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Where to find Christmas markets in the Cotswolds [2023]

With wooden chalets draped with sparkling lights, colourful Christmas decorations, locally made gifts and crafts, and the smell of mulled wine and roasted chestnuts – Christmas markets have become an annual tradition. And there are a host of Christmas markets in the Cotswolds which add an extra dose of sparkle to the region’s towns and villages. Our guide to Cotswold Christmas markets in 2023 takes you through the markets not to miss, from big names to smaller events.

Christmas markets in the Cotswolds

Where to find Christmas markets in the Cotswolds
Christmas markets

Bath Christmas Market

Thursday 23 November to Sunday 10 December 2023

After celebrating its 20th anniversary last year, the Bath Christmas Market is back for 2023. The UNESCO World Heritage listed historic streets around Bath Abbey are given a magical Christmas makeover, with over 170 wooden chalets selling crafts from around the southwest and beyond, including pottery, handmade jewellery, candles, knits, artworks and homewares.

There are also food and drink stalls, and pop-up chalets on Bath Street and Christmas carts on Green Street to help highlight some of the area’s smaller businesses. The market helps raise money for charity, and is trying to be more sustainable by reducing single-use plastics.

You can also celebrate Christmas in Bath with a spin around the Bath on Ice skating rink in Victoria Park, visit the Winter Wonderland at the American Museum and Gardens, listen to carols at Bath Abbey, warm up at the Thermae Bath Spa or have afternoon tea at the Pump Rooms.

Bath Christmas Market by the Roman Baths
Bath Christmas Market

Cheltenham Christmas Market

Thursday 16 to Sunday 19 November and Thursday 14 to Saturday 23 December 2023

Cheltenham’s annual Christmas market also returns this year, with two different markets on the Promenade. First up is the Christmas Gift Market in November, with a range of Christmas gifts, homewares and decorations for sale. You can pick up a warming hot chocolate or a mug of mulled wine or cider, and fill up on foodie treats like waffles, crêpes and German sausages.

Then the traditional Arts and Crafts Christmas Market in December focuses on independent traders who’ll be selling crafts and gifts including glassware, jewellery and art prints. There’s also an artisan market featuring local creatives at Pittville Pump Room on 25–26 November.

You can also get into the Christmas spirit in Cheltenham with a trip to the panto at the Everyman Theatre – this year’s show is Mother Goose. Cheltenham’s indoor ice rink in Imperial Gardens is back for 2023, and there are also candelight carols at Christ Church Cheltenham.

Stalls at Cheltenham Christmas Market
Cheltenham Christmas Market

Cirencester Christmas Markets

25–26 November, 2–3, 10, 16–17 and 19–21 December 2023

There are a series of different Christmas markets in Cirencester, starting with the Advent Market on 25–26 November. This will feature over 100 market stalls selling food, drink and gifts, which stretch out along the length of the Market Place and into Cricklade and Castle Streets. And the streets will be decorated with lights and Christmas trees, with live music and carol singing.

On 25 November the town’s Christmas lights will be switched on at 4pm, with silent fireworks, light projections and falling snow. And after that there are Christmas gift markets on 2–3, 10, 16–17 and 19–21 December, as well as farmers’ markets and the normal Charter Markets.

You can also see a sea-shanty version of Treasure Island at the Barn Theatre as this year’s panto, and admire the beautifully decorated Advent trees in Cirencester Parish Church.

St John the Baptist church in Cirencester
Winter in Cirencester

Stroud Christmas Markets

Wednesday 20 to Friday 22 December 2023

When Christmas is fast approaching, Stroud’s Christmas Markets are a great opportunity to finish off your Christmas shopping with some locally produced presents. There will be an eclectic mix of crafts, gifts and foods on sale at Cornhill Market Place on 20–22 December. And the Subscription Rooms are also hosting Christmas markets on Saturdays 2, 9, 16 and 23 December.

Then Stroud’s award-winning Saturday farmers’ market has a special festive edition on 23 December from 9am–2pm if you want to stock up on the freshest produce for your Christmas dinner.

Festive food stall at a Christmas market in the Cotswolds
Festive food

Blenheim Palace Christmas Market

Friday 17 November to Sunday 17 December 2023

The prize for the Cotswold Christmas market with the grandest backdrop has to go to Blenheim Palace, the 18th-century palace in Oxfordshire built for the Dukes of Marlborough. Around 70–80 wooden chalets fill the palace’s Great Court, with local designers and makers selling homewares, jewellery, leather goods, textile and ceramics, as well as delicious food and drink.

The market is part of the Christmas at Blenheim event, which also includes an illuminated light trail through the palace grounds, Christmas afternoon teas in the Orangery, and the palace interiors transformed into Sleeping Beauty’s Kingdom with spinning wheels and fluttering fairies.

The market is free to visit, but if you’re arriving by car you need to book and pay for parking via their website, which costs £10 plus a £2.50 booking fee (or you can get to the palace by public transport using Stagecoach buses S3 or S7 from Oxford, or the S3 also connects to Chipping Norton).

Blenheim Palace Christmas Market
Blenheim Palace Christmas Market

One-off Cotswold Christmas markets

As well as the longer events, there are also several towns and villages which have one-off Christmas markets in the Cotswolds, often as part of their Christmas lights switch-on events. These markets are on a lot smaller scale, but have tons of charm and beautiful scenic backdrops.

