Outdoor shopping at Christmas has risen in popularity in the last few years as we aim to emulate the German Christmas markets. These are a big part of German Christmas shopping, a sociable time with an opportunity to snap up a few gifts as well.
Here are some Christmas markets in Devon, in no particular order
This one is unique as it’s only there for one night a week before it’s gone like a mythical kingdom at the back of the wardrobe. Tuesday nights sees a host of market stalls pop up in the town, with most shops staying open late as well. As this is Totnes, expect a lot of artisan products, crystals and handmade items, a fair share of food stalls and mulled wine and cider galore. There are also some entertainers, bands and lantern parades. Open on the 5th, 12th and 19nd of December. It’s a nice evening out, with a great atmosphere.
In spite of the scores of empty shop units in Plymouth, al fresco shopping is available in the city centre. This market succeeds in mimicking the German Christmas markets best, with wooden huts under the Christmas lights. These offer pretty much everything from food, drink and obscure gifts and jewellery. It’s in the plaza between the big screen and the sundial, every day, with late nights on Thursday until 9pm. The centre also plays host to a funfair, and don’t forget to take a wander down to the Barbican where there are some smaller boutique shops, as well as a pub or two.
If you’re really quick you can visit the Christmas market at Exeter Cathedral which is an early bird, starting on 16th November and closing on the 17th December. This seems to be slightly confused with a food market, so if you have all your presents and fancy some outside eating and a festival atmosphere in the middle of December, head for the green by the Cathedral.
Be quick with this one – Spark! is entertaining shoppers in Exeter’s Princesshay shopping centre on the 7th December.
For a glimpse into what Christmas was like without antibiotics, then head to Bygones in Torquay. The Victorian Christmas exhibition runs from 1st December to 31st December. Less of a market than a fascinating look at the past and a way of horrifying your children at the thought of Christmas without a telly, xbox, or Facebook.
Probably the most esoteric market here is the Anonymous Travelling Market which travels to more obscure locations through Dorset and Somerset. Not quite Devon admittedly, but worth travelling over the border for an evening of entertainment, artisan stalls offering unusual gifts for reasonable prices. There’s food, too of course, just in case you need some, and a great party atmosphere. Visit the website to see where they are next:
If you’ve missed the markets on Christmas Eve and maxed yourself out on Christmas Day, then how about a quick dip in the sea to shiver your way through Boxing Day?
The Sidmouth Boxing Day swim will shake off your Christmas stupor alright. Strip off, sign up and jump in!
Have a great Christmas from all of us at 4degreeswest.com. See you in the New Year