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6 of the Best Things to Do in the Cotswolds at Christmas

6 of the Best Things to Do in the Cotswolds at Christmas

Christmas is such magical time here in the Cotswolds. If you love being in a traditional Christmas setting, surrounded by beautiful lights and festive cheer then you won’t want to miss visiting the spectacular chocolate box villages dotted around the region. With the smells of pine trees and cinnamon in the air, there’s no better place to be than the Cotswolds at this wonderful time of year. And here are 6 of the best things to do in December time…

1. Christmas Markets


One of our favourite activities at this time of year is visiting the many Christmas markets and attending the fantastic Christmas light switch-ons. It’s great fun for all the family and some of the best markets to visit include Bath, Cheltenham, Chipping Campden and Cirencester. Some of the switch-ons feature celebrity guests and the bigger markets sometimes have fireworks, ice skating and a Santa’s Grotto for the kids.

2. Late Night Shopping

Whilst Bath and Cheltenham may be known for their big festive market events, many of the smaller villages in the Cotswolds have their own late night shopping evenings. The pretty village of Broadway features late night festive shopping with carol singers, street entertainment, mulled wine and more! Shops and tea rooms stay open until 8:30pm or later so everyone can get in the yuletide spirit of the season!

3. Enjoy Festive Lunch in a Pub


Old fashioned inns and gastropubs are one of the best things about the Cotswolds. And wherever you book your stay, you’ll never be too far from a traditional pub with old world charm and a roaring fire. This is the perfect time to cosy up with a glass of wine and great food. Some of the best pubs with open fires in the Cotswolds include The Wheatsheaf Inn in Northleach, The Kings Head Inn in Bledington, The Potting Shed in Malmesbury, The Wild Duck Inn in Cirencester and The Ebrington Arms in Chipping Campden.

4. See a Christmas Show in Cheltenham

During the Christmas period, there are a number of family-friendly shows organised by the Cheltenham Trust, available across various venues across the town. A few shows available this year include the theatrical adaptation of Nicholas Allen’s book, Father Christmas Comes Up Trumps, as well as the magical Christmas tale of The Snowman and Carnival Of The Animals.

5. Go for a Winter Walk

dog walk winter

Winter strolls are absolutely wonderful in the Cotswolds. With our inspiring country landscape and endless choice of easy, moderate and advanced walking routes, there is something to suit everyone. Some superb seasonal walks include the Painswick to Slad circular walk (6 miles), the Cotswold Way circular walk (4 miles), and the Cleeve Hill to Winchcombe walk (4 miles).

6. Watch the Lights at Sudeley Castle
The Spectacle of Light is returning to Sudeley Castle, promising a wonderfully unique experience for families, groups or couples during the month of December. This majestic castle is truly spectacular in winter time and during the light show, visitors will be able to follow a trail of lights through the castle ruins and secret garden paths.

If you really want to embrace the Christmas spirit, why not stay in our aptly named Christmas Cottage in Stow-on-the-Wold.