Five magical Christmas markets to visit this year

Great days never leave you, so make moments to remember by travelling by train to some of the best festive markets in the south.

Reaching more than 200 destinations, South Western Railway network is the ideal way to reach the region’s Christmas events.

Tickets are reasonably priced, too, so not only will you avoid the stress of driving your trip won’t cost the earth. Why not visit…

Christmas Market Bournemouth, Dorset

15 November 2019-1 January 2020

Located in the centre of Bournemouth, a 20 minute stroll from the station, this popular Christmas market offers an array of artisan stalls and food experiences, from Yorkshire pudding wraps to award-winning bratwurst. After you’ve ticked off everything on your shopping list, kick back with a glass of mulled wine at the specially built two-storey Alpine Lodge Bar, walk the glittering Christmas tree trail, watch the free entertainment, or take the kids to Santa’s Grotto.

Exeter Christmas Market, Devon

16 November-19 December 2019

A 20 minute walk from Exeter St David’s, Exeter’s Christmas Market is widely seen as one of Britain’s best, in part thanks to its enviable position beside the awe-inspiring cathedral. Inspired by German festive markets, there are a host of food and craft stalls to browse and Bavarian bars to enjoy, as well as activities and carol services taking place in the ancient cathedral. It’s little wonder this event attracted 600,000 visitors last year

Portsmouth Christmas Market, Hampshire

16 November-29 December 2019

Situated on Commercial Road, in the heart of the city, Portsmouth’s Christmas Market boasts a giant walk-in LED bauble and wooden cabins hawking all sorts of culinary delights, from sweet churros and chocolate kisses to traditional pie and mash, alongside stalls offering a range of edible gifts and seasonal goodies. It’s also the perfect place to pick up some festive decorations, or unwind with a drink at one of the bars.

Salisbury's Christmas Fayre, Wiltshire

30 November-24 December 2019

Salisbury’s Christmas Fayre is a 10 minute walk from the station, in the handsome Guildhall Square. An atmospheric, authentic German-style market, where vendors sell premium local and regional produce and unique handcrafted presents from illuminated wooden chalets, it’s just the spot to get your shopping sorted. Afterwards, recuperate in the market’s new food and drink quarter while taking in the sounds of a carefully curated live music programme.

Winchester Cathedral's Christmas Market, Hampshire

21 November-22 December 2019

With more than 100 chalets to peruse, a British crafts village and a food court, Winchester Cathedral’s Christmas Market has gained quite a reputation – in 2018 it was voted Britain’s second best festive market by and one of the finest in Europe by the New York Post. Surrounding an open-air ice rink in the shadow of the city’s stunning cathedral, it’s just the right place for a stress-free shopping spree.

Book your tickets now at or discover more Christmas activities in the south-west here.

And, treat yourself to a very merry day out with a bit of help from SWR.

Debra Waters
Freelance Lifestyle Writer

Debra Waters is an experienced online editor and parenting writer. She also has a strong background on health, wellbeing, beauty, and food. She currently writes for Goodto and Woman&Home, and print publications Woman, Woman’s Own, and Woman’s Weekly. Debra has written for What to Expect, Everyday Health, and Time Out. In addition, she has had articles published in The Telegraph and The Big Issue.