Christmas in the Cotswolds

The festive season has well and truly begun, with this years Christmas TV ads filling our screens, Christmas lights beginning to turn on and a dose of seasonal weather too. Christmas in the Cotswolds is spectacular - the ideal way to celebrate the festive period. There's so much to enjoy too - from late night Christmas shopping events and outdoor winter wonderlands to carol services and pantomimes. You're bound to find something to get you into the Christmas spirit and experience a truly memorable Christmas in the Cotswolds.

Getting into the Christmas spirit

If youre struggling to get into the Christmas spirit, then a visit to the beautiful winter landscape that is the Cotswolds is a must. From Christmas fayres to special events, youll find a whole host of spectacular winter events.Christmas at Blenheim Palace (25th November 2nd January)Blenheim Palace comes to life this winter with a special illuminated trail. Set to transform the gardens and palace after dark, the trail creates a magical winter wonderland for a fantastic evening out with the family. There is plenty to see at the Palace, with the beautifully scented Fire Garden, featuring delightful dancing flames, lanterns and set against the grounds striking scenery. There are Christmas trees, a lit lake and Santa can be seen across the boathouse too. Visitors will also be able to enjoy hot drinks and browse around the gift shop for some great Christmas gifts to take home. Christmas in the Cotswolds really is a highlight with this event, so be sure to pay it a visit.Christmas at Highgrove Champagne and Shopping (23rd November 16th December)The Cotswolds palaces and country manors are a spectacular sight in winter, and Highgrove is no exception. From Wednesday to Sunday in the run up to Christmas, you can visit the home of HRH The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall to enjoy champagne and shopping, with a delicious 2-course lunch or a cream tea. Exhibitors will be selling a range of gifts and decorations ideal for the Christmas season, and the festival garden shop will feature a number of different arrangements, including the official Highgrove wreath. If youve never visited this royal residence before, this is an excellent time of year to go.The Winchcombe Christmas Festival (6th December)An annual festival held in one of the Cotswolds most picturesque settings, the Winchcombe Christmas Festival is a must if youre visiting the Cotswolds this December. Offering a warm winter welcome to everyone, the shops, galleries and restaurants all open their doors until later in the evening to give people a chance to explore what makes this town such a great place to visit. The Christmas lights will be in full swing too, making it a great evening to get well and truly into the Christmas spirit.

Late night Christmas shopping

Fed up of the same high street late night shopping? Christmas shopping in the Cotswolds offers charm, fewer crowds and the chance to pick up something a bit different. With shops opening their doors late over the festive period, you can explore some fantastic Cotswolds locations and the wonderful independent stores they are home to.Victorian late night shopping in Bourton-on-the-Water (begins 1st December)The 1st of December marks the switching on of the lights in Bourton-on-the-Water. At the centre of this beautiful Cotswold village is the Christmas tree which is actually erected in the river! This is a true Christmas in the Cotswolds must-see and excellent for photo opportunities. Bourtons many shops will be open until late, with plenty of stalls, childrens activities and more which will help you to really soak up the atmosphere. With the roads closed to traffic as well, its a great event to enjoy with the whole family.Late night Christmas shopping in Broadway (25th November and 2nd December)Beautiful Broadway puts on two nights of late night shopping in November and December from 5.30-8.30pm. Featuring so much more than just shopping, Broadway comes alive with street entertainment, festive food stalls, live music and the chance to see Broadways Tree of Light. However, if it is the shopping that attracts you, Broadways sought-after boutiques will be staying open later so Christmas shoppers can pick up some unique and thoughtful Christmas gifts - a perfect opportunity to enjoy a winter getaway.Bath late night Christmas shopping (from 24th November)If youre looking to start your preparations for Christmas in the Cotswolds, then nearby Bath is a must for some great Christmas shopping. The striking city features many great shops which open later during late November/early December which feature plenty of well-known names mixed with fabulous boutiques. Meanwhile, the Bath Christmas Market is a must-see, and is one of the most well-known in the UK. The city's museums offer their own mix of Christmas gifts, and Bath on Ice at Royal Victoria Park offers a top skating and winter wonderland experience for all ages.

