|Thanks Google Images|
Trying to get a group of friends to visit Winchester Christmas Markets on a Friday night wasn't easy, but four of us managed to get the kids sorted, hubbies to commit to being home at a reasonably early time so we could head off down the M3 for a night of giggles and Christmas shopping.
It was the perfect, crisp, clear COLD December night to go to Winchester Christmas Markets. The forecast was for super cold weather (it snowed every so lightly around 10am) but we still braved it. Four mums out on a Friday night. Two had never been to the Markets here, one had (but many years ago), and one had never been to Winchester at all!
One was dressed in thermal, long sleeve t-shirt, with a polo neck jumper, Christmas themed cardigan, winter coat, gloves, scarf AND bought a gorgeous winter hat. The rest of us had coats, hats and gloves over every-day tops LOL. And it was cold!
So cold in fact, that there was hardly anyone there when we arrived around 6.30pm. The mulled wine on arrival hit the spot!
Note to self: arrive earlier next year. For some reason (maybe the cold weather, maybe because they start trading at 10am) the markets shut at 7.30pm on-the-dot. We walked into one shop ready to buy, only to be told, "sorry, we're closing" and that was that.
I've been several times, and love it. Didn't take any photo's cos I needed my hands in my gloves. Hubby was pleased it was so cold as I didn't take too much money out of my wallet LOL.
The Cathedral Close is probably one of the best locations for a Christmas Market as they nestle peacefully under the strong, towering walls of the Cathedral. The soft, emotive lighting of the exterior of the Cathedral is so tastefully done. The Chalets are the usual wooden huts, some set up for customers to walk into and browse, while others present their goods to you from behind a display counter.
What I really enjoy about Winchester Markets, and my friends commented on too, was the number of local artisans and craftspeople offering high quality, unique items at reasonable prices. Two of our group have been to markets in Europe and said this was as good, if not a little bit better! As a past resident of Winchester, I was rather pleased to hear that.
In November, The Daily Telegraph listed Winchester Christmas Markets as one of the Top Markets in the UK.
We all purchased gifts, and a few things for ourselves. If only we'd had longer (and it wasn't so cold)
Next year, we'll plan better AND book a restaurant for dinner (took several attempts before we found one that could seat us. I forget how popular dining out in Winchester is).
The walk back to the car was delightful - past the Guildhall all lit up, the Old Wooden Mill with the Itchen River flowing very fast under the bridge, past Bishop on the Bridge, The Black Bottle, No 5 Bridge Street and the Chesil Restaurant.
For more information about the markets, click here.