“It’s the most wonderful time of the year”
When you hear singer Andy Williams crooning out those famous lines on the radio or in a high street store you know Christmas has arrived.
There’s a sharp, wintery chill in the air, the streets are illuminated with Christmas lights and if you’re lucky you might even see some snow. At least that’s how it feels if you’re in Gloucestershire anyway.
The county comes alive at Christmas with people shopping for loved ones, Christmas events happening daily and the towns and countryside are brimming with couples and families enjoying a cozy Christmas break.
Gloucestershire is a charming county that can get even Scrooge in the mood for Christmas and we think it’s one of the best places to go for a wintery December holiday. If you’re looking at taking a December vacation you can rent an Encore Parcs holiday home by contacting us here.
There’s so much to see and do in Gloucestershire and the South West over the Christmas period we’ve put together this handy list to help you figure out what to do on your first December getaway.
What makes Christmas in Gloucestershire so special?
Gloucestershire sits at the crossroads between Wales, the South West and the South East of England. It’s a stone’s throw away from Bristol and its cities (Gloucester, Cirencester and Cheltenham) have history spanning 1000s of years.
It’s an old county that boasts lots of historic buildings, old pubs and cosy, Christmassy architecture. Walking through historic Cheltenham is like being in a Charles Dickens novel or an extra in Love Actually.
The county is also the gateway to the Cotswolds. An area of outstanding natural beauty in the UK and one that encapsulates the picturesque scenery that makes the UK so lovely. A winter walk in the Cotswolds is a perfect way to get into the Christmas spirit as you amble down country lanes while it snows gently around you.
When you can take in atmospheric moments like this it’s clear to see why Gloucestershire is a perfect Christmas getaway.
5 things to do in Gloucestershire this Christmas
Gloucestershire is a hive of activity at any time of the year but it’s especially fun over the Christmas period. Everyone in the county gets in the Christmas mood and the historic towns and villages are decorated with Christmas lights and trees.
There’s so much to do in Gloucestershire over Christmas that this article could be 10,000 words long. But we’ve decided to boil it down to our 5 most favourite things to do. Keep this list handy when you’re visiting Gloucestershire over Christmas and you’re guaranteed to have the trip of a lifetime.
Check out Gloucestershire’s many Christmas markets
Gloucestershire loves a Christmas market. It seems like every town, village and city in the county has one. They’re the perfect day out for a family or a great romantic evening as a couple. You can eat a wintery bratwurst and have a mulled wine as you watch the world go by.
Our favourite Christmas markets are Cheltenham, Gloucester and Cirencester markets as they’re the biggest but you can find many tiny micro-markets around the county too. To see a full list of Gloucestershire’s Christmas markets check out this article.
Head out for a winter walk with the family
Gloucestershire is the gateway to the Cotswolds and many picturesque walks, hikes and strolls begin and end in the lovely villages and towns that dot the county. There are walks to suit all skill levels in the area. Professional hikers might head into the Cotswolds for a 2 or 3 day hike while casual walkers can enjoy an afternoon ramble around the hills.
If you think a winter walking holiday in the Cotswolds sounds like your idea of a good time check out these popular walking routes.
Visit the Corinium Museum
It might be Christmas but that doesn’t mean the learning has to stop. If you want a little break from the Christmas activities (or just the cold) you can head over to the Corinium Museum in Cirencester to find out about the varied and interesting history of the local areas. Specifically that of the Romans who had a big presence in the area.
Go Christmas shopping and ice skating in Gloucester Quay
Christmas is all about gift giving and the festive season wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the shops. Hunting down the perfect gift for a friend or loved one is always fun and you can turn your shopping trip into a day out for the whole family.
Luckily Gloucestershire has no shortage of shops and you can find everything you need to throw the perfect Christmas in one of its many shopping precincts. Our favourite is Gloucestershire Quay mainly due to the added bonus of an ice rink in the shopping center. You can go for some retail therapy before hitting the ice for a spin. Find out about Gloucester Quay here.
Watch a pantomime in one of Gloucestershire’s many theatres
What would Christmas be without watching at least one pantomime. This uniquely British tradition is a clear sign it’s Christmas and heading to the theatre with the family is a great way to bond and have a great time.
Gloucestershire has no shortage of theatres and you can find a list of all of them here.
Are you ready for a Christmas getaway in Gloucestershire?
Gloucestershire has everything you need to enjoy a Christmmas break in the UK. From the stunning scenery, plethora of activities and great shopping you can find your perfect Christmas holiday in one of the many villages, towns or cities that dot the county.
If you’re looking for a way to enjoy the sights of Gloucestershire whenever you want you can purchase a luxury holiday home from Encore Parcs. Check out our current homes here.