In Christmas

Christmas is the perfect time to see some of our best known attractions in a whole new light!  As the nights draw in, and mornings and evenings bring with them a sense of gloom, you can enjoy the magic of a whole host of festive illuminations in the Cotswolds this Christmas.  It’s the perfect way to bring a sense of magic and wonder to this festive time of year.

Christmas at Blenheim
Discover a bigger and better trail for 2017 as you wander around the beautiful ‘Capability’ Brown landscaped parkland at Blenheim Palace from November 24th to January 1st 2018.  The beautiful Christmas lights trail finds the grounds aglow with immersive illuminations, making it perfect fun for all the family.  With winding paths, the scented Fire Garden, dancing flames and tranquil waters to explore, you’ll be guaranteed an unforgettable after-dark experience and memories that will last a lifetime.  And there’s plenty of opportunity to enjoy festive food and drinks from mulled wine to toasted marshmallows as you follow the trail.  Booking is essential.

Westonbirt Enchanted Christmas (photo Paul Box)
See trees in a whole new light at Westonbirt Arboretum’s Enchanted Christmas Illuminated Trail.  Walk through a magical wonderland of trees on the 45 minute trail, discovering an exciting array of beautiful light displays scattered amongst the trees – and there’s plenty of wintery magic to get involved with along the way.  Don’t miss the festive frivolity in the Christmas Village after the trail where you can meet Father and Mother Christmas, listen to local choirs or have a go on the traditional carousel.  From Friday 1st to Monday 18th December.  Booking is essential.

Sudeley Castle's illuminated Festival of Light Trail

Sudeley Castle provides a magical backdrop to the illuminated Festival Of Light Trail around the stunning grounds.  Marvel at the majestic trees and romantic ruins all lit under the stars and enjoy wonderful music as you discover each new secret!  With an amazing kaleidoscope of illuminated parasols, an enchanting tree with sparkling roots, meteors, Moroccan lanterns and much much more, it’s a festive event not to be missed.  Runs on various dates from 8th to 30th December.

Fairytale Farm's Enchanted Walk
When daylight fades, Fairytale Farm becomes a magical wonderland of fairy lights with its Enchanted Walk which runs every Saturday and Sunday until Christmas Eve.  The Mermaid Garden, Giant’s Camera, Extinct Band, Giant Party Poppers and Light Fountains will be a blaze of colour and the Hex Water Fountain will be lit in ever-changing colours.

Christmas illuminations at the Bird and Deer Park
The Bird and Deer Park at Prinknash is transformed into a winter wonderland from November 25th.  With its own resident reindeer, Rudolf, Prancer and Comet, visitors will be able to look out over the stunning valley of magical Christmas lighting from the new Visitor Centre balconies, where the trees and lakes will be flooded with coloured lighting, creating spectacular effects.

Broadway lights (photo courtesy of Crack the Lens)
Along with these special events, our wonderful Cotswold towns will be "lighting up" and putting on a great show for Christmas!

You’ll find 250 stalls and producers selling a wide range of locally produced food, drink, unique gifts and more at the annual Gloucester Quays Christmas Market from November 17th to 20th.

Tewkesbury Christmas Festival of Lights on November 19th is the town’s traditional event for switching on the Christmas lights and a great day out for all the family.  There’s a farmers’ market, food and drink stalls, gifts and craft stalls, fun activities and the grand Christmas lights switch on at 5pm.  

The magical and award-winning Bath Christmas Market will be bigger and better than ever this year with more than 200 twinkling chalets spread out across the picturesque Georgian streets of Bath.  Browse beautiful handmade and local Christmas gifts and soak up the sights, smells and festive ambience of Bath at Christmas.  It runs from November 23rd to December 10th. 

There’s late night Christmas shopping in beautiful Broadway on Friday 24th November and Friday 1st December when you can experience the magical atmosphere of Christmas.  Relax and enjoy wonderful independent shops, festive food, lights, music and entertainment.

Woodstock holds its ‘Night of a Thousand Candles’ on 25th November from 6pm in the Town Square – a magical evening with music, mulled wine and a special guest switching on the town’s illuminations.  

There will be a Christmas Market with over 60 stalls in Moreton in Marsh on 26th November, along with a Santa's Grotto, followed by their Christmas lights switch-on. 

Friday 2nd December is the date for a spectacular Christmas celebration in the streets of Chipping Norton with enticing events to suit every age and budget.  The centre of the town will be turned into a giant street market with craft stalls, art exhibitions, live music, pop-up Christmas cinema and even a giant snow globe!

Also on 2nd December, Chipping Campden will host its exciting annual Christmas Market.  There’ll be stalls selling unique gifts as well as a bevy of local entertainment and choir performances. The tree will be lit up at 4.30pm and the town’s lights will be switched on 30 minutes later. 

Cheltenham’s popular German-style Christmas market returns to the town from November 24th to December 17th.  It’s the highlight of Christmas shopping in Cheltenham with more than 40 traditional chalets selling a wide range of festive crafts and gifts.

Bourton on the Water’s annual Christmas Fayre takes place on December 2nd with shops open late until 9pm and plenty of entertainment including the lighting of the Christmas trees in the river at 6pm.

The Market Place in Cirencester is the venue for a wonderful array of festive gifts, decorations and food at the annual Cirencester Christmas Market on December 3rd and 4th while on the 6th December, Winchcombe Christmas Festival features carols from local choirs, Santa in his grotto and more than 40 stalls celebrating the festive season.

Stroud Christmas Markets have a special event at Cornhill Market Place on Christmas Eve, as well as their Christmas gift markets including crafts and good from Wednesday 21st to Friday 23rd December.


Sudeley Castle - Spectacle of Light
Sudeley Castle - Spectacle of Light

Explore the new illuminated trail around Sudeley Castle's stunning grounds, marvelling at the majestic trees and romantic ruins all lit under the stars. Enjoy the wonderful music as you discover each new secret of this magical environment.



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