With frosty mornings, festive events and foodie delights happening all over Gloucestershire, discover the ultimate Gloucestershire winter bucket list.
Go for a winter walk
Blow off the cobwebs and enjoy the great Gloucestershire countryside with one of 11 of the most beautiful walks in the county.
Wrap up warm, grab your wellies and head out to soak up the stunning views.
Take the kids to see Santa
It wouldn’t be Christmas without a visit to the big man himself! From festive breakfasts with Father Christmas to heading to his grotto, Gloucestershire is brimming with places to meet the man in red.
Check out 28 magical places to meet Santa in Gloucestershire.
Buy a real Christmas tree
Get the house feeling festive with a trip to one of Gloucestershire’s Christmas tree farms. With some even serving free hot chocolate, playing Christmas songs and selling beautiful wreaths, it’s bound to get your feeling the Christmas spirit.
Check out 18 places to buy your Christmas tree in Gloucestershire.
Go for a warming hot chocolate
Winter calls for all things chocolatey so, get your sugar fix with one of these 8 places for the best hot chocolate in the Cotswolds.
From marshmallow-topped treats to Oreo flavoured hot chocolates, there’s so many to try and with it being nearly Christmas? Well, it would be rude not to.
Drink mulled cider and wine
Warm your cockles on a cup of hot toddy, mulled wine or cider at one of the county’s Christmas markets or sip on a delicious local boozy beverage at Dunkertons Cider shop.
Go for a pie
Tuck into a winter warmer and treat your taste buds to a pie.
While The Weighbridge Inn in Minchinhampton is famous for its '2in1' pie created over 40 years ago, The Farmer's Boy Inn in Longhope prides itself on having won over 40 British Pie Awards!
For more inspiration, see 6 places to tuck into pies in Gloucestershire.
Sing along at a carol concert
Is it even Christmas if you’re not attempting to sing ‘Ding Dong Merrily On High’? Get ready to sing your heart out at one of Gloucestershire’s best carol concerts.
Taking place everywhere from local parks to the magnificent Gloucester Cathedral, find somewhere to sing along across the county.
Tuck into local seasonal produce
With Christmas well on the way, everyone’s thinking about food. And, with so many wonderful local farm shops in Gloucestershire, why not spruce up your home cooking with seasonal produce?
From apple pie to bubble and squeak, tomato soup to winter vegetable casserole, there are plenty of delicious dishes you can conjure up in the kitchen this winter with ingredients from local shops.
Decorate the house
Fill your house with wintry vibes with a home makeover this season; using a few tips and tricks, you can completely transform your home without going over budget. Scatter a few festive cushions, get creative and make your own lampshades, or simply hang up some festive decorations in time for Christmas.
For ideas on how to refresh your home without breaking the bank, see Just Fabrics’ expert insight.
Go for a Sunday roast
What better way to warm up than with a Sunday lunch? Whether you opt for a hearty family meal or a three-course feast, there are lots of restaurants and pubs in Gloucestershire offering something for all budgets.
Beef and Yorkshire puds or lamb and mint sauce, whatever your favourite is, there’s something for everyone. See our Sunday lunch guide to see what takes your fancy.
Go to a Christmas market
Start making your way through your Christmas shopping list at one of Gloucestershire’s ever-popular Christmas markets. Selling everything from mulled wine to Christmas cookies, festive decorations to handmade gifts, head to a market to get into the Christmassy spirit.
With carol singers, festive performers, and even Santa Claus himself, see our pick of Christmas markets in Gloucestershire.
Join a seasonal cookery class
Get your bake on this winter with seasonal cookery classes, such as Bake with Santa, Christmas Macaroons and Festive Breads, you’ll be stocking your cupboards with enough delicious treats to last the whole winter!
Get your apron out and get stuck in with Harts Barn’s Christmas cooking classes.
Make a festive wreath
Get ready for Christmas and make your very own wreath in one of Gloucestershire’s wreath-making workshops this winter. Using Christmassy decorations, festive foliage and wintery flowers, you’ll be guided through the steps of personalising your garland. Plus, there could be a few mince pies up for grabs!
