Top 10 Christmas fairs & markets
Get into the Crimbo spirit with mulled wine, minced pies and Muddy's pick of the best festive markets and fairs in Somerset and beyond
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.
Unique Boutique Christmas Market, Exeter Phoenix, Sat 17 Nov
Now in its 9th year, Unique Boutique has most definitely established itself as Exeter’s alternative maker’s market. Come along to this wintery edition at Exeter Phoenix’s newly refurbished ground floor and you’ll see many of the regulars, as well as some newbies, across 40+ stalls. Prepare to part with some pennies!
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.
Christmas Gifts & Farmers’ Market, The Red Lion, Babcary, Sat 24 Nov
Does what is says on the tin – with hot mulled wine. 10am– 3pm. All local stuff, including Longman’s Cheeses, Asrawas Chocolate, Mary Temperley’s Make organic skincare and Somerset Feathers. There’s always the excellent pub to slope into, too.
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
Wonderland, Dartington Christmas Maker’s Market, Totnes, Thurs 29 Nov – Sun 2 Dec
Get to meet over 60 of the best makers in the South West, as well as eat, drink, shop, play, make, dance, sing, listen and, most importantly, enjoy. There are some brilliant makers and local indie brands involved. You can make your own gifts with your favourite makers. Plus, don’t miss Dark Poetry, Romany band, Nordic and Baltic choir, Santa Frau, Kids Create Workshops and the tiniest Gin Palace in the World.
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.
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.