Music and fun for the young and young of heart

Christmas is a great time to get all the family together and enjoy some traditional Christmas events. From pantomimes to days out at renowned Cotswolds attractions, you can get the family together and make the most of your stay by taking in some top entertainment.Jack and the Beanstalk at the Cheltenham Everyman Theatre (25th November 8th January)Would it be Christmas without a pantomime? Oh no it wouldnt! The Everyman Theatre is a great venue to check out a classic panto and this year theyve gone for the tale of Jack and the Beanstalk, for what promises to be its most gigantic pantomime yet. This years show stars Tweedy the Clown, best known for Giffords Circus, whilst William Elliott will be taking on the role of Dame Trott. For an afternoon or evening out with plenty of laughs, a visit to the Everyman is a must this Christmas.The Christmas Celebration at St Lawrence Church, Lechlade (10th December more info here)For some traditional festive entertainment, St Lawrence Church in Lechlade invites you to their Christmas Celebration. The concert will feature performances from the Lechlade Players, organ and piano music and local singers for a night of music, poetry and prose. Therell be plenty of nostalgia and the opportunity to join in, providing festive treats the whole family can enjoy.Winter Wonderland at Prinknash (26/27th November, 3/4th December, 10/11th December, and 16h-24th December)Winter Wonderland returns to Pinknash Bird and Deer Park this year for the chance to see resident reindeer, meet Father Christmas and sample some Christmas food and drink. For the creative amongst you, there will be the chance to have a go at some Christmas craft and enjoy the beautiful illuminations at the park. This is a very popular event in the Cotswolds calendar, with tickets being advance-purchase only this year.

Wining and dining this Christmas in the Cotswolds

Theres nothing better than enjoying good food and wine with friends and family during the festive season. Cotswolds pubs, restaurants, cafes will be serving up their delicious Christmas menus, spoiling you for choice. To make it a bit easier for you, we've put together a selection of our favourites:Festive dining at The Slaughters Inn, Lower Slaughter (1st -24th December)If you want a memorable festive dining experience then you wont be disappointed with the offering at The Slaughters Inn. Serving up a great Christmas menu in the dining room, you can bring the whole family along for a sumptuous meal you wont forget. Prices starting at 27.50 for a two-course meal, with a relaxing and enjoyable Christmas in the Cotswolds atmosphere.Christmas in the Cotswolds at The Feathered Nest, Nether Westcote (from 1st December)Enjoy the lovely warmth of Christmas by the fire at The Feathered Inn. Theres candlelight and log fires to add to the cosy atmosphere which you can enjoy with a pint of one of their delicious local ales or a glass of wine from their extensive wine list. The Christmas menu features some old favourites and is priced at 29.50 for three courses.The Chefs Dozen, Chipping CampdenThe Chefs Dozen is a renowned Chipping Campden restaurant with many awards under its belt. With different menus every day including a spectacular seven course tasting menu, you can be sure of some festive-inspired delights throughout December. Booking is recommended to avoid disappointment, but if youre looking for a luxurious dining experience in relaxed surroundings, a Christmas feast at The Chefs Dozen is a great way to kick off your Christmas in the Cotswolds experience.

Classic carols in the country

Singing along with some classic Christmas carols is a must during the festive season, and is a great way to celebrate the holidays with your friends and family as part of your stay. With many services taking place all over the region, you can hear the true sounds of Christmas in the Cotswolds all set within some of the areas most spectacular settings.Advent Carol Service, Tewkesbury Abbey (13th December)Tewkesbury Abbey is a magnificent location for a carol service. This year features performances with Walton Cardiff and Twyning Benefice Carol Service to present an evening of song and celebration. Bring the whole family along for a chance to get into the Christmas spirit with one of the musical highlights of the Tewkesbury festive season.The Carol Service at Cheltenham College (4th December)Every year Cheltenham College plays host to an annual carol concert, attracting people from all over the UK. The performances come from pupils and other professional musicians to grace the ears of the congregation with classic carols and other lesser known works. Set within a magnificent building and surroundings, this carol service is a must. If youre planning to visit this December, make sure you book your place to enjoy this evening of Christmas music.Advent Carol Service by Candlelight at Gloucester Cathedral (27th November)Gloucester Cathedral is one of the most well-known cathedrals in the UK and we would definitely recommend making it a part of your Christmas in the Cotswolds visit. The Advent Carol Service is one of its most popular events, and is a truly spectacular sight due to the care and commitment that goes in to creating this high quality production. Described as a dramatic and majestic service, this is a truly wonderful event to enjoy with all the family.

Cosy Christmas cottages with the family

Spending Christmas with friends and family is how most people like to spend the festive season, and a Christmas getaway to the Cotswolds is a great way to bring you all together. Christmas in the Cotswolds is a magical experience and our Jigsaw Holidays properties offer plenty of choice for both small and large groups. To find out more about our current availability or to book your winter break to sample all the festive delights that Christmas in the Cotswold has to offer, please do get in touch.No matter what your plans are this Christmas, theres a warm welcome for you in the Cotswolds, with plenty of great events and activities for all.

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