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Christmas in Bristol

Our guide to everything festive in Bristol this year, from shopping to things to do

Merry Bristmas!

Christmas in Bristol this year is bigger than Father Christmas's mince pie stash, brighter than the shiniest bauble on the tree, better than Christmas Dinner with all the trimmings and more jolly than a workshop full of elves. We have the best Christmas shopping in the South West, ice skating, traditional markets, fairs, world class theatre productions and a whole lot of christmas cheer.

Here, you'll find details on everything you need to know to make the most of Christmas in Bristol. We've got the need-to-know details on shopping, so you can be sure of finding the most perfect of presents, as well as the latest attractions and listings of Christmas-themed events for you to enjoy.

Christmas events

Book your stay

Choose Bristol for your festive shopping break. We have the fairytale combo of quirky independent shops, high street brands, a shopping quarter and heaps of choice for evening entertainment, be it delicious food, cocktails or a boogie (yes, a boogie - it's Christmas - where would we be without a Christmas boogie?)

We have you covered - we have heaps of great deals for places to stay and dishes to eat, so check out our special offers page now

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Christmas Markets

The popular German-themed Christmas market will return in quaint wooden chalet-style stalls to the pedestrianised area of Bristol’s Shopping Quarter at Broadmead from 7th November until 22nd December. Unique gift ideas, original homemade crafts and German-themed food and drink like Glühwein, Bratwurst and Lebkuchen will be on offer. Between browsing the stalls, visitors can relax in the Bavarian beer garden and enjoy festive music from the Salvation Army band. 

A local producers and craft market will also be at Broadmead every day from the 4th December to 21st December featuring gifts with a Bristol twist, local handmade goods and fairtrade produce.

A short stroll away is St Nicholas Market in the heart of Bristol’s Old City surrounded by beautiful Georgian architecture and boasting award-winning produce and some truly unique stalls.  It’s also a great place for a good value bite to eat with everything from hog roast to a Pieminister pie, all washed down with a mulled cider.

New for 2014 is a giant snow globe, which will be located near the Christmas markets in Broadmead, where shoppers can step inside and have their picture taken, making a perfect souvenir or gift for family and friends.

Just south of Bristol, Tyntesfield National Trust property has Christmas-themed craft markets on Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 December as well as a Victorian Christmas experience throughout the house.

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Cabot Circus


Bristol Shopping Quarter comprises Broadmead, The Galleries and Cabot Circus and is home to over 500 stores, including flagship department stores such as House of Fraser and Harvey Nichols as well as high street favourites like Primark and Marks & Spencer - perfect for Christmas shopping. 

Bristol prides itself on its individuality so Gloucester Road, the UK’s longest street of independent shops and businesses, is a shopper’s delight.

Friday 7 November at 6pm will see the switch on of Bristol’s magical Christmas lights and the official start of the festive season in the city.

The thriving hubs of Park Street and Clifton Village are lined with boutique shops and elegant bars and cafés for a mid-shopping interval. At Clifton Village you can peruse a treasure chest of items in the Victorian Clifton Arcade, home to some of the most unique shops in the city selling everything from vintage costume jewellery to stylish one-off gifts.

Visit our shopping section here for more great gift ideas

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Festive Fun

But it's not just shopping that we can offer you. There's a plethora of festive fun so you can get dressed in your best christmas jumper and have a merry old time (are the chrismtas puns running thin yet?). 

What's Christmas without a trip to the Panto? Well if shouting "it's behind you" at soap actors and reality TV actors is your thing, then Bristol has got some christmas crackers for for. Watch Britain's Got Talent duo Ashley and Pudsey in Dick Whittington at The Bristol Hippodrome from 6th December to 5th January 2015.

Or knock your spots off with The Tobacco Factory Theatres production of 101 Dalmations, and feel free to boo at Cruella de Vil, after all if she doesn't scare you, no evil thing will! CAtch it from 26th November to 11th January 2015.

For something a little different that all the family will fall in love with, is Swallows and Amazons at Bristol Old Vic, returning by popular demand. This classic tale of an idyllic era, endless summer evening will capture youthful imaginations and leave you on a festive high.

Celebrate a traditional Victorian Christmas at Brunel’s ss Great Britain, at the Great Western Dockyard. The Victorian Christmas lunches are great fun for groups and include Victorian ‘guests’ - Isambard Kingdom Brunel among them - carol singing, entertainment and sumptuous Victorian fayre among the beautiful Christmas trees traditionally dressed with Victorian-style trinkets.

Explore some of Bristol’s sacred buildings, which are at their most impressive during the Christmas period. The Lord Mayor’s Chapel is a majestic building on Park Street. Carols, recitals, readings and services take place at Bristol Cathedral on College Green, whilst an Advent Procession and Carols by Candlelight take place at the magnificent St Mary Redcliffe Church, Redcliffe Way on Sunday 30 November at 6.30pm.

Vist our attractions page for ideas of more things to do

Visit our full events listings

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Getting here!

Take the convenient Park and Ride from only £3 per adult per day (kids go free - maximum 2). Or, if you really have to drive, The Galleries and Cabot Circus have two key shopping centre car parks from only £1.40 for the first hour, £1 for every hour after that. Head to the TravelWest website to find out more on parking in Bristol. 

If you're arriving at Temple Meads, check the City Sightseeing Bristol bus timetable for when they're leaving, and maybe you can see the city as soon as you arrive.

Alternatively, you can find out more about Bristol bus routes and timetables at the First Group website

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Your search returned

Your search returned 6 products

  1. 101 Dalmatians at Tobacco Factory Theatres


    26 Nov 2014 To 11 Jan 2015

    Some dogs look like their owners, or is it that some owners look like their dogs? And who really owns who – do dogs secretly think that...

  2. Swallows & Amazons at Bristol Old Vic


    27 Nov 2014 To 17 Jan 2015

    This winter go all aboard The Swallow! at Bristol Old Vic

  3. Pantomime: Dick Whittington at the Bristol Hippodrome


    6 Dec 2014 To 5 Jan 2015

    The countdown is on to the ultimate tail of wags to riches, Dick Whittington - this year’s award winning spectacular family pantomime at...

  4. Christmas Nativity Plays at Noah's Ark Zoo Farm


    13 Dec 2014 To 13 Dec 2014

    Celebrate the festive season this year by coming along to the very popular nativity play featuring live animals and a real baby!

  5. Bootleg Beatles Xmas Show at Colston Hall


    19 Dec 2014 To 19 Dec 2014

    The hugely popular tribute band return to the Hall to perform “flawless” renditions of The Beatles’ best-loved hits.

  6. Christmas Nativity Plays at Noah's Ark Zoo Farm


    20 Dec 2014 To 20 Dec 2014

    Celebrate the festive season this year by coming along to the very popular nativity play featuring live animals and a real baby!

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