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Cracking Christmas Markets

Feeling the need to shop? Here, let us facilitate that! Read on for your fill of the best local festive fairs.

It’s Christmaaaaaaaaassss! OK, not quite – but I think we’re allowed to get a leeetle bit excited now. The Christmas parties, carol services and pantos are all to come, but hey, November is already seeing the start of the festive fairs and markets across Hants, IoW and beyond. Ready to shop? Hell yeah!

ISLE OF WIGHT

Winchester Christmas MArketCarisbrooke Castle Christmas Market, Sat 16– Sun 17th Nov

Christmas in a castle? Don’t mind if we do. Sadly Liz isn’t inviting us to her gaff this festive season but popping along to this Christmas market on the Wight means you can at least pretend a bit. The kids can meet Bobby the Elf, the notorious Grinch and even a super cute donkey. It’s a great opportunity to select the perfect Island-themed Christmas gift, enjoy live entertainment and sip on copious amounts of mulled wine. Facebook 

Northwood House & Park, Sat 23 – Sun 24 Nov

Sit back and enjoy the ambience of Northwood House this Christmas. With so many local gifts and crafts, this is the ideal Christmas Market to find quirky and unique presents for all the friends and family. You can even take the dogs to meet and have a photo taken with ‘Santa Paws. And best of all, it’s free admission, so more money for the Christmas booze shop. northwoodhouse.org

I Love Wight Christmas Market, The Garlic Farm, Sat 23 – Sun 24 Nov

The wonderful Christmas market is back for the fifth year on the trot. Along with the huge range of fab foodie gifts available from the farm itself (Garlic Vodka, yes please!) there’s plenty of other artisan products on offer and it would be hard not to find something to sink your teeth into (potentially a garlic-laced mince pie… hmmm).  thegarlicfarm.co.uk

Briddlesford Lodge Farm Christmas Market, Sun 8 Dec

If you love handcrafted gifts then this is the market for you. Along with the fab food and drink the farm produces (you can stock your entire cheeseboard with its award-winning fromage) there’s also other Island food producers, local crafters and a chance to have a singsong by candlelight.  Facebook event

 Victorian Christmas at Osborne House, Isle of Wight, Sat 30 Nov – Sun 1 Dec

Christmas crackers, Father Christmas and the Christmas tree – the Victorian era lay the path for some of the most iconic Christmas traditions. If the outdoor activities at this decidedly 19th-centrury event – including carousels, toymakers, and fire shows – prove to be too much festive fun,  step inside to meet Father Christmas and listen to his yuletide tales. Plenty shopping, beautiful lights, incredible surroundings and a humorous retelling of A Christmas Carol, the only thing left to say is, ‘Merry Christmas!’ english-heritage.org.uk

HAMPSHIRE

christmas present wrappingSouthampton Christmas Festival and Christmas market, Thurs 14 Nov– Mon 23 Dec

A traditional German market, featuring unique alpine chalets right by Southampton’s West Quay, this market is perfect for attending when you need to get all your Christmas shopping done in one hit. With over forty stalls selling handcrafted, authentic gifts including toys, soaps, jewellery and of course waffles… waffles galore! Also, Father Christmas will be intermittently flying over the crowds of shoppers in his sleigh to hand out presents to all the children. visitsouthampton.co.uk 

Winchester Christmas Market, Wed 21 Nov – Sun 22 Dec

Set in the stunning grounds of Winchester Cathedral this market is recognised as one of the best Christmas in Europe (it’s in Hampshire, so of course it is!) With its unique location, the market offers over a hundred chalets selling high-quality Christmas gifts, decorations and festive food. And, to burn off all that Glühwein, get your skates on for the ice-rink in the middle of the market. winchester-cathedral.org.uk

Portsmouth Victorian Christmas Market, Fri 29 Nov –  Sun 1 Dec

‘Please sir, we want to some more… Christmas markets’ Alright then Oliver, how about the 20th anniversary of the Dockyard’s Victorian Christmas Market?  This unique event offers some well needed retail therapy and bundles of exploring, easily located near Portsmouth Harbour station as well means you can enjoy as much mulled wine as you want. Nice. historicdockyard.co.uk

Christmas in Lymington, New Forest, Fri 29 Nov

Pop down to the rather gorge town of Lymington and explore all of the festive fun it has to offer – New Forest style.  Expect plenty of locally produced food (yum) and a giant Snow Globe for some Instagram posing. As the night draws in, the lights get switched on and there’s festive carols by twinkly light – dreamy.  stallandcraftcollective.co.uk 

