15 magical things to do in Cirencester this Christmas

From carol services and Christmas lights to indulging in festive afternoon tea and even meeting Father Christmas, there's so much going on in Cirencester this winter 2022.

By Chloe Gorman  |  Published
Enjoy a magical Christmas in Cirencester, with so much going on this festive season.

It's the most wonderful time of the year - and Cirencester is positively bursting with festive fun to be had this Christmas 2022.

SoGlos rounds up our pick of Christmassy activities in the Cotswold town, from watching the panto, seeing the sparkling Christmas lights and indulging in afternoon tea to meeting the big man himself...

Book a festive break at The Kings Head Hotel

For anyone looking for the ultimate indulgence this Christmas, The Kings Head Hotel is offering two-night festive breaks in its superior bedrooms on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day 2022.

With a bottle of prosecco waiting in your room on arrival, guests will be treated to festive afternoon tea on Christmas Eve; a full English breakfast on Christmas Day and Boxing Day; as well as an indulgent four-course Christmas lunch with a glass of Champagne - perfect for celebrating in style. Prices cost from £279 per person based on two people sharing a room. 

Go ice skating at Cotswold Water Park

Cotswold Water Park, just outside Cirencester, is playing host to Gloucestershire's biggest all-weather ice rink this winter 2022, promising 'pure, unadulterated fun' for skaters of all ages and abilities. 

The Gateway Ice Rink is located at the Gateway Centre - which is also home to the Relish Gateway Café and Bar @ Lake 6 - and opens from Friday 18 November 2022 to Tuesday 3 January 2023. As well as being wheelchair accessible, the ice rink is also hosting special sensory skating sessions every Monday, so everyone can join in the festive fun. 

Watch the Barn Theatre's family pantomime

It wouldn't be Christmas without a trip to see a pantomime - oh no it wouldn't! - and families in Cirencester are being treated to The True Adventures of Marian and Robin Hood at The Barn Theatre this year. 

Promising to be 'a feast of myth, music and medieval slapstick' where the two must team up to overthrow the hapless Sherriff, the popular panto is on from Monday 21 November 2022 until Sunday 1 January 2023. 

Have breakfast with Santa at Dobbies Garden Centre

Santa is making a series of very special visits to Dobbies Garden Centre in Siddington every weekend from Saturday 26 November until Sunday 18 December 2022, then every day in the run up to Christmas from Monday 19 to Saturday 24 December 2022.

Visitors can enjoy breakfast with the big man, with options including a traditional or vegetarian cooked breakfast, as well as lighter options like pancakes, breakfast rolls and bagels, with a gift from Father Christmas for every child. 

Do some sustainable Christmas shopping at New Brewery Arts

Sustainable Christmas shopping event, A Crafted Christmas, is returning to New Brewery Arts this festive season, with an eclectic selection of handcrafted Christmas gifts and decorations to browse and buy.

With over 100 UK-based makers descending on the Cotswold town in the run up to Christmas, it's the perfect opportunity to find unique, thoughtful and meaningful gifts - with personal shopping experiences and free craft sessions available on selected dates, too. 

See the Christmas lights switch on

Cirencester's Christmas lights are set to be switched on at 4pm on Saturday 26 November 2022, with the Mayor of Cirencester doing the honours at the event on Market Place.

As well as watching the lights sparkle into life, there'll be falling snow, light projections and even silent fireworks, promising to make it a magical night to remember. 

Put together a Christmas hamper at Corn Hall Deli

Take your pick from the very best produce the Cotswolds has to offer and create the Christmas hamper of your dreams at Cirencester's Corn Hall Deli. 

Stock up on artisan cheese, chutney and pickles for your festive cheeseboard, indulge in some black truffle mustard for the table (or to slather on those cold turkey sandwiches on Boxing Day) and pick up some bottles of locally-produced wine, beer and spirits to toast the festive season in style. Or if you're not feeling that creative, choose from its selection of pre-prepared hampers, put together by its expert team. 

Sing your heart out at a Christmas carol service

Get fully into the Christmas spirit with a good old-fashioned sing song - with carol services taking place at the Parish Church of St John the Baptist this December 2022.

The nine lesson and carol service takes place from 6pm on Sunday 18 December 2022; on Christmas Eve, there's carols with the Town Crier at 3pm, the Nativity at 4pm, then midnight mass from 11.30pm; as well as a family-friendly service to celebrate on Christmas Day at 10am. 

Indulge in a festive afternoon tea

With everything from cranberry and vanilla scones, Viennese topped mince pies, chocolate and clementine Yule log and spiced festive gingerbread on the menu, satisfy your sweet tooth with a festive afternoon tea at The Kings Head Hotel.

Served daily from 3pm to 5pm, it's ideal for relaxed pre-Christmas get-togethers with friends and family - with festive afternoon tea costing £22.50 per person with a pot of tea or coffee; £28.50 per person with a glass of prosecco; or £32.50 per person for an extra special Champagne afternoon tea.

Explore Cirencester's Advent Market

Cirencester's annual Advent Market is taking place on Saturday 26 November 2022 this year, promising live music and entertainment, a huge Christmas tree and over 100 stalls to browse for festive treats and gifts, all against a backdrop of sparkling Christmas lights. 

The market itself takes over Market Place and stretches down onto Cricklade Street - while there'll be dance, theatre and choir performances inside the Parish Church, which are also being shown on a big screen outside. 

Sip delicious wines at a seasonal wine tasting

Head down into the Corn Hall Cellars and indulge in a tutored wine tasting, ideal for anyone hoping to get the very best vino for their Christmas table.

On Thursday 3 November 2022, seventh-generation Bordeaux producer Max Sichel will guide wine enthusiasts through a tasting of fine clarets from his family-owned estates, alongside some Sichel brand classics - with tickets costing £45 each. 

Meet Father Christmas at Cirencester Golf Club

Making his second appearance in the Cotswolds this Christmas, Santa is heading to the Halfway House at Cirencester Golf Club on Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 December 2022.

Hop on board the Reindeer Truck to Santa's Grotto, where there'll be a gift waiting for every child and a chance to have a photo taken with Father Christmas - all in exchange for a donation to Cirencester Food Bank to help less fortunate families this festive season. 

Try something new at the Cirencester Christmas Vegan Fair

Vegetarians and vegans, rejoice! 'Tis the season to enjoy meat-free festive food at Cirencester Christmas Vegan Fair on Sunday 13 November 2022.

Grab a vegan mulled wine and take a wander around the Corn Hall, picking up everything from vegan cheese for your festive cheese board to Christmas gifts for the plant-based person in your life - with a kids' activity area for little vegans, too. 

Get pampered before your Christmas party

From a manicure with gel polish to an indulgent Elemis facial, the Vaulted Spa at The Kings Head Hotel is the place to enjoy a spot of pampering during Christmas party season.

Or if you're in need of an escape, it's a wonderful spot to relax with a full body massage, providing the perfect antidote to the chaos of the Christmas season. 

Let the chefs at The Kings Head Hotel cook on Christmas Day

If cooking Christmas dinner isn't on your list this year, let the chefs at The Kings Head Hotel do the hard work for you, with a fabulous four-course feast this Christmas Day.

Served between 12pm and 3pm, diners can sip champagne on arrival before sitting down to a traditional Christmas lunch with all the trimmings in the hotel's beautiful restaurant, with coffee and mince pies to enjoy before heading home for a snooze on the sofa. Christmas lunch costs £100 per adult, or £50 for children aged 12 and under - with a small gift included for little ones, too. 

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