There is nothing that gets you more in the festive spirit than a trip to a Christmas market, and with this list of the best Christmas markets in Hampshire you needn’t travel far.
The European craze of streets lined with pretty wooden huts selling mulled wine, chocolate and handmade arts and crafts has well and truly taken over the UK, and this is one holiday obsession that we LOVE! Whether you have present shopping in mind or you simply want to take in the atmosphere, these Christmas markets in Hampshire sure beat crowded shopping malls or trawling the internet for hours.
Here are our top best Christmas markets in Hampshire, and the reasons why they should be high on your wish list this festive season!
#1 Winchester Christmas Market
Of course this has made the number one spot in our list of best Christmas markets in Hampshire. Set in the grounds of the grand and historic Winchester Cathedral, you couldn’t find a better setting for a little present shopping!
Why visit Winchester Christmas Market?
Apart from the setting, Winchester Christmas Market is beautifully decorated, has a great atmosphere with lots of tempting places to eat and drink and although it isn’t the biggest Christmas market in Hampshire, it does boast over 100 wooden chalets selling all manner of beautiful goods.
We can see why Winchester Christmas Market was voted 2nd best UK Christmas market by booking.com and voted among the top 8 Christmas Markets in Europe by the New York Post in 2018. Will 2019 see it make the number one spot?
The stalls vary from year to year, but you can find all the usual Christmas market products like scented candles, decorative Christmas wreaths, carved wooden ornaments and handmade gifts. There are also usually more unique products available for sale, like handmade jewellery, clothing and glassware.
If all that shopping makes you thirsty then not to worry, you will find hot drinks (including alcoholic favourites like mulled wine and cider), a range of soft drinks and of course a large array of delicious smelling food that will make you put that diet on hold!
It’s also a great market for kids (and big kids!) with it’s giant ice rink in the middle of all the action. There are numerous nearby attractions too such as a Santa steam train, Winchester Science Museum with interactive displays and a planetarium (this is a firm favourite with kids of all ages) and Marwell Zoo.
Winchester Christmas Market dates 2019
Thursday 21st November- Sunday 22nd December 2019
How much does Winchester Christmas Market cost?
Winchester market is free to enter (but you will probably struggle not to part with some of your hard earned cash when you see the goods on offer!)
Opening times for Winchester Christmas Market
10am- 6.30pm Sunday- Wednesday
10am-8pm Thursday- Saturday
Top Tip: Winchester Christmas market is quietest on weekdays in the morning. If you can only make it at the weekend then try to go in the morning, as early as possible. It’s a hot spot for tourists so it does get busier in the afternoon (though of course this adds to the atmosphere!)
Where is Winchester Christmas market?
Right behind the Cathedral!
9 The Cl, Winchester, Hampshire, SO23 9LS
There are park and ride options outside of the centre, and a large parking garage inside the centre. It may get pretty crowded at the weekends!
#2 Portsmouth Dockyard Christmas Market
This is a Christmas market with a twist. Rather than trying to impersonate the famous Scandinavian style Christmas market, Portsmouth Dockyard celebrates the proper British Christmas, with a Victorian Christmas Festival.
Why go to Portsmouth Dockyard Christmas market?
We think this Christmas market is great if you want something a little different. It’s got everything a normal Christmas market has and on top of that it has entertainment in spades. There are the traditional Christmas market stalls, but as well as great shopping, food and drink you will find Victorian street performers, circus acts, a traditional green Father Christmas and a whole lot more!
Portsmouth Dockyards Christmas market has 120 different stalls, selling interesting arts and crafts from talented artists as well as all the usual delicious food and drink. Keep your eyes peeled for some famous characters, including Scrooge and even Queen Victoria herself!
Portsmouth Christmas market 2019 dates
Portsmouth Docklands Christmas market will run from 29 November – 1 December 2019. That’s only three days, so get your tickets early to avoid disappointment.
Open from 10am – 6pm.
Get your early bird tickets!
For a day out at Hampshire’s best Christmas event, early bird tickets are the easiest way to save big online for you and your family. Portsmouth Dockyard’s Christmas market offers adult, child, concession and family festival tickets.
The early bird discount rate ends on 31 October. Standard prices are also listed below. Follow this link to buy your tickets.
|Ticket description||Early bird|
|Victorian Christmas Festival Adult||£15.50||£17.00|
|Victorian Christmas Festival Child/Student||£13.50||£15.00|
|Victorian Christmas Festival Concession (65+)||£15.00||£16.50|
|Victorian Christmas Festival Family (2 adults and up to 3 children)||£43.00||£47.00|
Where is Portmouth Dockyard market?
Victory Gate, HM Naval Base, Portsmouth PO1 3LJ
There are park and ride options and 295 car parking spaces at the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard Car Park. If this is full there are alternative parking options nearby.
#3 Southampton Christmas Market
Southampton city is one of the largest cities on the south coast yet but strangely their annual Christmas market is little known of, being overshadowed by Christmas markets such as Bath, or the previously mentioned Winchester market.
Southampton Christmas market is run by WELA Märkte GmbH, a German company who have been running Christmas markets for three generations. I think it’s safe to say they know how to run a top notch Christmas market!
Why visit Southampton Christmas market?
The market includes over 40 independent stallholders set up in charming wooden huts, who offer a range of artisan gifts including wooden toys, soaps, jewellery and beautifully designed Christmas decorations.
What makes this one of the best Christmas markets in Hampshire is the food and drink. Southampton Christmas market boasts two drink stalls serving beer, mulled wine and even alcoholic hot chocolate. There is a wide range of German festive foods such as Bratwursts and gingerbread, We absolutely loved the live music, performed daily by real Bavarian musicians.
One of the highlights of the festival for kids and adults alike, is a ‘Flying Santa’ who will take to the sky over the city centre each day.
Southampton itself is a fantastic place to visit, with interesting architecture, a huge shopping complex so you can pick up any extras and a vibrant night life. You won’t need to walk far to find something else of interest, making it the perfect location for a Hampshire Christmas market.
Southampton Christmas Market dates 2019
14 Nov 2019 – 23 Dec 2019
Open 10:00-20:00 (bars open until 22:00)
Where is Southampton Christmas market?
Above Bar Pedestrian Precinct
High Street, Southampton, Hampshire, SO51 1QF
How much is entrance?
Completely free (great!)
Want more info? Check out their website here.
Beaulieu Victorian Christmas
This isn’t strictly a Christmas market but it’s a lovely seasonal day out and definitely worth considering. Visit the Victorian Montagu family home to see how the family would have prepared for Christmas in 1889. Join in with carol singing around warming log fires, Christmas crafts, watch the cook prepare food for Christmas dinner and pose in front of the life-size gingerbread house. There’s even a 20ft Christmas tree at the foot of the main staircase!
Visit on 7 & 8 December, 14 & 15 December and 21 December – 1 January (excluding Christmas day)
How much is entrance?
You must buy your tickets in advance here.
It’s easy to get into the festive season this Christmas, and you don’t even need to spend a penny to do it! Visiting one of these wonderfully festive Christmas markets will have you singing Christmas tunes and craving mince pies in no time. If you want to do Christmas on a budget then check out our guide to cheap gifts this Christmas for inspiration!