Christmas Late Night Shopping at the Long Barn, Alresford, Thurs 5 Dec

Scents of Christmas – pine, cinnamon, Terry’s Chocolate Orange… lavender? Errr, not exactly your traditional Christmas market but definitely worth a trek to.  With the most delicious smelling surroundings, Long Barn is a  festively decorated barn smack bang in the middle of fields of lavender. With endless decorations to lust over, glamourous presents to might want to keep for yourself, plus delicious food and drink this is the perfect spot to grab some Christmas presents. AND, you can even pick up your Christmas tree at the same time. #multitaskingqueen longbarn.co.uk

Nadia Waterfield Gallery Christmas Market, Fri 6 – Sat 7 Dec

This super luxury Christmas Market in Stockbridge brings together fantastic local crafters and artisans, with a backdrop of fine art and sculpture. Featuring Muddy faves Boho Betty and indie outfits such as Birdy & Voo, this is a great opportunity to grab some Christmas gifts and do some culture spotting as well. nadiawaterfieldfineart.com

Ginchester Christmas Market, Winchester, Sat 7 Dec

We like what they did with the name there and we LOVE what it’s about – Gin is still in! This festively boozy night offers plenty of local tipples to try, including Bombay Sapphire and Wessex Wild Plum. So, grab a group of chums, book a slot and stumble into Christmas *hic*. eventbrite.co.uk

Port Solent Festival of Christmas, Port Solent, Sat 7 – Sun 8 Dec 

Festive frolics by the marina sounds like something a little bit different. The Port Solent Festival of Christmas returns with over 90 stalls for Christmas shopping, balloon modelling, street theatre and my fave ukelele band the Pompey Pluckers. Free parking at this one as well.

portsolent.com

New Forest Christmas Fair, Exbury Gardens, Southampton, Sat 7 – Sun 8 Dec 

Rod Stewart would love this one! With an opportunity to go on an old-fashioned steam train *CHOO CHOO* your little ones will love this charming Christmas market at Exbury Gardens. For those less interested in miniature locomotives, have a nosy around all the wonderfully crafted stalls and select some of the most gorgeous Christmas presents and when you all get a little sleepy from the festive fun enjoy a yummy hot chocolate in the gardens. forestersevents.co.uk 

Old Thorns Hotel Christmas market, Liphook, Sun 8 Dec

With over 70-stalls of pure Christmas joy, this is a great day out for anyone in need of some present inspiration. Bring the kids along too, with plenty of activities to entertain them, including, face painting and a visit to Father Christmas, this is the perfect market for all the family. It gets a bit hectic this one and the traffic can build up so make sure you get here early! oldthorns.com

FURTHER AFIELD 

Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market

When: 7 Nov – 23 Dec

What to expect: For its 20th year the Frankfurt Christmas market will be open for an extra week this year. It’s all very German – heavy on beer, sausage and pretzels – with over 80 stalls sprawling out along New Street and in Victoria Square. The ice rink and Big Wheel will be returning for 2019.

 

Bath Christmas Market, Bath 

When: 28 Nov – 15 Dec

What to expect: A whopping 150 wooden chalets set along Bath’s pretty Georgian streets (lots of which are from local artisan makers #supportlocal). It’s been voted Number 1 UK Christmas Market so is bound to be a goodie, plus you can pop to one of the spas afterwards for some post-shopping R&R.

 

Southbank Centre Winter Market, London 

When: 8 Nov – 5 Jan

What to expect: As well as Christmas produce, artisan treats and other goodies sold from Nordic-themed chalets standing along the river, there’ll be an Applebee’s pop-up restaurant and alpine-style lodge under the bridge.

 

Hyde Park Wonder Wonderland, London 

When: 21 Nov – 5 Jan

What to expect: The big one. Along with 100 wooden chalets there’ll be *deep breath* ice skating, ice bars and sculpting workshops, rides, Santa Land, shows, boozy Bavarian Village and, new for 2019, A Christmas Carol, 70m lit-up ferris wheel, Paddington and Mr Men shows for children. It’s free to enter and get in on the festive atmosphere, but you’ll have to pay for the attractions.

WORDS: Phoebe Jordan

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Hampshire & Isle of Wight