Come to the forest and transform the chore of Christmas shopping into a fabulous pre-Christmas getaway. Here’s your guide to the traditional Christmas Fayres and markets near to our Forest locations.
A traditional Christmas starts with Christmas shopping. This year, escape from the tyranny of the high street and transport yourself to local markets and craft fayres, where every present is unique and the scents and sounds of mulled wine, mince pies and carols fill the air. Then wrap your presents in the glow of a wood-burning stove before sinking into a hot tub beneath the stars for a festive glass of bubbly. We’ve found the markets for you; just choose your location, book your cabin, and enjoy. Act quickly though, because cabins are going fast.
There’s still availability at Deerpark for the weekend of 5th-8th December, when you can catch the magic of Christmas in the atmospheric little harbour towns of Looe and Polperro. Watch the Christmas lights switch-on, follow the lantern procession in Looe, visit Santa and browse the Christmas fayres and markets for local produce and handmade Christmas gifts.
The best time to book a cabin at Thorpe Forest is the last weekend in November – so you’ll need to get a move on! This is the weekend of the Bury St. Edmunds Christmas Fayre. The Fayre lasts for four days and is boosted by the regular market as well as the late night opening of local shops on Thursday 27th November. There will be fairground rides, entertainment and free refreshments too.
At Blackwood Forest you are spoilt for Christmas shopping choice. We recommend Winchester Christmas Market, described (possibly by the town council) as being one of the best in Europe. Based on the German model, it is housed in pretty alpine-style cabins in the Cathedral grounds and attracts over 350,000 visitors a year. It promises Christmas gifts that you won’t find on the high street, with an emphasis on British crafts, from jewellery to paintings to glass making and more. Running until 21st December, the atmosphere will be truly special, helped along by delicious foods, heart-warming drinks, carol singing and even outdoor ice skating.
Forest of Dean
A stone’s throw from our Forest of Dean location, in the village of Christchurch, is the delightful Hot Pot Pottery Studio. Despite being closed for winter they throw their doors open on 6-7th December for their annual Christmas Fayre. It’s an intimate affair, with local craftspeople’s work for sale, a cosy wood burner and tasty homemade treats. Buy special Christmas gifts or create something entirely unique and personalised with pottery painting.
Book today to be sure of a cabin at Sherwood Forest for 27th November. That’s when nearby Edwinstowe village switch on their Christmas Lights. There will be entertainment for all the family, you can meet Santa, enjoy fairground rides, sing carols with the brass band and, of course, pick up your Christmas presents from the craft stalls. Spend the rest of your break congratulating yourself on getting Christmas in the bag, sparing a passing thought for the harassed Saturday shoppers as you sink into your hot tub…
Cropton and Keldy
How about heading for the coast for your Christmas shopping trip? The 2nd Whitby Christmas Market is on 27th November and Scarborough has Christmas markets on the first two weekends in December. Both are within striking distance of Cropton and Keldy, and after doing your shopping you can head back from the bright lights and noise to the darkness and tranquillity of the forest.
Ardgartan Argyll and Strathyre
And finally, if the crisp winter air of Scotland and the possibility of Christmas snow are calling…
First to Ardgartan Argyll, where the smallest of our selection of Christmas Craft Fayres is almost upon us. Starting at 10pm on Sunday 23rd November, it will be over by 2pm. It’s at the Three Villages Hall in Arrochar and it will no doubt stir memories of simpler Christmas celebrations in times gone by. Book your cabin today!
If that’s too small, or too soon, our Strathyre suggestion will fit the bill. The Stirling Farmers’ Market is on 13th and 20th December and offers a dazzling selection of the finest Scottish produce. Ideal for Christmas gifts, or, if the presents are sorted, some luxury fayre for the Christmas table.
Book now to begin a new Christmas shopping tradition
Who said Christmas shopping had to be stressful? Capture your Christmas spirit early this year and combine some pleasurable Christmas market mooching with a well-deserved Forest Holiday. Are you ready to start a new tradition?