10 unmissable things to do in Gloucestershire this November

From mesmerising light installations to seasonal ice skating opportunities, winter is coming to Gloucestershire, with plenty of festive events and activities to get us in the spirit this November 2022.

By Annabel Lammas  |  Published
It’s time to get festive! Discover 10 unmissable things to do in Gloucestershire this November 2022.
It’s time to get festive! Discover 10 unmissable things to do in Gloucestershire this November 2022.
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With frosty mornings and darker evenings comes the start of the festive season – and Gloucestershire is glimmering with gorgeous light displays, as the first signs of Christmas start to appear this November 2022.

Kicking the month off with a bang, there’s also explosive firework displays and the return of Stroud’s beloved book festival, not to mention the long-awaited opening of Cheltenham's first ever rooftop restaurant – with SoGlos sharing 10 unmissable things to do in Gloucestershire this month.

See spectacular firework displays in Gloucestershire

Get ready to ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ as the night sky above Gloucestershire lights up for Guy Fawkes Night, with an array of fireworks and bonfire events taking place across the county this November 2022.

Wrap up warm and head to the largest fireworks display in the south west at Cheltenham Racecourse, hosted by Cheltenham Round Table, or experience Cattle Country Farm Park’s explosive extravaganza – with SoGlos sharing 11 spots to see dazzling displays and bonfires in Gloucestershire.

Catch The November Meeting at Cheltenham Racecourse

A highlight in the British Jump Racing calendar, The November Meeting is bringing three days of exhilarating horse racing action to Cheltenham Racecourse from Friday 11 to Sunday 13 November 2022.

Lucky punters can place their bets with action-packed races taking place every day, as well as countryside pursuits, shopping opportunities, live music and free family activities to keep everyone entertained.

Go ice skating in Gloucestershire

For heaps of festive fun, there’s snow place like an ice rink in the run-up to Christmas – and there are plenty of seasonal skating opportunities across Gloucestershire, including the return of the open-air ice rink at Gloucester Quays.

Joining the line-up this year is the new Gateway Ice Rink at Cotswold Water Park, which is not only the county's biggest all-weather ice rink, but one of the first in the whole country to offer special sensory skating sessions. 

Celebrate stories at Stroud Book Festival

Featuring critically acclaimed, best-selling and up-and-coming local writers, Stroud Book Festival is back in town from Wednesday 2 to Sunday 6 November 2022.

There’s something for readers of all ages in the festival’s jam-packed programme, from young bookworms to seasoned literature lovers – including talks from much-loved children’s author, Julia Donaldson, and literary powerhouses like Ian McEwan and Kate Mosse.

See stunning light installations across Gloucestershire

With Christmas just around the corner, some of Gloucestershire's best attractions are lighting up for the season, switching on their illuminous installations to create spellbinding light trails that will leave visitors with a fuzzy festive feeling. 

The county will be glowing with light and colour from Friday 25 November 2022, when Westonbirt Arboretum launches this year's Enchanted Christmas event; Cotswold Farm Park switches on its Enchanted Light Trail; and Sudeley Castle's Spectacle of Light experience begins.

Dine at Cheltenham's first rooftop restaurant

The grand opening of Cheltenham's very first rooftop restaurant has been hotly anticipated ever since the Quadrangle first announced the project in 2018 — and local foodies will be delighted to hear that the wait is finally over, with The Nook on Five officially opening on Thursday 10 November 2022.

As well as fine dining and afternoon tea experiences, the restaurant will be launching with a pre-race breakfast offer, as racegoers make their way into town for The November Meeting. And while the rooftop terrace won't be fully open until spring 2023, guests can enjoy the view with a glass of Champagne as part of a unique ticketed offering.

Visit a Christmas market in Gloucestershire

Whether you’re shopping for stocking fillers or hankering for your first sip of mulled wine, there's nothing like marking the start of the Christmas season with an evening at one of Gloucestershire's twinkling festive markets.

With markets starting to open up all over the county, highlights include the Christmas Orchard Street Market, starting on Saturday 5 and bringing artisan stalls, street food and seasonal treats to Gloucester Quays every weekend in the run-up to Christmas; while those seeking plant-based presents need to check out Cirencester's Christmas Vegan Fair on Sunday 13 November 2022.

See The Vagina Monologues performed at the Everyman Theatre

Based on the iconic feminist play by the playwright formerly known as Eve Ensler, Cheltenham's Everyman Theatre is staging five performances of The Vagina Monologues from Tuesday 1 to Saturday 5 November 2022.

Exploring different women's experiences of femininity, spanning sex and relationships to body image, the show promises to be both laugh-out-loud funny and deeply poignant, performed by a cast of talented actresses who have appeared in the likes of EastEnders and Coronation Street.

Feast at Gifford Circus's travelling restaurant

Giffords Circus's pop-up restaurant, Winter Sauce, is travelling back to its home on Fennells Farm near Stroud, opening for weekend dining and Sunday lunches on Saturday 5 November until Friday 23 December 2022.

Indulge in a five-course banquet in one of the Giffords Circus barns, transformed into an ambient dining space and lit by circus festoons and candles, or book a table on Sunday to try its traditional roast dinner, served as part of a three-course feast.

Start your Christmas shopping at New Brewery Arts

It's never too early to start playing elf and Christmas shoppers can get hunting for gifts at New Brewery Arts in Cirencester, where hundreds of designer-makers will be displaying their wares as part of A Crafted Christmas.

Pick up everything from handcrafted glass and wooden Christmas decorations to thoughtful gifts and unique pieces for the home, with the sustainable shopping event running right up until Christmas Eve.

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