Close Icon
Guide to Christmas in the Cotswolds


The weather changes and it doesn’t take long for our minds to wander to thoughts of frosty Christmas mornings and films by the fireside. Warm mince pies and steaming mugs of mulled wine. Crisp winter walks, ending in a local pub with a roaring fire and merry chatter – we love getting into the festive spirit.

And here is some of what is coming up this Christmas in the Cotswolds, featuring Stroud, Broadway and Gloucester. There’s late-night Christmas shopping, outdoor festive markets and magical ice-rinks, Christmas pantomimes and pretty villages twinkling with magical festoons. Beautifully decorated shop windows jam-packed with unique gifts that are perfect for this season of good-will. We can’t wait and hope you will join us.

Gloucester Quays Victorian Christmas Market

Gloucester Quays, Cotswolds Designer Outlet

Gloucester is the ‘cathedral city of the Cotswolds’. It lies on the estuary of the River Severn and it’s beautifully restored harbour is England’s most inland port, making it very accessible, as well as home to a very fascinating heritage. Gloucester itself is located just off the M5 and one hour from both Birmingham International Airport and Bristol Airport and a direct train from London Paddington Train Station into Gloucester takes only 1h 43m.

In the city centre, Gloucester Quays is a locally known gem for Christmas shopping. It is the Cotswolds premier shopping centre, where you’re sure to get lots of your Christmas shopping done, even those ‘tricky to buy for’ family members. There are over 100 shops, a mix of high street names that teens love as well as designer shops, and all at discounted outlet prices, so you can splurge with your Christmas shopping. Are you going to go for eco-friendly gift wrapping this year, as we all try for a more sustainable approach to this indulgent time of year? Or, after a year of going plastic-free, or reducing plastic use, are you thinking of something a little more luxurious. We love dark blue night sky with gold moon and stars as a Christmas wrap theme. Or, how about Morris & Co tissue paper for those extra-special gifts. And for a Made in Britain alternative, we love Chase and Wonder and their retro Christmas Skiing print paper. Christmas is all wrapped up with a visit to the Cotswolds!

Tewkesbury Festival of Christmas Lights 2019

Gloucester Quays Victorian Christmas Market

From the 14th to 24th November, 11am – 6pm, Gloucester Quays shopping centre takes its superb hosting prowess outdoors in one of the largest Victorian Christmas events in the country and one not to miss if you’re visiting the Cotswolds for Christmas. Based around a large, magical, open-air ice rink, there are 150 seasonal stalls, selling food, drink and artisan gifts that you’ll not find on the high street. Victorian character, fun-fair rides and other festive entertainment makes this a very family-friendly event too.

Late-Night Christmas Shopping, Broadway

This year, for two special dates the delightful wonder that is late-night Christmas shopping opens at Broadway Market. Those dates are Friday 29th Nov and Friday 6th December from 5.30pm to 8.30pm. Now, Broadway Market is one of the very loveliest late-night Christmas shopping experiences and a must as we are fast approaching the festive season. Following the Norman Conquest in 1066, Broadway was one of six new market towns founded in the Cotswolds and interestingly has one of the longest high streets in the UK and when it is adorned in Christmas fairy lights it is quite simply the most magical place to be and no better way to get into the festive spirit.

You’ll find yourself welcomed with a lovely jolly atmosphere, with a Christmas band whisking visitors away with their Fairy-tale of New York rendition. The delicious smell of chestnuts roasting on an outdoor grill and the smoky smell of German sausages fills the air and there’s such a large selection of wonderful independent shops to browse.

Late Night Christmas Shopping In Broadway

Tewkesbury Festival of Christmas Lights 2019

On Sunday 24 November, midday to 6pm, the delightful market town of Tewkesbury, known for its striking Abbey, is jam-packed with Christmas entertainment. 5pm is when eyes turn from shopping to a magical visit from Santa, who turns the beautiful streetlights on. Before then, get your fill of lovely Christmas gifts in this superb farmers market, with stalls filled with unique stocking fillers and special gift ideas.

The Malthouse Collective 2

Snow White and the Seven Dwarves Panto, Stroud

From the 21st -24th December, one of Disney’s best-loved seasonal pantomimes comes to The Subscription Rooms. Yes, ‘That’s Entertainment’ production company are bringing a funny retelling the classic, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. ‘The Sub Rooms’ is the leading entertainment venue in the heart of Stroud – a vibrant market town at the foot of the Cotswold Hills. In this hilarious festive performance, expect mayhem and madness in one of the loveliest, traditional pantos and also featuring the one and only Britain’s Got Talent finalist Drew Cameron!

Christmas at the Malthouse Collective, Stroud

Located just on the outskirts of Stroud, on the road to Painswick, is the Cotswold shopping gem, the Malthouse Collective. Housed in the huge former malthouse, the Malthouse Collective is home to over 80 antique dealers and local artisan makers, selling the very best in homeware and interior designs. This is Stroud’s largest antiques collective and they are hosting an array of events over the festive season. On the 22nd December join The Bespoke Flower Company and learn how to make a contemporary table centrepiece. There are children’s Christmas crafts on 20th December. Oh, there’s so much hands-on fun to be had, as well as shopping. From wreath, bauble and cracker making to Christmas fairy workshop and the wonderful Taste of Christmas, with traditional chestnut roasting and pancakes. For unusual gift ideas or for getting your house ready for festive entertaining, the Malthouse Collective is a great little Cotswold secret.

The Malthouse Collective