Things to do

Top five Devon Christmas markets

There are plenty of fairs, markets and festivals in Devon to get you feeling ready for Christmas day. This is my pick of the top five events in the county in November and December from smaller local markets to city-wide month-long festivals, there's plenty to choose from and no excuse to be a Scrooge this xmas.

Devon is bursting with plenty of fairs, markets and festivals to get you into the festive spirit throughout November and December. There’s an amazing mix of smaller, bespoke markets and huge, anything-and-everything festivals. Larger markets are perfect for little ones as there are plenty of things to keep them busy while you get some Christmas shopping done but the charm of a smaller event (and maybe a glass of mulled wine) really brings out that warming festive feeling. Browse the homemade crafts, taste the food and drink on offer and soak up the atmosphere ready for the big day.

Saltram Christmas market is the ultimate festive event in Devon.

Image credit: National Trust

If you’re not quite ready to admit that Christmas is coming but you’re keen to start shopping early, visit Powderham Castle on 14th November for their Michaelmas Fair. There will be plenty of gifts available that you won’t find on the high street. You can browse (and buy) without feeling too guilty as this fair is in aid of ABF The Soldiers’ Charity so a small amount of your spend will go towards helping others this festive season.

For the big daddy of Christmas markets in Devon, look no further than the Exeter Christmas market on the Cathedral green from 16th November until 19th December. This Christmas extravaganza offers unique and unusual gifts, decorations and food items to make this year’s celebration one to remember. The market creates a real buzz at the heart of the city and the picturesque setting in the shadow of the Cathedral really adds to the atmosphere.

Totnes Christmas market nights on 3rd, 10th and 17th December offer a quieter approach to the party season. This is a slightly more personal affair but still very popular and growing every year. A wide selection of stocking fillers, food and crafts will give you plenty to get your hands on in preparation for Christmas day.

Saltram Christmas festival in Devon

Image Credit: National Trust

Nobody does Christmas better than the National Trust so you can’t go wrong with their annual Christmas festival at Saltram. From 15th to 17th November you can find mulled wine, Christmas shopping, hot food and even a turkey for your table. Take in the sights, sounds and smells of Christmas in the atmospheric grounds of Saltram before entering to see the house fully decked out ready for Xmas. 

Make one final foray into all things festive at the Plymouth Christmas market from 28th November to 19th December. Enjoy stalls of traditional pretty log cabins selling arts, crafts and foods from across the South West. Last year’s market boasted a Bavarian style bar with a heated seating area and a selection of entertainment at the heart of the stalls to keep market-goers entertained day and night.

Plymouth Christmas market in Devon

Image Credit: Visit Plymouth

Make a weekend of it and stay in one of our Devon cottages over the festive season.


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