Top Christmas markets and events in Devon holiday cottages

Top Christmas markets and events in Devon

Cath 27 October 2023

December in Devon is the most magical place and time of the year, and whilst we can’t promise you snow, we do know that you’ll have a wonderful stay if you book a festive escape here.

Sample any number of festive delights or pick up a locally made artisan gift, perfect for  Christmas stockings. Buying from a local Christmas market or visiting a Christmas-themed event is a great way to support local businesses and independent retailers too.

We have compiled a list of great Christmas markets and events in Devon to visit this festive season. We couldn’t think of a better way to get into the Christmas spirit.

Christmas markets in Devon

Exeter Cathedral Christmas Market

 Christmas markets at Exeter Cathedral
Photo credit: Exeter Cathedral/Emma Solley

Held on Exeter's Cathedral Green, the Cathedral Christmas Market is a popular annual event with this year’s festivities promising to be even bigger and better.

It showcases a wide range of local, regional, national and even international suppliers, offering hand-crafted gifts and Christmas decorations alongside seasonal food and drink all in festive chalets, twinkling below the beautiful, illuminated cathedral.  

Once the shopping is done, enjoy free admission into the cathedral itself along with viewing of the Light of Hope Star installation by artist, Peter Walker.

Where: Exeter Cathedral Green
Dates: Friday 17 November – Sunday 17 December 2023
Times: Monday-Wednesday: 10am-7pm, Thursday-Saturday: 10am-9pm, Sunday: 11am-5pm

Plymouth Christmas Market    

 Visitors to Plymouth Christmas Market
Photo credit: Visit Plymouth

Head to Plymouth this festive season and enjoy over 50 beautifully decorated Christmas cabins throughout the heart of the city centre. Enjoy live entertainment, with daily performances from local choirs, steel bands, jazz singers and folk bands (to name a few!), all while warming up with a cup of mulled wine and tucking into some delicious festive delights.

Shop a range of unique gifts and crafts from bespoke jewellery and handmade Christmas decorations to unique one-off products, there will be something for everyone – including the family pooch.

Where: Plymouth city centre
Dates: Thursday 30 November – Sunday 17 December 2023
Times: 10am to 6pm on Mondays to Saturdays and 10am to 5pm on Sundays. You can also enjoy late-night shopping every Thursday until 9pm.

North Devon Christmas Market, Braunton

Lady enjoying hot drink at a Christmas market

With over 120 stalls, the North Devon Christmas Market is the biggest one-day event of its kind held in the area. Throughout the festive afternoon, visitors can enjoy live entertainment and music including local choirs, dance groups and acoustic singers as well as inflatables and rides for the children.

There is a wide variety of stalls to browse selling lovely local arts and crafts including handmade jewellery, bespoke clothing and sweet treats. 

The street food selection on offer here is second to none, with food from every corner of the world, including Thai, a hog roast, curries, churros and much more! 

Where: Caen Street, Braunton
Date: Saturday 2 December
Time: 12pm to 8pm

Totnes Christmas Market

 Ladies shopping at Totnes Christmas Market
Photo credit: Visit Totnes

The Totnes Christmas Market will take place over three Tuesday evenings in December in the medieval high street where visitors can enjoy the craft stalls, locally made food and drink, local entertainment, and of course some shopping in the town’s variety of independent shops which are open until 9pm.

There will be between 50 and 60 stalls in the main street, as well as hot food and drink and live entertainment and music on two stages across the town (one in the Market Square and the other in Rotherfold). 

Where: Totnes town centre
Dates: Tuesdays 5, 12 and 19 December
Times: 3pm to 9pm 

Christmas events in Devon

Plymouth Winter City

 Child at Santa's grotto

Experience festive fun and a magical day out for the whole family at Plymouth Winter City. With an undercover ice rink for skating (real ice, not plastic!), a giant Santa’s Grotto, exciting rides and attractions as well as an abundance of locally sourced festive refreshments, this year’s Winter City is not to be missed.

The event is free entry with tickets available for the Ice Rink, Santa's Grotto and Elf Workshop, and Unlimited Ride timeslots at an extra cost. We recommend booking in advance before you visit to avoid disappointment.

Where: Treeby Court, Plymouth
Dates: 16 November 2023 – 1 January 2024
Times: Weekdays 3pm to 9pm and weekends/holidays 12pm to 9pm

Winter Fest at Torre Abbey

Christmas wrapping paper

Set in the wonderful Spanish Barn at Torre Abbey in Torquay, Winter Fest is a popular Christmas gift and craft fair which takes place across two weekends this year on Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 November and Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 December. 

The tickets are £3.50 each and include entry into the main house, where visitors can enjoy their advent calendar exhibition and festive garden trail. The stalls will be selling a unique array of handmade local items including Christmas decorations, toys, jewellery, craft kits and much more!

Over the Winter Fest weekend, families can also book an exclusive meet and greet with Father and Mother Christmas (advance booking is essential).  

Where: Torre Abbey, The King's Drive, Torquay TQ2 5JE
Dates: 25 and 26 November and 2 and 3 December
Times: 10am to 5pm
Prices: £3.50 a ticket

Glow at RHS Rosemoor, Great Torrington 

 Garden illuminations at RHS Rosemoor

Immerse yourself in festive light and sound at RHS Rosemoor by exploring the magical trail of light and colour which will guide you through the garden rooms, woodlands and open spaces.

There will also be family entertainment every night, ranging from magicians, live music, fire artists, light performers and costumed characters. You can view the full list of entertainment each night on their website here.

Where: RHS Garden Rosemoor, Torrington, EX38 8PH
Dates: Thursday-Saturday between 16 November and 16 December, and Wednesday-Saturday between 20 and 30 December
Times: 4.30pm to 8.30pm
Prices: RHS members: adult £8.95, child £4.45; non-members: adult £14.95, child £7.95. Tickets must be booked in advance.

Carols in the Caves at Kents Cavern    

 Carols in the Caves concert
Photo credit: Kents Cavern

A visit to Carols in the Caves is a fantastic way to get into the festive spirit. Enjoy two hours of Christmas carols and festive songs underground, finished with either mulled wine or hot chocolate and seasonal treats in the Great Chamber.

You will start seated in the magnificent Vestibule Chamber and hear the amazing acoustics of the choir and then take a walk around the magnificent cave system singing carols by candlelight as the events are all limited to no more than 70 people. 

Where: Kents Cavern, 91 Ilsham Rd, Torquay, TQ1 2JF
Tuesday 28 November, 5 and 12 December – Torbay Police and Community Choir
Wednesday 29 November, 6 and 13 December – Red Rock Acappella
Thursday 30 November, 7 and 14 December – Yours in Harmony

Times: 6pm to 8pm
Prices: £22.50 per person. Pre-booking essential. 

Cottages for Christmas in Devon

Are you ready to book a holiday cottage in Devon this Christmas period? Browse our wide range of self-catering holiday homes and cottages today. From romantic cottages for a festive weekend escape just for two, to larger properties for the whole family, we have a great selection of cottages in Devon for your next break.

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.

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