Often referred to as the ‘Capital of the Cotswolds’, Cirencester exudes historic charm and architectural splendour.
As winter approaches, the city’s renowned weekend market, the Cirencester Christmas Market, lights up the streets, drawing locals and tourists to participate in the festive event.
Below, I’ll detail all the essential information, including confirmed 2023 dates and opening times.
With its rich Roman history, Cirencester takes on a magical atmosphere during Christmas.
The town’s ancient streets and Cotswold stone buildings are adorned with twinkling lights and festive decorations, creating a picturesque winter setting.
Cirencester Christmas Market 2023
Cirencester’s Advent Market is a central highlight of the town’s winter festivities, taking pride of place in and around the Market Place.
The vibrant atmosphere is enhanced by live entertainment from local performers, bringing warmth and cheer to the town centre.
With a vast selection of over 100 stalls, it offers visitors an array of choices, making it a standout event in Cirencester’s calendar.
Dates and Location
Cirencester Christmas Market dates: 25th and 26th November 2023.
Location: Market Place.
Opening times: Saturday: 10am to 6pm. Sunday: 10am to 4pm.
Ice skating: Yes, at Cirencester Abbey Grounds.
Pet-friendly: Yes, but not recommended during busy periods.
Parking: Please take public transport to help limit congestion.
Reason to visit: Historic setting, live local performances, largest town in the Cotswolds.
Specialities: Cotswold cheeses, local pies, hot cider, artisanal chocolates, traditional British puddings.
Where to stay: The Fleece at Cirencester is a highly-rated hotel located directly on Market Place.
Hotels near Cirencester Christmas Market
If you’re visiting Cirencester, there are some excellent places to stay right in the town centre.
I suggest booking a room at The Fleece at Cirencester, known for its convenient location and warm ambience. It’s situated directly on Market Square, the location of the Christmas and Advent market.
To discover more enchanting destinations like this, I recommend reading my guide to the Best Christmas Markets in the UK.
Location of Cirencester Christmas Market
Christmas in Cirencester
Christmas Specialties in Cirencester
Mulled Wine: A winter favourite across the globe, mulled wine can be found at many of the Cirencester Christmas Market stalls. It’s typically made by heating red wine with various mulling spices and sometimes raisins. The warm beverage is perfect for those chilly winter evenings.
Pigs in Blankets: These bite-sized snacks are a Christmas favourite in the UK. They consist of small sausages, often called chipolatas, wrapped in bacon. They’re usually served hot from the oven, with their crispy, salty exterior making them an irresistible snack.
Gingerbread Cookies: You’ll likely find beautifully decorated gingerbread cookies at the Cirencester Christmas Market. These spiced biscuits, often cut into festive shapes and intricately iced, are sweet treats children and adults enjoy.
Bratwurst: An international addition from Germany, Bratwurst sausages are a common sight at many Christmas markets. These are typically served in a bun with a variety of toppings, such as onions, sauerkraut, and a selection of sauces.
Toffee Apples: These are apples covered in a hard toffee or sugar candy coating, then stuck onto a stick for easier eating. A common sight at fairgrounds and markets, the mix of tart apple and sweet, crunchy coating makes for a delightful snack.
What to Buy
Locally-Made Cheeses: The Cotswolds region is famous for its dairy production. You can purchase a variety of local cheeses at the market, perfect for creating a festive cheeseboard or as a gift for foodies.
Cotswold Honey: The fertile Cotswolds area is known for its honey production. At the Advent market, you can buy jars of local honey, a sweet reminder of your trip to Cirencester.
Handmade Soaps and Candles: Many stalls feature handcrafted soaps and candles, often made with natural, locally sourced ingredients. You’ll find a wide range of fragrances, from classic lavender and rose to more festive scents like cinnamon and pine.
Christmas Decorations: As you’d expect at a Christmas market, many festive decorations are available. These can range from handmade wooden ornaments and glass baubles to wreaths made from local foliage.
Knitted Goods: With the cold winter weather, knitted goods like scarves, gloves, and hats are popular items at the market. Often made from local wool, these items are not only practical but make thoughtful gifts too.
Cotswold Gin: A staple of the region, Cotswold gin is distilled using local botanicals. Bottles of this premium spirit make a great gift for the gin lover in your life.
Things to do in Winter
As you plan your trip, I suggest you make use of the Cotwolds tourist office, a resourceful site that provides valuable information for visitors heading to Cirencester. They have a guide to things to do in winter in Cirencester.
Sustainable Christmas Tips
Here are a few tips on how we can travel more responsibly in Cirencester at Christmas.
Opt for Green Accommodation: When booking your stay in Cirencester, you might consider accommodation that utilises renewable energy.
Reduce Food Waste: Many food vendors at the Cirencester Christmas Markets take part in initiatives to minimise food waste. You can do your part by ordering mindfully, finishing what you’ve ordered, or taking leftovers back to your accommodation for later.
Shop Ethically: Consider supporting local artisans who employ ethical production practices at the Christmas market. Buying handmade gifts, like handcrafted jewellery, promotes the local economy and reduces the carbon footprint associated with mass-produced goods.
Sustainable Diets: Opt for plant-based or locally sourced food options when dining in Cirencester.
Use Public Transport: Cirencester town centre, where the Christmas market is located, is easily walkable, providing an even more sustainable option. Try to get public transport to and from Cirencester.
The Cirencester Christmas Market 2023 dates are 25th and 26th November 2023.
The Christmas Market is situated in Cirencester’s historic city centre at Market Place.
Cirencester Christmas Market opening hours are Saturday: 10am to 6pm. Sunday: 10am to 4pm.
If you would like to leave a review of Cirencester Xmas Market, comment below.
Recommendations are independently chosen based on personal travel experiences and extensive research. This post contains affiliate links to hotels and tours in Cirencester, United Kingdom. This means I get a small commission from any bookings at no extra cost to you.