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Get set for Christmas in Exeter

Published: 10 November 2023

Get set for Christmas in Exeter Christmas in Exeter

The build-up to Christmas gets underway in Exeter next week with a festive lights switch-on and the Cathedral Christmas Market getting underway.

Whatever people are into this Christmas, there sure is something for everyone, with a sleigh-load of seasonal events in the run-up to the big day.

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without those festive lights sparkling in the night sky above Exeter’s shops and this year is no different.

The lights in the High Street – courtesy of InExeter (the city’s Business Improvement District) -Princesshay and the Guildhall Shopping Centre, will all be switched on during the evening of Thursday 16 November.

In Princesshay, visitors can expect thousands of warm twinkly lights, beautifully decorated green wreaths, a stunning new Christmas tree in Princesshay Square and multiple ‘on the ground’ photo opportunities including Santa’s Sleigh, Angel Wings and huge walk through JOY letters.

There'll also be a live show from SPARK WorldBeaters, an incredible street theatre troupe performing at 5pm, 6pm & 7pm.

Of course it wouldn't be Christmas without Santa Claus coming to town. Come and visit his elves and workshop on Bedford Street in Princesshay from 30 November to 24 December.

The following day -  Friday 17 November – sees Exeter Cathedral’s ever-popular Christmas Market opening to the public.

Running right up until Sunday 17 December, the Christmas Market sees a labyrinth of winding lanes festooned with fairly lights and laced with the seasonal sights and smells of festive chalets.

Visitors to the Market can enjoy delicious global street food, cafes, bars, West Country produce, unique hand-crafted gifts, decorations and much more. 

Shops will be staying open late on Thursdays in the run up to Christmas for people to get all their presents, food and drink.

When everyone’s all shopped out, there’s the chance to discover a bit of peace and serenity at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Art Gallery, where there’s a wonderful selection of unique Christmas gifts in the RAMM Shop. The museum is also running a series of glowing festive lantern family workshops to get people in the mood.

And if it looks like rain dear, it sure is behind you when all the fun of the Christmas panto comes to the city.

Sleeping Beauty is this season’s offering at Exeter Corn Exchange, and there’s also a chance for one  lucky family to enjoy the panto for free!

For a chance to win a family ticket just head on over to the Visit Exeter website to answer a simple question to be in with a chance of winning.

The show runs from Saturday 16 December to Monday 1 January and promises delightful fairytale sets and costumes, sing-alongs, slapstick and fun for everyone.

Across the city, Dick Whittington is the Northcott Theatre’s Christmas offering, running from 30 November to 7 January.

Exeter Custom House also has a series of Christmas events happening down on the quayside, starting with a Willow Star Workshop on Tuesday 5 December. To find out more and to book activities, head to the Custom House website at  

To find out about these and all the other events and experiences going on across Exeter, go to the Visit Exeter website at

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