Things to do in the run up to Christmas

Ice Rink at Winchester Cathedral

Ice Rink at Winchester Cathedral

Its all happening in Hampshire at this time of year with Wine Festivals, specialist Christmas markets, carols and ice skating all on the agenda.

On Thursday, the famous Winchester Cathedral Christmas Markets open. Cited as one of the best markets in Europe and set in the grounds of the Cathedral you simply must have a wander round the many stalls with a hot chocolate in hand. There are interesting gifts from all over the world and beautiful crafts of all kinds.

The 2014 Christmas Market will be running from Thu 20 Nov to Sun 21 Dec. Open every day, 10am-6pm from Sun-Wed and 10am-7.30pm from Thu-Sat.

If the children are bored by shopping, they can skate on the ice rink or if like me you think you are a good skater, join them, but be prepared for humiliation, its not like riding a bike and I spend most of the hour on my bottom. For those of you who have skated in London at the Natural History Museum, Winchester Cathedral Ice rink is a must, set in the middle of the stalls, under the beautiful Cathedral, it is a magical place to get into the spirit of Christmas.  The ice rink is open from 20 November 2014 to 4 January 2015.  For more information about everything on at the Cathedral including Carols and other services visit www.winchester-cathedral.org.uk/christmas.

For the lovers of wine out there….Wine Festival Winchester is a chance for everyone (no matter how much or little you know) to enjoy a feast of fabulous wines in the company of Susie & Peter, Masters of Wine from BBC1’s Saturday Kitchen 21st – 23rd November.

Southampton town centre hosts a super German inspired Market. Open from the 21st November until the 28th December, bringing the traditional wooden stalls with gifts.

http://www.smtmanagementltd.co.uk/#!southampton-christmas-market-2014/c1348

Visit Portsmouth historic dockyard www.christmasfestival.co.uk 28th – 30th November for a Victorian Christmas extravaganza.

For Father Christmas with a twist, why not travel on a beautiful old steam train and meet Santa as you ride. The Watercress line at Alresford is a real treat for children and adults alike.  During a a one hour round trip through the scenic Hampshire countryside.,Santa visits every child at their seat with a special gift. Includes white wine and mince pie for the grown-ups and soft drinks for the children.  6th 7th 13th 14th and 20th-24th December.

Finally as the day approaches a great sing song can be had round the giant tree at Beaulieu. http://www.beaulieu.co.uk/beaulieu-events/christmas-celebrations 20th December -4th Jan for festive fun. See their giant Christmas Tree, ride on the monorail, carol singing round the grand piano – go early for great socking fillers from the gift shop.

Whatever you do we wish you all lots of festive fun in Hampshire this year.

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