Now that we have two toddlers, we always do our research ahead of a Christmas Market visit, to make sure there will be enough to keep them, as well as us, occupied!
As Exeter is fairly local to us, we decided to take a chance and pay a visit, even though we thought it might be relatively compact and didn’t advertise any children’s activities.
However, as soon as we arrived, it’s fair to say it immediately exceeded our expectations!
Set in the grounds of Exeter Cathedral, the Christmas Market is a feast of festivity from the moment you arrive on site! Traditional wooden chalets are ornately decorated with garlands and Christmas lights, with a beautiful wooden bandstand taking centre stage.
The stalls all offer beautiful, handcrafted, unique or unusual products – from gifts made of recycled glass bottles, to pottery, locallly made gin, cupcake making kits and driftwood sculptures, everything was of high quality and not what you’d find anywhere else in the country.
A lot of stalls were selling handmade food and drink, all of which would be perfect for putting together hampers as unique Christmas gifts for family and friends.
As the market is contained within the Cathedral grounds, we didn’t expect the food court to be particularly large, but again we were taken by surprise! A wide range of food was on offer from hog roast sandwiches, to greek food, pasta and the traditional German sausages that no Christmas Market is complete without!
A large covered bar was situated against the Cathedral, which offered local beers from Otter Brewery (we can recommend the Tarka. And the Mulled Wine…) This area, along with picnic benches in the centre of the food court, were a huge benefit to us, as there’s nothing more tricky than trying to assist a toddler in eating a steaming hot bratwurst whilst standing in a crowd!
Although we visited at the end of November, the festive spirit was in full swing all around the market. Just when we though the atmosphere couldn’t be any more electric, a live drums band performing a unique twist on 80s and 90s dance classics struck up in the bandstand, check out our Facebook Page to see a video!
The Family Experience
Although we would have loved to see some activities or attractions for younger children (let’s be honest, not many toddlers enjoy a shopping trip) our two young boys thoroughly enjoyed their visit, tucking into sausages as long as their arms and dancing to the band!
Exeter Cathedral Christmas Market certainly isn’t the largest we’ve ever visited, but it’s certainly one of the ones we’ve enjoyed the most!
You can find out more about Exeter Cathedral Christmas Market here.