Winchester Christmas Market 2023 – Region South East, UK
Winchester Cathedral Christmas Market in South East England is a must-visit destination for all those wishing to experience a traditional Christmas.
The city justly claims to be England’s Christmas Capital and its Cathedral is at the heart of the festivities with a stunning Christmas Market and real Ice Rink dominating its beautiful and historic Close.
From its relatively modest beginnings, the Winchester Cathedral Christmas Market now attracts over 350,000 visitors each year and has achieved a reputation as being amongst the very best in Europe.
Within the stunning surroundings of the Cathedral’s historic Inner and Outer Close you’ll find over 100 attractive wooden chalets brimming with goodies.
The stallholders are individually selected by the Cathedral’s in-house team to ensure superior quality, uniqueness and that a wide range of products are available. Each year there’s a rotation of stallholders and a good percentage of invited new traders to keep the market fresh.
There’s a strong emphasis on British and artisan amongst the stallholders. Look out for Hampshire’s finest cheese and sourdough toasties – these alone are reason to return regularly!
A large outdoor Ice Rink sits at the centre of activity, providing the perfect winter playground for adults and children alike and, like the Christmas Market, it’s regularly listed as one of the best rinks in the country.
With the dramatic medieval architecture as a backdrop, it’s an idyllic setting at any time of day, but it really comes into its own after twilight when the Cathedral is lit up and a warm glow radiates from the market stalls. The Ice Rink continues to operate beyond the Christmas Market into the New Year.
Organisers have lodged an application with the city council expand the footprint of the market to allow for social distancing.
In order to welcome similar visitor numbers to previous years, the event is proposed to “spread out over a far greater area” such as the Outer Close including around the war memorial, The Paddock – the area immediately north of the Cathedral adjacent to the Old Minster and the Inner Close.
The cathedral has said that the ice rink will not be open this year as a part of its plan, with the food court being moved into the space it normally occupies to increase the standing area available.