Mulled wine at a Christmas market
Mulled wine stall

Nailsworth Community Christmas Goodwill Evening

Friday 24 November 2023, 2pm–7pm

Nailsworth’s bus station is transformed into a Christmas market with over 50 stalls, decorated with twinkling Christmas lights and festive greenery, for its Goodwill Evening, run by the Nailsworth Chamber of Trade and Commerce. Keep warm with mulled wine and street food, listen to Christmas carols and musical entertainment, and mail your Christmas wish list in Santa’s postbox.

Painswick Goodwill Evening

Friday 24 November 2023, 5pm–8pm

The Goodwill Evening in Painswick is a Christmas event for all the family that’s full of merriment and Christmas cheer. After the bells of St Mary’s Church ring out, there’s a lantern procession through the village and the chance to meet Father Christmas and friends. You can also tuck into mince pies, sing Christmas carols, browse gift stalls and make donations to a local food bank.

Sparkling Christmas lights
Sparkling Christmas lights

Moreton-in-Marsh Christmas Market

Saturday 25 November 2023, from 10am

Moreton-in-Marsh’s Christmas market runs throughout the day, so you have plenty of time to get your Christmas shopping done, with 75 stalls selling gifts, seasonal food and drink. Last year’s event raised money for new set of Christmas lights, and they’ll be switched on by VIP guest Father Christmas when the sun goes down, who’ll also meet local children in his grotto in Redesdale Hall.

Tetbury Christmas Market

Friday 1 December 2023, from 5.30pm

The streets of Tetbury will be lit by a festive lantern parade as part of the annual Christmas Fair and Market. There will also be Cotswold Christmas market stalls selling crafts, gifts, food and drink, and a brass band, Christmas carolers and Santa’s Grotto to add even more seasonal cheer.

Tetbury's Market Hall in the Cotswolds
Tetbury’s Market Hall

Malmesbury Late-Night Shopping

Friday 1 December 2023, 6pm–9pm

At the late-night shopping event, in Malmesbury, shops around the town will stay open late and there will be a selection of indoor and outdoor market stalls in the Upper High Street, Market Cross area and Town Hall. As well as craft stalls, street food and mulled wine, there will be entertainment for all the family with Santa’s Grotto, fairground rides for kids and carol singing.

Chipping Campden Christmas Market

Saturday 2 December 2023, 12pm–6pm

Chipping Campden Market Square is even more picturesque than usual as it’s transformed into winter wonderland for the town’s Christmas market, which also includes the Christmas tree lighting ceremony at dusk and a special appearance from Father Christmas. The High Street is closed to traffic, with stalls selling crafts, toys, gifts and food in the Market Square and Town Hall.

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire
Chestnuts roasting on an open fire

Christmas Under the Edge

Saturday 2 December 2023, 4pm–8pm

Christmas Under the Edge in Wotton-under-Edge brings the Christmas spirit to the town’s Long Street and Market Street. There will be craft and food stalls, and shops in the town centre will stay open late. You can warm up with Christmas teas at the Town Hall, see St Mary’s Church lit by candlelight and meet Santa, enjoy fairground rides and musical performances.

Winchcombe Christmas Festival

Friday 8 December, 5pm–8pm, and Saturday 9 December 2023, 10am–5pm

Finally, the last of our Christmas markets in the Cotswolds is the Winchcombe Christmas Festival. This bustling event sees shops around town staying open late for Christmas shopping and over 50 market stalls selling festive gifts and food, with mince pies and punch while you shop.

The streets of Winchcombe are decorated with over 70 real Christmas trees and there’s entertainment from carol singers, Morris dancers and street performers, as well as a Santa’s Grotto. You can also add on a visit to the Spectacle of Light at nearby Sudeley Castle.

Winchcombe Christmas Festival
Winchcombe Christmas Festival

Christmas markets further afield

You can also find Christmas markets near the Cotswolds in:

  • Bristol: 35 stalls in the city centre, with visits from Santa, live music in the Jäger Barn Bar and private igloos and gondolas available to hire (3 November–23 December).
  • Gloucester Quays: Over 90 stalls selling crafts, gifts and food, pop-up bars and street food stalls, plus an outdoor ice skating rink (weekends from 4–5 November to 16–17 December).
  • Stratford-upon-Avon: Victorian Christmas market filling the city centre with traders dressed in period costumes and over 300 stalls selling festive treats and gifts (7–10 December).
  • Tewkesbury: Christmas lights switch on with 100 stalls around the High Street, Church Street and Barton Street, plus fairgound rides and live music performances (19 November).
  • Worcester: The Victorian Christmas Fayre includes a street market with 200 stalls, a carousel and funfair, carol singers, magicians and street performers (30 November–3 December).
Christmas decorations on a festive market stall
Christmas decorations

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A guide to Christmas markets in the Cotswolds in 2023, with details of the region's festive markets including Bath, Cheltenham and Cirencester | Cotswolds Christmas markets | Christmas events in the Cotswolds | Cotswold Christmas markets guide

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Sunday 20th of November 2022

Hello, my name is Paul. I live in Bourton on the water and run a mobile coffee business (Tuk-Tuk) van.

Can you advise or put me in touch with any of the Christmas Market organisers regarding trading/pitch availability please.

Thanks Paul

Lucy Dodsworth

Tuesday 22nd of November 2022

Hi Paul, afraid I don't have any particular contacts at the markets but if you click on the links for each listing it'll take you to the organisers' websites and there should be contact details there.

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