Adding a touch of magic to your door, there’s nothing quite like hanging a festive wreath decked with beautiful adornments. See our pick of 15 wreath-making workshops in Gloucestershire this winter.
Get a new look for Christmas
With the festive season upon us, get party ready with a style refresh. Try out a new hairstyle, bring out that Christmas dress you’ve been hiding in your wardrobe, and all the sparkly eyeshadow you can find.
From classic up-dos to styling shorter hair, you could transform your look for Christmas in just a few simple steps.
Have a local Christmas getaway
Get the most out of the beautiful Cotswold countryside and treat yourself to a home from home. Go for a wonderfully wintery walk before cosying up at a tranquil hotel or bed and breakfast.
Whether you prefer somewhere characterful and traditional, or modern and contemporary, the Cotswolds has plenty on offer.
Pick your favourite from our round-up of 16 gorgeous hotels for a Cotswold staycation.
Tuck into some s’mores
Winter is a time for comfort food... and what could be more comforting than a s’mores brownie from The Village Cakery? Deliciously sweet and delightfully squidgy, the chocolatey brownies are topped with marshmallows for extra indulgence.
Start your Christmas shopping
Get into the Christmas spirit by joining the hubbub of busy shoppers, stopping to enjoy the stunning Christmas lights twinkling above your head and stepping out of the cold and into the warmth of one of the county’s many shopping centres by attending one of Gloucestershire’s late night shopping events.
For a full list of late night shopping events, or some fantastic gift ideas for those who are notoriously hard to buy for, be sure to check out SoGlos’s Christmas shopping guide.
Christmas afternoon tea
Treat yourself to a delicious afternoon tea at one of Gloucestershire’s quaint Cotswold tea rooms, or indulge in a more opulent treat at a luxury Gloucestershire hotel. Many offer a festive variation on their traditional afternoon tea, with a glass of mulled wine for those looking to make it an extra special occasion.
For our pick of the best afternoon teas in Gloucestershire, check out our afternoon tea hotlist.
Support a local charity
Christmas is a time for giving, so why not give back to those less fortunate this festive season; Gloucestershire is home to the Santa Fun Run in Gloucester and the Bibury Duck Race on Boxing Day, if you’re looking for fun ways to support local charities.
Alternatively, take a look at SoGlos’s hot list of 13 Christmas charity initiatives to support.
Go ice skating
The epitome of festive fun, gather your group of friends or family for a day on the ice at Cotswold Water Park near Cirencester or Gloucester Quays Ice Rink.
The experience is suitable for anyone over the age of three (Gloucester) or four (Cotswold Water Park), and special skating aids can be hired to help younger skaters to balance.
See the Christmas lights
What could be more Christmassy than wrapping up in scarves and hats to see thousands of twinkling lights gleaming over Gloucestershire. Consider taking a stroll through the magical trees at Westonbirt’s Enchanted Christmas or take in the wonder of the Spectacle of Light at Sudeley Castle.
Find out where your nearest Christmas light switch on is, with SoGlos’s handy Christmas lights guide.
Have a Christmas shindig
Grab your friends and family and plan a festive celebration over delicious food. Promising a fantastic atmosphere, many of Gloucestershire’s most opulent hotels and high-quality restaurants offer bespoke packages for groups.
Explore the options in SoGlos’s Christmas party guide, or if you’d rather plan your own party, there’re loads of tips in our expert insight with Oasis Events on how to plan the perfect Christmas party.
Watch a festive film
While it’s fun to curl up in front of a warm fire, snuggled up in a cosy dressing gown to watch a festive movie, it’s even more fun to share the experience with friends and family.
For festive screenings in Gloucestershire see 7 festive films to sprinkle Christmas cheer in Gloucestershire.
Go and see a panto
Providing the perfect Christmas family activity, Gloucestershire has fantastic pantomimes in a number of its theatres. (Oh yes it does!)
In 2022, our favourites include Dick Whittington at the Everyman Theatre in Cheltenham and Snow White at The Roses in Tewkesbury.