10 of the most festive towns to visit in the Cotswolds this Christmas

With festive markets, Christmas lights switch-on celebrations and independent shops to find extra-special gifts, there’s nothing more magical than Christmas in the Cotswolds – with SoGlos highlighting some of the most festive towns to visit this Christmas 2021.

Christmas is coming to the Cotswolds, bringing twinkling light switch-ons, carol singing and seasonal markets galore to some of Gloucestershire’s most picturesque town centres.

From Cirencester’s famous markets to enchanting tree displays in Stow-on-the-Wold, you’ll be hard pushed to find a more magical place to spend the festive season – with SoGlos handpicking 10 charming Cotswolds towns that are spreading Christmas cheer this November and December 2021.

About the sponsor – Cotswold District Council

Committed to supporting its local towns and villages this festive season, Cotswold District Council is encouraging consumers to visit its high streets, with a whole host of seasonal events to experience across the Cotswold district.

Visitors are invited to enjoy a spot of Christmas shopping, supporting independent traders and high-street favourites, as well as local craftspeople at festive markets and seasonal celebrations.

For more information about Cotswold District Council, visit cotswold.gov.uk and for what’s on in the Cotswolds this Christmas, visit cotswolds.com.

1. Christmas events in Cirencester

Christmas is coming to the capital of the Cotswolds – and Cirencester is the place to go to get your festive market fix this season.

Gift-hunters can support local by finding unique presents at the Christmas Arts and Craft Market on Saturday 20, Sunday 21 and Sunday 28 November 2021; while there are festive markets popping up to spread Christmas cheer from Saturday 4 to Thursday 23 December 2021.

Plus, the popular Advent Festival is coming back on Saturday 27 November 2021 – promising to be bigger and better than ever, with over 100 local traders filling the town centre to showcase their wares.

2. Christmas events in Tetbury

See Tetbury light up on Friday 3 December 2021, when the town centre’s Christmas lights will be switched on during a festive celebration around the Market House, featuring stalls from a range of local organisations, craft and small businesses. While Tetbury’s high street stores will also be open for late-night shopping.

Make it a full weekend of Christmas shopping, heading to Tetbury Goods Shed on Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 December 2021, where shoppers can find everything from art, pottery and glasswork to upcycled pieces and jewellery created by local craftspeople.

Not to mention, the nearby Westonbirt Arboretum is lighting up for the festive season with the return of its ever-popular Enchanted Christmas illuminated trail from Friday 26 November to Tuesday 21 December 2021.

3. Christmas events in Chipping Campden

Kick off the festive celebrations at Chipping Campden Christmas market, when the historic Cotswold town transforms into a winter wonderland on Saturday 4 December 2021.

Visitors can munch on mince pies, sip mulled wine and look for Christmas decorations, cards and special gifts from the wide variety of arts and crafts stalls. Complete with the town’s anticipated Christmas light switch-on at 5pm, there’ll also be a special appearance from Father Christmas.

Shoppers are in luck too, with a separate gift market to discover inside the town hall that’s sticking around until Sunday 5 December 2021.

4. Christmas events in Stow-on-the-Wold

Mulled wine, mince pies and free homemade soup are all on offer at Stow’s festive light switch-on event, which will see the town’s Christmas tree illuminated, followed by a heart-warming festive choir from the local primary school, on Friday 3 December 2021.

The charming St Edward’s Church is also hosting a Christmas Tree Festival from Thursday 9 to Sunday 12 December 2021. Providing a stunning spectacle, there will be over 30 beautiful Christmas trees on display at the church – inviting visitors to see from 10am to 5pm each day.

5. Christmas events in Moreton-in-Marsh

Taking place on Saturday 27 November 2021, Moreton-in-Marsh’s Christmas market will open at 9am, featuring up to 80 traders offering festive goodies with a mixture of giftware, food and drink – plus, visitors can expect Christmas entertainment throughout the day.

Closing the market on a high, the town’s Christmas lights will be switched on at 5pm. And for little ones, there’s the chance to meet Father Christmas throughout the day, with the man of the hour available to meet his fans from 12pm.

6. Christmas events in Lechlade

Expect nothing less from a riverside town than a Crafty Boaters Christmas market! Running across two weekends, from Saturday 27 to Sunday 28 November and from Saturday 4 to Sunday 5 December 2021, the two-day market champions local vendors and artisan producers only – with a range of stalls selling arts and crafts, flowers and foliage, food and drink.

Set within and around picturesque buildings in the centre of Lechlade, visitors can discover up to 48 indoor and outdoor stalls at The New Inn Hotel and The Riverside Pub.

7. Christmas events in Fairford

Fairford is hosting its annual Festive Market on Friday 3 December 2021, featuring over 40 stalls and food vendors, all local to the area. Pick up unique Christmas gifts or enjoy tasty hot food, with the stalls on Market Place open to explore from 6.30pm to 8.30pm.

And while there’s no grotto this year, Santa will be around to meet and greet exciting children and hand out sweet treats before he’s called to switch on the Christmas tree lights!

8. Christmas events in Bouton-on-the-Water

Popular with visitors all year round, Bourton-on-the-Water is simply stunning at Christmastime – and its famous Victorian Christmas Shop is a must-visit to get shoppers in the Christmas mood.

Spreading festive joy, the Rotary Christmas Charity Band Concert is taking place at The Cotswold School on Saturday 11 December 2021 – with lots of festive tunes and communal carol singing, too. Visitors can enjoy a free mince pie, while there are around 30 free seats available for elderly veterans and those on income support.

9. Christmas events in Guiting Power

Catch festive feels in a traditional Cotswold village with a winter visit to Guiting Power. Stock your Christmas cupboards with artisan goods from The Cotswold Guy, with its Christmas hampers making fantastic gifts; and don’t miss the Enchanted Light Trail at the nearby Cotswold Farm Park for a magical experience from Friday 26 November 2021 to Saturday 1 January 2022.

10. Christmas events in Northleach

Christmas enthusiasts can plan the perfect festive evening in pretty Northleach, gathering in Market Place for carols around the Christmas tree at 7pm on Monday 20 December 2021; before cosying up for a festive tipple in The Wheatsheaf Inn’s heated marquee.

For more information about Cotswold District Council, visit cotswold.gov.uk and for what’s on in the Cotswolds this Christmas, visit cotswolds.com.

By Annabel Lammas

© SoGlos
Friday 12 November 2021

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