A guide to Christmas in the Cotswolds

There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that the Cotswolds is a phenomenal place to spend your Christmas. Festive cheer is by no means in short supply, and the landscape looks particularly gorgeous under the gleam of frost or (if you’re lucky) a blanket of snow. If you’re staying at one of the luxury lakeside lodges we provide in the Cotswold Water Parks, here are just a few of the many delights you can experience during Christmas.

We’re going to look at all the Christmas markets, light shows, activities, and more peaceful places to simply enjoy the stillness of the season. Whether you’re going alone, bringing the family, or even taking a trip with the dog, the Cotswold has something to offer all people of all ages.

The Bath Christmas market

There are few things that feel as cosy and welcoming as a good Christmas market. The gorgeous city of Bath puts on a phenomenal show.

The Georgian streets light up with a warm glow thanks to the multitude of over 200 stalls, not to mention the colourful lighting cast against the many landmarks overlooking the main street, such as Bath Abbey.

There is a range of seasonal and culturally expressive foods to try and artisans and entertainers of all kinds that make for a perfect family stroll. If you only have the time to visit one Christmas market, make sure it’s Bath’s.

A magical walk through Sudeley Castle

Sudeley Castle is always a particularly romantic spot in the Cotswolds to explore and it only gets better during Christmas.

From picturesque gardens to looming ruins, it’s a destination full of wonder. When the Spectacle of Light bathes it all in a multicoloured glow under the night sky, then it becomes even more fantastical.

Moroccan lanterns and lit fields of poppies are entrancing enough, but if you follow the illuminated trail, you can even come across some particularly noteworthy guests, the characters from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. It’s a walk that both couples and families can adore.

Afternoon tea at The King’s Hotel

There’s nothing quite like finding a spot to admire the sights of Christmas while staying cosy, warm and, most of all, well-fed.

There are plenty of fantastic places to get afternoon tea in the Cotswolds, but The King’s Hotel in Chipping Camden might be one of the best. The grandiose 18th century quarters of the hotel offer a perfect view of the charming yellow brick streets.

You can’t forget about all the festive fancies, sandwiches, mince pies, cakes and scones, either. You have a choice of drinks, but mulled wine completes a picture-perfect Christmas afternoon tea.

Walk the Arden Way and River Arrow path

There’s something to be said about the stillness of nature that comes around in the winter. Dog owners, in particular, love the trails offered by Arden Way and River Arrow, but it’s worth visiting in the winter more than ever before.

With a gorgeous bluebell wood and some lovely carved landmarks, like the famous clock, it’s a gentle walk through the Heart of England Forest that can help you appreciate the quiet and peace of the season in full.

Carols at Charlecote Park Christmas House

If you’re looking for a place to enjoy some charming choral singing, then Charlecote Park Christmas House in Wellesbourne might be a place worth visiting. There are choral carol services all across the Cotswold. However, this one promises to be particularly special with a seasonal theme taking visitors back 100 years.

The House will be decorated as it was in December 1918, the first peacetime Christmas that the area had in four years. Anyone can enjoy a carol service, but families may want to bring the children along as a certain Father Christmas will be welcoming visitors, too. It’s free to visit, but highly in demand so booking in advance is advised.

Join the crowds at the Cheltenham Races

This historic racetrack is well worth visiting at any time of the year, but it draws a lot of visitors in the winter. The crowds wrap up warm and enjoy a few festive drinks, making it a great choice for a group holiday out with friends and family.

There are fewer more fun ways to get heated than cheering for your favourite to win the race. If you want to visit the racecourse during The International, make sure you book in advance as the spots are taken very quickly by racing fans.

Enjoy the beauty of Cotswold Water Park

With lakes stretching beyond sight and the stillness of the surrounding nature, there are few better places to spend the holiday season than in the Cotswold Water Park.

A lakeside lodge can be the perfect place to watch winter come over the area, too. We have some limited lodges left, so if you want a place to plan your Cotswold Christmas from, it’s best to get a booking as soon as possible so you’re not left out in the cold.

Bask in the opulence of Blenheim Palace

If you want to feel like you’re truly spending Christmas in the lap of luxury, then a trip to the splendid Blenheim Palace is more than justified. These historic halls play host to an annual Christmas event, including a scented Fire Garden and an after-dark trail of light leading throughout the grounds.

The lake is a spot well worth admiring in particular, with brightly-lit boats creating an image of gently dancing lights on the water’s surface. Perfect for a romantic walk, especially with the toasted marshmallows and spiced cider.

Come to the Cotswolds this Winter

As busy with activity the towns and cities are and as popular the area is with tourists, there is always something to do in the Cotswolds around Christmas. Wrap up warm and come join in the fun. Our lakeside lodges are the perfect place to plan your trip from, so you want to arrange your trip before they’re all booked up.

If you have any further questions, please give our team a call on 01285 861839.

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