After careful consideration and much planning, Winchester Cathedral is pleased to announce that its Christmas services, Christmas Market and festive activities that offer a truly unique experience will return this year. The installation of the huge Christmas tree in the Nave, a schedule of wonderful carol services, along with a special screening of The Snowman and the return of the Christmas Market, all herald the arrival of the festive season.  

Opening on the 19th November, and recognised as one of the best in Europe, Winchester Cathedral’s Christmas Market is renowned for its unique location, handpicked high quality exhibitors and bustling atmosphere, making it a must-visit destination for all those in search of an authentic Christmas experience. Inspired by traditional German Christmas Markets, you’ll be captivated by the sights, sounds and smells of around a 100 chalets, all selling tempting seasonal treats, delicious produce and exclusive Christmas gifts.  

This year, the layout has been designed to allow more room for social distancing with increased space and wider walkways. Whilst it is an outdoor event, measures are being put in place to support social distancing, including the monitoring of numbers during busy periods. The ice rink has been replaced with a stage, and a far larger food court, which will host a variety of exciting, free performances throughout the duration of the Christmas Market.  

A range of festive food and drink will be on offer, including mulled wine, churros and roasted chestnuts, and visitors will also have the opportunity to enjoy a programme of live, local music, primarily focused on the weekends, but also at various times throughout the week. Acts from across Hampshire, including choir groups, community bands, school choirs, city buskers, jazz groups and more, will come together to perform on the stage to entertain festive visitors.  

The Christmas Market will be open daily from Friday 19 November – Wednesday 22 December from 10.00am, until 6.30pm Sunday to Wednesday and 8.00pm Thursday to Saturday. Admission to the Christmas Market is free.  

Alison Evans, Chief Operating Officer at Winchester Cathedral said, “We are delighted to announce the return of the Christmas Market to Winchester Cathedral this year. The market is a huge attraction, which many visitors look forward to, so we have made a few changes in order to keep all traders and the public safe. The Christmas Market will have something for everyone with the many unique gifts and treats on offer from the wide variety of chalets, along with live performances and additional space for visitors to safely relax with delicious food and drinks in the historic grounds of the Cathedral. The return of the market is also an opportunity to put the difficulties and challenges of last year behind us and to be able to look forward to a wonderful and hopeful Christmas. We look forward to welcoming visitors back this year, with a programme of events and services that will bring festive cheer to all”.  

Visitors should also take the time to explore the wonders and history of the magnificent Cathedral itself. With a towering Christmas tree and traditional carol services that run throughout December, Winchester Cathedral really is at the heart of the city’s celebration. With its many Christmas services that offer a truly unique experience, this year will see the return of some popular fixtures in the Cathedral’s calendar, including:  

  • Advent Procession, a spectacular service of darkness and light to celebrate the start of Advent, taking place at 6.30pm on Saturday 27th November 
  • Traditional carol services, filled with beautiful music sung by the Cathedral Choir and traditional Christmas readings, will take place on Monday 20th, Tuesday 21st and Thursday 23rd 
  • Fun for all the family, The Big Dress Up Nativity returns on Friday 24th  

To plan your visit to Winchester Cathedral’s Christmas Market, please click here

For the full schedule of Christmas Services, please click here