Somerset’s christmas markets
- Credit: Archant
Sarah Ford offers you a sprinkling of seasonal markets perfect for tasty treats and special Christmas gifts
Somerset Farmers’ Markets Ltd organises markets at a variety of locations in the county, such as the ancient town square in Axbridge, the High Street in Burnham-on-Sea and the Market Cross in Glastonbury. For dates of Christmas markets, venues and stall holder information visit somersetfarmersmarkets.co.uk
BATH CHRISTMAS MARKET- 26 November-13 December
Billed as the biggest Christmas shopping event in the South West, this market features more than 170 beautifully decorated wooden chalets lining the streets in the heart of Bath. The Roman Baths and Bath Abbey provide a stunning backdrop for the 18-day event. The chalets offer handmade Christmas decorations, local artwork, bespoke jewellery, festive food and drink, toys, clothing and much more. New this year is The Christmas Lodge, an indoor venue in Stall Street. Drop in and take a seat to enjoy food and locally-produced ales. New caterers taking part in Bath Christmas Market this year, bringing you a range of fine festive food and mulled wine, are Pieminister, The Orchard Pig, The Great Stone Baker, The Bath Waffle Company, The Herd, Gascoyne Place, Green Park Brasserie and Chou Chou Nuts Over You. Each year Bath Christmas Market is complemented by entertainment from local choirs, musicians, carol singers, interactive street theatre and local dramatic societies. bathchristmasmarket.co.uk
HIGH STREET MARKET- 20 November – 23 December
Children can write a letter to Santa in a market on Taunton’s High Street. Christmas themed stalls, open 10am until late on Tues, Wed, Fri, Sat & Sun, will sell sell gifts, clothing and food. Take part in free workshops or enjoy storytelling and a reindeer trail. 10am-late Thurs & Sat; 10am-approx 4.30pm other days.
MONTACUTE HOUSE- 28 November & 19 December
The triple award-winning Levels’ Best Farmers’ Market holds its event in partnership with the National Trust. Each market hosts about 30 stalls selling a variety of fresh, artisan and traditionally-made food and drink and crafts. Plus live music.
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CHRISTMAS COLLECTION- 30 November – 23 December
Ilminster Arts Centre’s annual exhibition offers a fresh look at gift-buying options. The event brings together a handpicked selection of talented local artisans who make beautiful and unusual objects such as ceramics, textiles, wooden items, glassware, homewares and more. Admission is free.
Mon-Fri 9.30am-4.30pm; Sat 9.30am-2.30pm. Ilminster Arts Centre, East Street, 01460 55783; themeetinghouse.org.uk
BLACKDOWN HILLS MARKET- Daily from 1-24 December
More than 20 local artisans will come together in Taunton’s Castle Green next to the Museum of Somerset. Items on offer include fleeces produced in the beautiful Blackdown Hills, handmade wood products for your home and kitchen, handmade jewellery, original art work and also metal work.
In addition there will be street food, farmers’ markets, local musicians, plus entertainment such as a blacksmiths forge in action.
Fire and lights installations and performances will take place on 12, 17, 19 and 20 December at 3pm. And don’t miss a parade on 12 December, 5-7pm, featuring around 270 school children. They will be accompanied by two bands along with the production cast of Merlin and stilt walkers. The parade comes to one big finale in Castle Green next to the markets. All the entertainment is free.For further information visit BlackdownHillsMarket on Facebook .
BRUNEL SQUARE- 5 December
A seasonal market returns to the stunning Bristol harbourside setting of Brunel Square next to the ss Great Britain. More than 30 local food, drink and craft stalls give you the chance to fill the Christmas larder with the finest artisan treats and ingredients and an opportunity to find unique and high quality Christmas gifts. While you’re perusing the stalls, enjoy carols and Christmas music and seasonal treats such as warming mulled wine, mince pies and hot chestnuts. Why not visit Brunel’s ss Great Britain while you’re there and learn about what the ship would have been like during a traditional Dickensian Christmas?Free entry to the market, easy access including a ferry stop and on-site Dockyard Café. 10am-3pm, ssgreatbritain.org
CARYFORD MARKET- 5 December
The community hall in Castle Cary stages an annual Christmas market with a wide variety of crafts. Last year a record number of visitors turned out to buy items including jam and jellies, handmade wood, glass, wicker and knitted items, paintings, jewellery and Christmas decorations.
For a list of stallholders. Visit caryfordhall.co.uk 10am-3pm, Caryford Community Hall, Maggs Lane, BA7 7JJ.
MISS VELLACOTT’S CHRISTMAS FAIR- 5 December
Now a long standing tradition in the West Somerset village of Sampford Brett, the fair promises lots of Christmas goodies, cakes, bulbs, a raffle
and afternoon teas. All proceeds in aid of St George’s Church. 2.30pm, Sampford Brett Village Hall.
TYNTESFIELD- 5 & 6 December
The National Trust property hosts a food and craft market full of Christmas atmosphere, with music, mistletoe and festive treats. From freshly baked seasonal goodies to handmade jewellery and ceramics. Free entry to the market. 10am-3pm, nationaltrust.org.uk
FROME INDEPENDENT- 6 December
This destination, curated street market takes over the whole of Frome town centre on the first Sunday of the month from March to December. The market hosts more than 200 stalls in total, and has different sections covering food, flea, designer maker, as well as a suitcase sale on the boutique Catherine Hill. The Frome Independent loves a themed event and for the December market it has swapped the usual Christmas trappings and decided to go for a Star Wars theme to help raise money for two local charities. Visitors are invited to dress up as their favourite character from Star Wars for some inter-galactic fun! Foodies will not be disappointed with the smorgasbord of local, seasonal and regional food and drink on offer. The market also showcases fledgling and established contemporary designers and makers and independent traders. For vintage lovers there’s a treasure trove of pre-loved fashion, collectibles and furniture in the flea market. 10am-3pm, Frome town centre, thefromeindependent.org.uk
CANDLELIT SHOPPING- 10 December
Rumwell Farm shop near Taunton is hosting a free festive night in aid of Somerset Sight and bibic. The shop will be lit by hundreds of candles and people who attend the event will receive a free mulled wine and mince pie. The Somerset Hills Ladies choir and The RiverTones, an all-male acapella unaccompanied harmony choir, will be performing Christmas carols. 5pm-8pm, rumwellfarmshop.com
NAILSEA MARKETS- 18 & 19 December
Nailsea Country Market takes place every Friday, 10-11.15am in Christ Church Vestry Hall and
the Christmas market takes place on 18 December. Nailsea Farmers’ & Craft Market stages a Christmas event on 19 December in Crown Glass Place, 9am-1pm.
TAUNTON FARMERS’ MARKET- 20 December
This successful market in the county town will stage its Christmas Market by Taunton’s historic Market House. For food and drink at the last minute, head for the market in the High Street on Christmas Eve. 9am-3pm, tauntonfarmersmarket.co.uk