Exeter Christmas Market, Exeter

Exeter Christmas Market, Exeter

Supporting local businesses, independent traders, artist and crafters as well as introducing delicious festive food from around the world, is the always popular Exeter Christmas Market, just outside the Exeter Cathedral Green. 

Waking up in my small town in Cornwall, I was excited to be heading to the cathedral city of Exeter in Devon to witness its Christmas Market for the very first time. A couple of friends and I had arranged the trip quite spontaneously, having realised only a few days before that the month-long market was about to begin. Ready to embrace the festive spirit, we hopped in the car and within 2 hours were rolling past the River Exe as we entered the city.

Parking up and walking through the city, I could already feel the merry mood – shoppers had glasses of mulled wine, windows were illuminated with pretty lights and sweet decorations, and on nearly every corner were Christmas trees sitting in their evergreen finery. We followed the merry crowd through the streets and found ourselves at the Cathedral Green where the real Christmas celebrations began.


Underneath the watchful eye of the impressive Cathedral was an array of Christmas stalls, festive stands and wintery booths – it was like stepping into a child’s winter wonderland! The first thing that hit my senses was the mouth-watering smells that came from the food court. There were sweets, savouries and all in between with different cuisines from around the world – from Thai dishes to American style burgers and hot-dogs to Italian pizzas and pasta. Having lived in France for several years, I had a taste of home in the form of a delicious Tartiflette, a creamy potato dish made from potatoes, whipping cream and reblochon cheese – yummy!

Grabbing a cup of hot chocolate from another stand, we walked through the market in search of Christmas gifts for loved ones and we were not disappointed. There was an amazing selection of goodies to choose from, such as hand-carved trinkets like original hand-painted Russian dolls, stylish wooden cheese boards, bowls, clocks and Christmas decorations, as well as vintage clothes, teapots and furnishings. For lovers of the quirky and the unusual you can also find metal figurines, leather-bound diaries, Viking drinking horns and, my personal favourite, honey mead in the shape of potion bottles.

Jewellery, confectionary, soaps, cheeses and hand-made decorations and clothing – there was plenty for me and my friends to buy for Christmas. Not to mention a few little treats for ourselves. What’s more, a lot of the foodie stalls had free samples too – making it all the more tempting to go through the market again to make sure nothing was missed! 

After a couple of hours of browsing, we decided to take a break in the gazebo in the food court which had its own bar serving a range of ciders, beers and mulled wines. We enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere whilst hearing the carol singers outside and the buzz of happy shoppers still milling in the market. Once refuelled, we continued our exploration of the market and the city itself, before bundling our treasures into the back of the car and heading back home to Cornwall. 

Whether you are looking for a festive event to put you in the Christmas mood or trying to find a bespoke and unique gift for that special someone, head to Exeter Christmas Market and experience its wintery joys with both family and friends. This year’s market is being held from Friday 17th November to Sunday 17th December 2023.

Feeling inspired? Have a look at our luxury cottages in and around Exeter here.

You can find more about The Exeter Christmas Market on the Visit Exeter website.


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