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 2023.
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 first openings at long-awaited Gloucester Food Dock, with SoGlos sharing 10 unmissable things to do in Gloucestershire this month in this hot list.
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 2023.
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 14 spots to see dazzling displays and bonfires in Gloucestershire.
Feast your eyes on new openings at Gloucester Food Dock
After the launch of The Hop Kettle Brewing Company last month, Gloucester Food Dock is adding SEVEN independent foodie joints to its roster in November 2023 — with Wholly Gelato kicking things off as it opens its glass-fronted ice cream parlour on Saturday 4 November 2023.
Next up is Bella Mia Pizza @ No.1, bringing artisan pizza to the menu from early- to mid-November; followed by Strip Steak Bar, Tex Mex street food spot Elote, Chuck burgers, Hetty's Kitchen's new brunch and brownie cafe and Our House cocktail bar from Sibling Distillery towards the end of the month.
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 17 to Sunday 19 November 2023.
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 open-air ice rink at Gloucester Quays and Gateway Ice Rink at Cotswold Water Park, both open from Friday 24 November 2023.
Cheltenham skaters are in luck too, as the Christmas ice rink returns to Imperial Gardens to headline the Regency town's festive celebrations from Friday 17 November 2023, after being cancelled last year.
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 8 to Sunday 12 November 2023.
There’s something for readers of all ages in the festival’s packed programme, from young bookworms to seasoned literature lovers — including talks from much-loved children’s author, Cressida Cowell; Gloucestershire-born chef, Tom Kerridge; and a special event celebrating the poetry of Stroud's own literary legend, Laurie Lee.
Hunt for Tweedy's golden goose eggs
Celebrating the launch of this year's pantomime with an egg-citing, county-wide adventure, the Everyman Theatre has laid 10 golden eggs across Gloucestershire — giving families the chance to win tickets to see Tweedy as Mother Goose by seeking them out.
Keen hunters have up until the end of November to find the eggs, hidden in some iconic Gloucestershire locations from family attractions to shopping destinations. Simply share your finds on social media using #MotherGooseChelt — the more you collect, the greater your chances of winning!
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 24 November 2023, 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.
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 Gloucester Quays' Winter Markets, starting on Saturday 4 and bringing artisan stalls, street food and seasonal treats 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 12 November 2023.
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 Joy!: A Seasonal Celebration of Craft.
Pick up everything from handmade homewares and precious jewellery to gift vouchers for pleasing the pickiest people, with the shopping event running right up until Christmas Eve.
Toast festive cocktails at Coal Kitchen's new bottomless brunch
Gloucester Quays' only independent restaurant is bringing back its popular boozy brunch from Monday 13 November 2023 — this time with a festive twist!
Coal Kitchen's 90-minute brunch costs £39.50 and includes a dish from its seasonal-inspired menu and unlimited drinks, with festive cocktails and mulled wine included in the offer. We'll take the candy cane peppermint mojito, please!