Motablility scheme, there is a space available on a first come, first served basis at the Phoenix for your use.
Bath Christmas Market, Bath
22nd November 9th December 2018
The chalet-lined streets, with their twinkling lights, beautifully-handmade gifts and mouth-watering festive food is the perfect thing to do if you’re looking to spend an evening in Bath. Over the Christmas period, the city transforms into a winter wonderland, with the Christmas Market a favourite of many. Whether you’re browsing for some gift inspiration, are hoping to sample a raclette-covered jacket potato or are simply looking to feel festive, there’s something you’ll love here.
This year, the market is expanding into Milsom Street, with plenty more stalls showcasing the talents of local people. Over 80% of the stallholders are from Bath and the South West, providing you with a fantastic opportunity to support local businesses. There’s something for all the family too, with festive face painting, a kid’s café and arts and crafts workshops taking place.
Getting to the market is accessible, with many coach trips offering visitors the chance to attend without the worry of parking! However, by car, there is park and ride services on offer, as well as a map of available car parks, which can be seen here.
Padstow Christmas Festival, Cornwall
6th – 9th December 2018
The Padstow Christmas Festival is one of the highlights of the festive calendar. With so much for you to do, you’ll no doubt enjoy wandering amongst the stalls, watching the Santa Fun Run and getting inspired by the Rick Stein food demonstrations. Less of the traditional Bratwurst you’d find at a German market, Padstow showcases the best of the South West, with the festival gaining a reputation for its fantastic food offerings. From artisan bread and crumbly cheeses to creamy fudge and gourmet sausages, you’ll find something to tickle your taste buds.
Stopping nearby is recommended if you’re looking to enjoy a pint from the Padstow Brewing Company or one of the other 18 stalls with alcoholic offerings. For the designated driver, a range of tea and coffee stands have the finest flavours around, so you won’t feel as though you’re missing out on discovering something special. Plus, there is festival parking in the town council car park, as well as a park-and-ride service for free taking place over the weekend.
Truro Winter Gift Fayre, Cornwall
12th – 20th December 2018
Head down to The Piazza at Lemon Quay for a week of festive cheer! The Truro Winter Gift Fayre has become one of the most popular fayres in Cornwall thanks to its range of arts and crafts, jewellery, food and drink and more! What was once the Victorian Christmas Market, the fayre now handpicks over 80 traders whose stalls you can peruse at your own pace. The fayre advises you to make use of the city’s park-and-ride service, although there are carparks closer if you’re visiting with young children or those with low mobility.