Exeter has always been known to be an ideal place to celebrate a traditional Christmas, but this year it promises to be even better, with the arrival of its first Winter Wonderland at Northernhay Gardens. This spot is spacious enough to enable organizers to entice locals and tourists alike with a host of Christmassy offerings—including Santa’s Grotto, where you can meet the Big Guy himself and ask him for a coveted present. There will also be festive food and drink to tantalise your tastebuds like Bratwurst sausage, currywurst, a generous hog roast, juicy steaks and beef burgers and more. And let's not forget about the ice skating rink—the perfect place to combine your love of music and skating. The Winter Wonderland has something for people of all ages but it is by far the only fun thing to do in Exeter in December. Read on to discover a few more ways to make the most of the festive season.
Christmas is an ideal time to enjoy a good laugh and a great time with your kids at a pantomime or Christmas show. This year, there are quite a few performances to choose from—including Beauty & the Beast from 11th December to 2nd January at the Exeter Corn Exchange, Sleeping Beauty from 23rd December to 8th January at the Exeter Northcott Theatre, and Cinderella on 5th December at the Exeter Barnfield Theatre. All these theatres also have a host of fascinating musical shows lined up (including tribute acts paying homage to bands like ABBA and the Jersey Boys).
Exeter Cathedral Market
From the 18th of November to the 18th of December, find presents for those you love at the Exeter Cathedral Christmas Market. This event has been taking place since 2017 and features a festive labyrinth of winding lanes featuring international cuisine, pop-up bars, and a bevvy of arts and crafts. You will find a wide range of gifts at reasonable prices so you don’t worry about having to break the bank. Statistics indicate that the average British adult spends around £500 on Christmas gifts. Some find that they have to take out a Christmas loan to keep up with gift and meal expenses. It is important to prioritize expenses and save loans and savings for unavoidable expenses. Christmas markets are a good way to get the most for your money, as you can directly bypass the commissions charged by large retailers. Other markets and fairs to watch out for include the Christma Shopping Fayre at Westpoint and St Leonard’s Christmas Fayre.
Christmas Favourites at the Guildhall Street Food Market
The Guildhall Street Food Market may be open throughout the year but every Christmas it takes on a special atmosphere as local traders prepare and cook foods that will keep your energy up as you walk from shop to shop to find your loved ones the perfect gifts. You will definitely find something for everyone in the family. Just a few delights you will find at the market include traditional Spanish paella, steaming hot bowls of Thai Tom Kha Gai, Greek gyros, German sausages and sauerkraut, glühwein, and more.
Exeter is a fabulous place to visit at Christmas time. There is so much to do and see, with pantomimes, theatre performances, and a bevvy of markets keeping families busy throughout the festive season. Food is also a big part of the festivities and visitors and locals alike gather yearly at food markets to sample delicious food from an array of different culinary traditions.