Fancy visiting a Christmas Market in England?
Yes, it’s that time of year again when we look forward to spending cold winter afternoons and evenings enjoying the atmosphere, the music, the gifts stalls and mulled wine at the Christmas markets. There are many to choose from at home or across Europe and if you are travelling to England over the festive period, or want an excuse to, then there are many to choose from.
Rich in history and culture one of the most widely known and one of the best is the market in the old Roman town of Winchester. Dean of Winchester, the Very Rev’d Catherine Ogle says “Christmas at Winchester Cathedral is such a special time. We look forward to welcoming you to the festive and joyful atmosphere of the Christmas Market and Ice Rink and to our Cathedral services and events: to carols and feasting, to processions and nativity plays, to the awesome grandeur of the Cathedral nave and to the birth of a baby.”
Winchester has become a must-visit destination for all those in search of an authentic Christmas experience, and you’ll find the majestic Winchester Cathedral at the heart of the festivities. Founded in 2006, and originally inspired by traditional German Christmas Markets, Winchester Cathedral’s Christmas Market is now recognised as one of the best in Europe due to its unique location, high quality exhibitors and bustling atmosphere. It is regularly acclaimed as one of the top ten Christmas Markets in the UK.
Running from Sunday 17 November to Sunday 20 December, an estimated 500,000 people are expected to visit this year’s Christmas Market. Over one hundred festive chalets will abound offering a variety of gifts and a food court with indulgent treats to eat there and then or take away and enjoy at home. There are new traders every year and visitors can also enjoy extended opening hours for 2018, with the Christmas Market now open until 6.30pm from Sunday to Wednesday and 8pm from Thursday to Saturday.
Spectacular Ice Rink
As ever, nestled at the heart of the Christmas Market is the spectacular Ice Rink, the largest open-air ice rink in the region, which returns this year from Saturday 17 November 2018 to Wednesday 2 January 2019. To add to its innovative and hugely successful roof which has proved so beneficial in guaranteeing a rain-free skate, the centre of the rink will sport a large Christmas Tree this year to fill skaters with festive cheer.
The open sides of the rink enable skaters to enjoy the Ice Rink’s unique setting in the shadow of the ancient and spectacular architecture of Winchester Cathedral and the highly popular Ice Café will again be selling festive treats as well as more traditional fayre. New for 2018 is the Ice Rink Silent Disco, a unique opportunity for all to skate and dance to a choice of popular tracks using special headphones.
The Christmas Market and Ice Rink Opening Ceremony will take place at 6.30pm on Friday 16 November at 6.45pm. The rink will be officially opened by the Mayor of Winchester and will include stunning skating displays to music and light by some of the country’s up and coming skating talent, carol singing with the Boy Choristers and much more.
If you fancy a visit over the Irish Sea this winter then here is one good excuse, and don’t forget you can get the best deals on pounds sterling by checking out the exchange rates on our GBP currency page.