Christmas in Exeter
Published: 17 November 2021
This Christmas in Exeter will be a time to celebrate with friends and family again, and the city has lots on offer to help you enjoy the festive season together.
2021 sees the return of the highly-anticipated Exeter Cathedral Christmas Market. This year, taking place from 18th November - 18th December, the popular market offers the ultimate festive experience. Browse for unique and artisan gifts whilst enjoying festive food, mulled wine and live music on the bandstand at the foot of the West Front of Exeter Cathedral.
Exeter Cathedral is at the heart of Exeter’s Christmas celebrations, with free entry for visitors during the Christmas Market. Don’t miss the chance to join a traditional carol concert here, see the Nativity brought to life, and to see Charles Dickens’ classic story A Christmas Carol brought alive in a traditional production, complete with beautiful period costume, song, dance, and a magnificent original musical score. See the full list of what’s on at Exeter Cathedral on their website.
Exeter’s very first Winter Wonderland arrives in Northernhay Gardens between 17th November – 2nd January; bringing a covered ice rink, rides, winter treats and a colourful Santa’s grotto to the city.
Santa will also be visiting Princesshay, in his bespoke Christmas lodge on Bedford Street on the first three weekends in December. The lodge will house a free letter writing activity for children to post their wish lists to the North Pole!
From Friday 12th November, a festive themed, open-air Snow House bar, snow dome pods and outdoor seating will take centre stage in Princesshay. The bar will be serving a range of favourite festive tipples and visitors will be treated to a choice of Christmas eats from crepes and churros, cheese and fudge to traditional German Bratwurst from the nearby extended market stalls situated on Bedford Street and Eastgate. Visitors can also expect to find handmade gifts and jewellery. Visit Princesshay's website to find out more.
There will also be extra time for shopping in Princesshay, with late night Thursdays until 8pm on the 9th, 16th and 23rd December.
Don’t miss the crafty Christmas cabins every Saturday and Sunday from the 20th November in the Guildhall Shopping Centre, where 4 cabins will be filled with amazing local makers from 11am – 4pm. There will also be late night shopping in the Guildhall every Thursday from 18th November, plus keep your eyes out for an announcement regarding lots of snow!
There will be plenty of other Christmas market shopping opportunities across the city, including the St Thomas Christmas Festival, a brand new winter market event in the heart of St Thomas on Saturday 20th November, the Festive Fore Street Flea on Sunday 21st November, Magdalen Road’s Christmas Fair on Saturday 4th December and the new Eastgate Market on Sidwell Street, from 19th November on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, 2 – 8pm.
It wouldn’t be Christmas without a traditional pantomime! With Le Navet Bete’s ‘A Christmas Carol’ at the Exeter Northcott, ‘Beauty and the Beast’ taking to the stage at Exeter Corn Exchange, ‘Cinderella’ playing at Exeter Barnfield – Exeter has plenty of choice when it comes to sparkling entertainment this Christmas. Get your tickets for the Exeter Corn Exchange events at the new Exeter Tickets box office on Fore Street.
Exeter’s historic attractions are open year round. Join a free guided walking tour of Exeter with the Red Coat Guides to discover more about this fascinating city and its 2,000 year history. Tours run daily throughout the year, except 25 & 26 December. Visit Exeter’s oldest building, St Nicholas Priory between 9 – 24 December for an atmospheric and immersive Christmas experience, as the performance of Humbug! returns with live music, video projections and plenty of festive cheer!
Escape the hubbub of Christmas shoppers at Exeter’s Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery, where a busy programme of exhibitions and events bring the fascinating collections to life. Don’t miss the RAMM Shop, the perfect place to pick unique gift that showcases the history and creativity of Exeter, Devon and beyond!
You’re also sure to find a unique gift at one of the independent craft and antiques shops on Exeter Quayside. After browsing the craft cellars here, enjoy an invigorating walk beside the river then warm up by the fire in one of the waterside pubs, cafes or restaurants!
Christmas in the beautiful estuary town of Topsham kicks off with the big Christmas lights switch on Friday 26th November. Visit the Love Topsham website for details of all the festivities, including a Christmas shopping evening, the Christmas Trail and the Winter of Sounds. With over 50 independent shops and services across the town, you’re sure to find a unique gift here!
For more information on what’s on this Christmas, visit www.visitexeter.com/christmas