If you can’t visit a Christmas Market on a crisp, cold evening the weekend before Christmas, then a crisp, sunny day in November comes a close second!
That’s how the weather treated us on our visit to Winchester Cathedral Christmas Market when we visited on opening weekend!
The entrance to the market certainly sets the scene, a tree lined walk to the Cathedral itself gradually reveals what’s tucked away behind the magnificent building… a beautifully presented Christmas Market with wooden chalets, ornate carts selling glühwein, roasted chestnuts, toasted marshmallows and many other festive treats!
There are around 200 stalls on the market and products on offer range from handcrafted knitwear and children’s clothes to pottery and festive garlands. The British Crafts Village in particular is packed with unique and unusual gifts that would make perfect Christmas presents.
The food court was a little smaller than we expected, and there was nowhere to sit and eat (which would have been really useful as we have two toddlers in tow) but as the market stands in the Cathedral grounds, space is of a premium so a seating area was probably too much to fit in. As it was, we walked a little way around the corner from the food court and found a park bench that allowed us to eat our bratwurst in comfort!
The Family Experience
The focal point of Winchester Cathedral Christmas Market is the ice rink which takes centre stage, and for good reason! The rink was packed with skaters of all abilities from the moment we arrived, and it was lovely just to stand and watch the action too!
As space is a little tight in the Cathedral grounds, there also wasn’t any attractions or amusements for younger children such as a carousel, which our toddlers did miss, but they made up for it by playing in the fallen leaves in the expanse of space in front of the Cathedral!
Overall, we had a wonderful day out at Winchester Cathedral Christmas Market; even though it was early in the season, the festive spirit was alive and well! Our only recommendation would be to try and visit during a week day if you can – on the first weekend of opening, the market was crowded by midday. We’d also advise using the Park ‘n’ Ride service… we managed to bag a parking space as we were up and out early (thanks toddlers) but if we’d arrived any later we would have struggled to find somewhere to park.
You can find out more about Winchester Cathedral Christmas Market here.