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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 even bigger, brighter, better and more jolly than ever before. We have the best Christmas shopping in the South West, ice skating, traditional markets, fairs, a Santa's Grotto and more!

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.

Book Your Stay with Us   |   Christmas Markets   |   Christmas Shopping   |   Festive Fun   |   Panto! Oh yes it is!   |   Getting here   |   What's on this Christmas   |   Gina Dyer's gift ideas blog

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?)

Over the next 6 weeks, we've got fashionista Gina Dyer blogging about Christmas gift ideas over on our Tumblr. There, and on Twitter, you can ask her all your Christmas gift quandaries. Gina is on hand to answer all your queries. She'll be blogging twice a week - once with a set of gift ideas and another opening up a window on to the Bristol shopping experience. Because if there's one thing Gina knows, it's her Bristol shopping.

Meanwhile, here, 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 Friday, 8th November until Sunday, 22th 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 Thursday, 28th November to Sunday, 22th December featuring gifts with a Bristol twist, local. Independent makers and producers will be selling a tempting selection of hand-made jewellery, glassware, sock toys, puppets, candles, fairy lights and Christmas decorations. And for the Christmas table, a wide range of cheeses, biscuits and chutneys, fudge, sauces, preserves, chestnuts and seasonal cakes.

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

In the garden of the Full Moon pub, there is also a Christmas market of local arts, crafts and everything the fine people of Stokes Croft have to offer. Through the festive season, Market at the Moon will be running every Saturday with weekly surprises, including cinema screenings, workshops and live bands.

14th–15th & 21st – 22nd December - Spiegeltent Christmas Markets

7th, 14th and 21st December - Christmas Market at The Moon

12th–15th December & 19th–22nd December – Harbourside Indoor Christmas Market

14th December – Mullion Cove Christmas Market at Brunel's ss Great Britain

14th December - Made in Bristol Christmas Gift Fair at Colston Hall

15th December - Ashton Court Producers Christmas Market

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Cabot Circus


Bristol’s Cabot Circus shopping centre is home to over 500 stores, including flagship department stores and high street favourites, perfect for Christmas shopping. Quakers Friars offers a luxury shopping experience from the South West’s first and only Harvey Nichols to designer brands including The White Company and Hugo Boss. 

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

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

A free, family event at Cabot Circus shopping centre on Friday, 8th November will see the switch-on of Bristol’s magical Christmas lights and the official start of the festive season in the city. As well as the twinkling lights in Cabot Circus and The Galleries shopping centre, there will be lights at nearby St Nicholas Market, Corn St, The Centre Promenade, College Green, and Park Street. There is also a Christmas switch-on at Cribbs Causeway, featuring some very special guests

There are a number of Santa’s grottos dotted around the city; in central Bristol Santa will be in his Grotto at The Galleries shopping centre every weekend in November from Friday, 8th November and every day throughout December until Christmas Eve. Give Santa your Christmas wishlist and then enjoy the three-storey shopping centre, which is home to 85 stores including Argos and Waterstones.

Celebrate a traditional Victorian Christmas at Brunel’s ss Great Britain, at the Great Western Dockyard. Victorian Christmas lunch on Thursday, 12th and Friday, 13th December 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.

The Spiegeltent is returning to Harbourside with a fancy ballroom that will be host to a heap of activities from Christmas parties to balls to markets selling vintage, retro and handmade clothes, accessories and nick-nacks. This will be the ultimate place to indulge yourself while thinking of others, drinking, eating and shopping all under one roof.

At-Bristol's Christmas Ice Rink in Millennium Square will be rocking up in Millennium Square from 9th November. Skate with friends and family on the 450m² ice rink next to the giant bauble that is the At-Bristol Planetarium! The ice rink will be available for group bookings and private hire in the evenings, and is also set to host several special events.

City Sightseeing Bristol is running a special 'Twilight and Illuminations Tour', which promises to be a festive treat, exploring illuminated classic architecture, watery harbour reflections, sparkly Christmas lights and the twinkle of far off ports. It's a great way to see Bristol after dark, ith great views, blankets, informative and amusing commentary from one of our guide

Vist our attractions page for ideas of more things to do

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Cinderella is at Bristol Hippodrome from Friday, 6th December 2013. See this classic fairytale in traditional pantomime style with the mischievous star of ITV’s Dancing on Ice Louie Spence and Emmerdale’s Suzanne Shaw. 

The Little Mermaid is at the recently refurbished Bristol Old Vic from Thursday, 28th November 2013. Hans Christian Andersen’s much-loved tale promises to be a memorable performance of song, costume and a dash of aquatic magic. 

The Last Voyage of Sinbad the Sailor is at the Tobacco Factory Theatre from Wednesday, 27 November 2013. Stories of catastrophic shipwrecks, far off lands and mythical beasts are all in this new telling of Sinbad’s most fantastical adventures, plus a brand new tale that’s never been told before.

Christmas is a real celebration at Colston Hall, one of Bristol’s best music venues. Throughout the month enjoy a series of one-off events like Colston Christmas Ceilidh (Saturday, 14th December) Only Men Aloud (Friday, 20th December), Bristol Choral Society performing Handel’s Messiah (Saturday, 21th December) and Last Night of the Christmas Proms (Saturday, 28th December).

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 4 products

  1. Pantomime: Dick Whittington at the Bristol Hippodrome


    5 Dec 2014 To 4 Jan 2015

    The 2014 Pantominme is festive favourite Dick Whittington.

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

  4. 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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