Christmas 2023 in Winchester

Christmas in Winchester

Christmas is a magical time wherever you are but in Winchester we pride ourselves on how magical our beautiful city becomes once the Christmas Market rolls into town.

But it's not just the Christmas Market that adds the sparkle to a Winchester Christmas though. 

Here are some of the Christmas delights awaiting you in Winchester this year.

Winchester Christmas Market 

Obviously this is the crowning glory in the Winchester Christmas Calendar.

The market opened on Friday 16 November and is open daily until Thursday 21 December. 

Set in the historic cathedral grounds, Winchester Christmas Market is considered one of the best Christmas Markets in Europe.

As well as the many stalls of gifts, food and drink, there is also a stage area with regular performances from local choirs and performing arts groups. The cathedral is also open to visitors and has a full itinerary of advent events.

For more details check out 

Lantern Parade at Winchester Cathedral 

Friday 24th November from 5pm sees the annual lantern parade. This year the theme is Angels.

Join Winchester Cathedral in coming together to celebrate Christmas with music, lanterns and the Christmas Market. Parade from Winchester cathedral through Winchester with your lanterns and light the way back to the cathedral where the Dean of Winchester, Catherine Ogle, will judge all the lanterns and pick her three favourites with a prize for all.

For more details go to

Light up trial at Sir Harold Hillier Gardens nr Romsey  

Opening on 30 November until 31 December this magical trail of lights and sounds is a Christmas spectacular!

Along the trail you will find shimmering trees, hypnotic lasers and enchanting projected animals. Light art installations by international artists and leading designers make up a Magical Mystical Christmas Forest which will also feature designs created by local school children and brought to life by Ross Ashton and Karen Monid, two prominent projectionists. The images will be projected onto Hillier Gardens' iconic Jermyn's House in what will be a truly dazzling display.

For more details go to 

the watercress line steam illuminations

From 24 November - 6 January (closed 24-26 December) the Steam Illuminations on The Watercress Line is an incredible light show on and in a steam train. Consisting of thousands of coloured LED lights and LED wristbands a kaleidoscope of different colours and flashing patterns are created. A magical steam train both inside and out! 

For more details go to

Milestones Christmas Market  

Milestones Christmas Market 2-3 December. There’s fun for all the family to enjoy, including a chance to meet Father Christmas too!

The annual Milestones Christmas market is the perfect opportunity to do some Christmas shopping and find something a little bit different.

Browse the independent stalls of seasonal gifts and treats throughout the museum along with the award-winning Milestones shop - all your Christmas gift needs in one place.

For more details click here 

neverland at hinton ampner  

A Neverland Christmas arrives at Hinton Ampner this winter, with more than a sprinkle of fairy dust on the christmas trees. Until 1st January you can step into the home of the Darling family and Nana the dog where light, sound and movement bring scenes inspired by J.M. Barrie’s much-loved story of Peter Pan to life. Your journey will take you on an adventure to find the ticking crocodile, the Lost Boys’ camp and Tinker Bell’s mystical hideaway. You'll need to watch out for Captain Hook and his band of pirates though, but make sure you encounter the source of all magic, the fairies.
Presented in partnership with Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity. 

For more click here

cosmic christmas at the science centre 

from 16 - 23 December Christmas cheer takes over the Planetarium and Santa’s North Pole comes to Winchester. Young and old will be transported to an intergalactic wonderland as Christmas comes to life through an immersive theatrical experience like no other. Live science, magical effects and an out-of-this-world journey through space on the Planetarium dome will come together as a brand new original Christmas tale comes alive. Then let your anticipation build as you meet the man himself and receive a special Christmas gift. 

For more details click here

glow marwell at marwell zoo

Venture through a 36 metre multicoloured light tunnel, gaze in wonder at a towering Enchanted Tree with fluttering butterflies, wander through colourful clouds projected overhead and meet some new creatures brought to life in a magical Glow Forest.
Snow machines, a magical Wishing Tree and a new fun-filled LED see-saw photo opportunities and light-up stepping stones are all there!
Christmas food cabins with delicious winter warming treats are also on offer, including mulled wine and the chance to huddle around the fire pits to toast marshmallows.

For more details click here

Cinderella at Theatre Royal Winchester 

A British Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without the traditional pantomime and this year you can see the classic story, Cinderella in Winchester from 30 November to 1 January.

With original songs, loads of corny gags, audience participation and some surprising twists to the tale, the whole family is bound to have a ball!

For prices and times please visit 

Meet Father Christmas 

There will be lots of opportunities to meet Father Christmas in Winchester this year (dates, times and costs vary - please visit the websites links for more details of each venue).

Plus, if you’re staying in Winchester during December, make sure to look out your window between 6pm and 8pm, from 2 to 20 December, and you might spot Santa travelling down your road on his sleigh – with his friends from Winchester Round Table. Find out here which date he’ll be passing your way and if you can spare a bit of a change for the charities that Santa’s volunteers will be out collecting for, they would be most grateful. Watch his travels live online with the Winchester Santa Sleigh Tracker