We know we have had so many guests visit the Christmas Market this year so here’s our little review of the markets… we would love to welcome you next year to experience for yourselves!

Do you remember going to a Christmas market as a child?  The lights, the smells, the sounds, the snacks and above all, the atmosphere.  I can still remember feeling that sense of belonging, that if only for one day every single man, woman and child was there for the same reason; to experience Christmas the way it should be.

If you have not yet had the experience, then now is your time, Winchester Christmas market will make you feel like a child again…but with slightly more freedom to buy what you want without being on your best behaviour!  This is a wonderful day out; but we think the best way to experience it is to make a mini break of it and stay at South Winchester Lodges. Oh, and if Christmas simply isn’t Christmas without your trusty canine companion then, yes, you can bring him with you! We have dog-friendly lodges with plenty of countryside to roam around, walks right on your doorstep and woodland to explore; you can even take them to the market as long as they are happy on a lead.

So, what’s so good about the market and why do we recommend it so highly?  Well, there is a reason that since its inception in 2006 it is ranked one of the top 8 in Europe by the New York Post and why in 2018 Winchester cathedral Market was voted 2nd best in the whole of the UK by Booking.com! Half a million visitors each year cannot be wrong! 

The market, running until 22nd December, was inspired by the traditional German Market with the quaint chalet style stalls and a ready smile everywhere you look.  Whether you are going to peruse Christmas treats, buy gifts, or simply to soak up the atmosphere you won’t be disappointed.  There is even an open-air ice rink for your mid shopping break – and to burn off the calories you just ingested in the form of traditional stollen, mince pies and plenty of bratwurst for sustenance. All washed down with hot mulled wine!

We love the hand-crafted goods in the delicate wooden chalets, all made with creativity and, we like to think, just a sprinkling of Christmas magic!  You can choose wares from jewellers, painters, glass makers and textile artists, all selling beautifully made decorations and gifts.  Every exhibitor has been hand-picked and specially selected for their unique, interesting and high-quality products.

There is a mouth-watering selection of delicious treats to tempt you and your newly found festive taste buds, so who could blame you for choosing a selection to nibble as you meander through the stalls, it is important to keep up your energy levels so that you have enough reserves to reach every corner that Winchester Cathedral Market has to offer.  The cathedral itself is positively steeped in Christmas authenticity (and authenticity of the normal variety too).  There are traditional carol services and concerts, filling every corner of the Cathedral with resounding joy, tradition and thanksgiving.  Everyone is welcome, residents and non-residents, to join Winchester for the Advent and Christmas services.  There is a family carol service where you can take refuge from the happy crowds and rest your tired feet whilst enjoying the dulcet tones of the choir all set within the atmospheric Cathedral Nave.

What kind of Christmas experience would be complete without a nativity scene?  Well…it wouldn’t be! Towards the end of the British Craft Village you will find one of the most enchanting nativity scenes complete with three wise men, the stable (with various animals) and of course baby Jesus.  How well do you remember the story?  Were you a five-year-old angel with itchy tinsel in your hair or were you more suited to the resident barn animals?  Whatever your predilection, this touch of nostalgia adds the perfect amount of magic and traditional, either to be relived or handed down to the little ones holding your hands.

But wait, there’s myrrh!  On day two of your stay at our Lodges you can explore the other festive celebrations that our fair city has to offer.  How about a showing on the big screen of the Snowman, what a classic!  Will you be walking in the air as you make your way to Santa and the Elves Christmas Experience?  Santa is back at the Science Centre and he has enlisted the help of Jack and his Bean Stalk!  Enjoy this charming elf-lead activity with live shows and chance to meet the big man himself.  Perhaps all rounded off with the Christmas and Twilight Tower Tours where you can see spectacular views of the Market and rink all from on high and pick out your favourite stalls from yesterday.  You can also choose from the Reindeer Roundup, Traditional flour milling, Santa’s Christmas party and oh so much more!

Our lodges are situated just a 12-minute drive away from everything we have mentioned here.  Smack in the middle of stunning woodland and far enough off the beaten track so you feel like you have been transported into a C. S. Lewis’s novel. Our cosy rooms offer a welcome haven and a slice of very festive pie all washed down with a warm cosy bed, child safeguards, travel cots, hot tubs (with safety cover), fully equipped kitchen, washing machine (for mulled wine splashes), Wi-Fi, large flat screen TV and even a DVD player.  So when all your energy is spend, whether its you and your partner on a romantic getaway, you and a group of friends celebrating the season, or you and your little ones, its time to pop your feet up, enjoy your home from home and settle down with one of our meals to your door (the lighter selection after all that sampling), slippers on, snuggle down and pop on your favourite Christmas movie.  Ahhh, bliss.

Contact us now at South Winchester Lodges on 01962 820490 or info@southwinchesterlodges.co.uk to book a last minute break for this year or to arrange your Christmas break for 2020 (we sell out fast for this time of year, so the earlier you book, the better!)