4 festive places to celebrate Christmas in the Forest of Dean

From marvelling at sparkling lights to meeting Santa Claus himself, pay a visit to the enchanting Forest of Dean to soak up the festive atmosphere this Christmas 2021.

By Annabel Lammas  |  Published
Christmas market
Support the Forest of Dean district this Christmas 2021 by celebrating the festive season in its thriving towns.
In partnership with Forest of Dean District Council  |  visitdeanwye.co.uk
Forest of Dean District Council

Forest of Dean District Council is encouraging visitors to return to its high streets to shop local and support independent businesses this Christmas, having worked hard to make its towns safe to visit. Tourists and locals alike can make the most of the festive season and find their freedom in the vibrant Forest of Dean district, with Christmas light switch-on events, parades, seasonal markets and much more to experience.

It’s time to get festive in the Forest of Dean, with plenty of chances to shop for unique gifts at independent boutiques, make special family memories and, of course, meet Father Christmas at events across its towns and attractions this November and December 2021.

Spreading the seasonal cheer even further, SoGlos shares four festive places to celebrate Christmas when visiting the Forest of Dean in this ho-ho-hot list.

Christmas events in Cinderford

See the former mining town of Cinderford burst into light on Saturday 27 November 2021, when it hosts its Christmas lights switch-on event in the Market Triangle – featuring a funfair, local market stalls and the chance to meet Father Christmas in his magical grotto.

Little ones can see Santa on the move too, waving as the annual Christmas convoy makes its way through the town on Saturday 11 December 2021; while he can also be found at the nearby Dean Heritage Centre from Saturday 18 to Thursday 23 December 2021; and at American-inspired restaurant, The Twilight Lounge.

Christmas events in Lydney

Wrap up warm and follow the Christmas parade through Lydney on Friday 3 December 2021, arriving at the town hall just in time to see Santa lighting up the Christmas tree. Once the town is twinkling, children will be able to meet him in his grotto, with performances from local choirs and entertainers, fair rides and festive food to follow.

Get into the festive spirit with Christmas concerts in Bathurst Park on Sunday 5, Sunday 12 and Sunday 19 December 2021; hunt for handmade gifts at Taurus Crafts’ Christmas markets, taking place over the first three weekends of December 2021; and meet Santa onboard a steam train at the nearby Dean Forest Railway.

Christmas events in Newent

Brimming with historic charm, Newent is especially magical at Christmas time, as one of the Forest’s oldest towns. Don’t miss its annual lights switch-on event on Saturday 20 November 2021, kicking off with market stalls and music under the 17th century market house; a festive procession; and appearance from Father Christmas at the memorial hall.

Families can spend an enchanting evening watching owls fly through the night sky at the International Centre for Birds of Prey on selected days in December 2021. Plus, keep an eye out for festively-decorated houses, as Newent’s residents compete to present the best decorated home this Christmas.

Christmas events in Coleford

Close to some of the Forest of Dean’s best family attractions, visitors to Coleford can make the most of frosty forest walks at the magical Puzzlewood, before hopping on the Twilight Express at Perrygrove Railway for a festive journey through an illuminated woodland.

Meanwhile, support local and stock up on Christmas hamper goodies at Coleford Country Market, with locally made foods and crafts to browse every Friday and Saturday in December 2021 – and festive treats like whisky truffles, stollen and Christmas cake available to pre-order, too.

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