The smell of cloves and cinnamon waft in the air and it immediately evokes memories of Christmas trees, log fires and all the lovely seasonal things that December brings. This is the smell that enveloped us as we walked into the Winchester Christmas Market.
The source of this spicy scent were the huts selling Christmas wreaths, decorations and mulled wine at the entrance to the market. All these huts were abundantly adorned with all sorts of twinkly lights and pretty decorations which immediately puts you into the right mood for a spot of Christmas shopping.
The Winchester Cathedral Christmas Market is set very dramatically right in the middle of Winchester Cathedral’s Inner Close. There are a few stalls at the front of the Cathedral but the rest of the market is further around the side. To get to it, you have to follow the crowds and walk through a crowded narrow corridor under historic arches. This is supposed to be one of the biggest Christmas Markets in Europe now.
The market is really impressive as it is set up under the dramatic architectural eaves of the Cathedral. Lots of German style market huts adorned with twinkly lights stretched around the courtyard. In the middle of this was the Ice Rink. We could see large groups of families waiting their turn for a spin on the open air the ice rink.
The stalls seemed to be doing a roaring trade as there was quite a large crowd. The stalls were selling Christmas wreaths, candles, hand crafted Christmas ornaments and all sorts of other festive things.
There is a section of the market for the Artisanal Craft stalls. This section of the market was the most interesting as there were lots of unique gifts made by artists here. A lot of artisanal craft people selling pottery, art, jewellery, bags and scarves. Lots of beautiful things for Christmas pressies. Some of the presents we bought here were a silver charm from Sally Wilcox, a print and some cards of doggies, hand made bird house and some twinkly ornaments.
Of course every market has to have a refreshment area. At the back of the market, a group of food trucks were circled around a seating area. The stalls were selling the usual array of fast food from hot drinks and hot dogs to candy floss. As we just came from lunch, we didn’t sample a lot from here but we did share a hot dog with our canine travel buddies.
We had a very fun and productive visit to the Winchester Christmas market and I would highly recommend a visit for a lovely day out and to do some Christmas shopping.
The Winchester Christmas market is on until 22 December 2013. More details here: http://winchester-cathedral.org.uk/christmas/christmas-market/
Eat Cook Explore was a guest of Winchester Tourism and a visit to the Christmas Market was part of our day trip to historic Winchester.