Christmas Markets in the Cotswolds

Covering an area of almost 800sqm, the Cotswolds AONB is renowned for possessing some of the most picturesque towns and villages in the UK. Made all the more magical when winter casts its silvery cloak over the area’s golden stone and green hills, these towns and villages are also home to a number of unmissable Christmas markets, held annually to entertain and enthral all generations. 

Running through five counties (Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire, Wiltshire and Worcestershire), the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is a wonderful destination whatever the season. That said, the Cotswolds is particularly special in the depths of winter, when traditional Christmas markets spring up around the area’s towns and villages and beckon with handmade crafts, locally-produced food and simmering pots of aromatic mulled wine. 

If you can’t wait to get in the festive spirit this winter, here are some of the best Cotswolds Christmas markets to look forward to this year. 

Blenheim Palace Christmas Festival: 19th November – 19th December 2021

Blenheim Palace in Woodstock is set to host a superb, month-long Christmas festival in the Cotswolds this year. Discover the story of the Nutcracker inside the palace, explore the illuminated trail in the grounds and peruse the boutique chalets brimming with an eye-catching array of handcrafted gifts and irresistible foodie treats. Find out more here.

Cirencester Christmas Markets: 20th - 28th November 2021

Cirencester’s 2021 Christmas market will take place over the course of a week in November. Set in the town’s historic market place, the event will include all the festive flourishes you could hope for, including a giant Christmas tree, Christmas lights, carol singing, Christmas shopping, and, of course, lots of food and drink to warm your belly. Find out more here

Cheltenham Christmas Festival: 20th November – 19th December 2021

Promising to be one of the best Christmas markets in the Cotswolds is Cheltenham Christmas Festival. Stretching all the way along the town’s pedestrianised Promenade and Long Gardens, the festival will feature an assortment of food stalls selling everything from German Schwenkegrill to Italian macaroons to local cheese and fudge. Find out more here

Tewkesbury Christmas Market: 21st November 2021

Tewkesbury Christmas Festival of Lights is a well-known event held each year for the annual lights switch on. Spread out across High Street, Church Street and Barton Street in the town, the one-day event will start at noon on 21st November and feature fairground rides, live performances and 100 Christmas market stalls. Find out more here.

Moreton-In-Marsh Christmas Market: 27th November 2021 

Moreton-in-Marsh is one of the prettiest market towns in the northern Cotswolds, famed for its 18th Century buildings, wide main street and Medieval burgage plots. It also happens to host a brilliant Christmas market in the Cotswolds, set to take place on 27th November this year. Expect 80 stalls filled with local crafts and delicious food. Find out more here

Stroud Christmas Markets: 18th – 23rd December 2021

If you are foodie, then you should certainly put Stroud’s Christmas markets on your list this year. Shouldered by two farmers’ markets (held on Saturday 18th and Thursday 23rd), the event will bring together local producers and artisans. Wrap up in your cosiest layers and step out into the cold to enjoy these festive celebrations. Find out more here

Oxford Christmas Markets: 9th – 19th December 2021

Oxford Christmas Markets are planned to take place in the heart of the city along the historic Broad Street. From the choirs singing Christmas carols to the market traders selling all kinds of unique, handmade gifts, and from the happy chatter of merrymakers to the mouth-watering scents of spices hanging in the air, this is an unmissable Christmas market in the Cotswolds. Find out more here.

Stratford-Upon-Avon Victorian Market: 9th – 12th December 2021

Stratford-Upon-Avon’s award-winning Victorian Christmas market has become one of the largest and most popular in the UK. Showcasing over 300 traditional market stalls lining seven different streets, there is something for everyone here. There’s even a traditional funfair with an authentic Victorian carousel. Find out more here.

Sudeley Castle Spectacle of Light 2021: 26th November – 30th December 2021

One of the country’s most enchanting Christmas celebrations is Sudeley Castle’s Spectacle of Light festival. A twist on traditional Christmas celebrations, this event near Winchcombe offers an after-dark experience following stunning illuminated trails all around the castle grounds. Spiced mulled wine, creamy hot chocolate, warming food and sugary donuts are available from the Castle Terrace, as are unique gifts and souvenirs in the giftshop. Find out more here.

Feeling inspired? Take a look at our luxury holiday cottages in the Cotswolds for a Christmas escape.

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