Christmas in Gloucester, Markets, Cathedral, Ice Rink & Events

Gloucester can be a fun place during the Christmas holidays and there are fun things going on. The streets have Christmas decorations each year, as do many of the shops. Gloucester Cathedral usually has lots going on, including some amazing festive decorations.

Christmas in Gloucester

Many of the city’s restaurants and pubs also embrace the festivities and have Christmas menus and special events. The other towns of Gloucestershire also have fun things to do. This includes in the Cotswolds, Forest of Dean and in Cheltenham. As Gloucester is my hometown, I’ve enjoyed many festive periods here and the rest of Gloucestershire.

Christmas Lights In Gloucester

Gloucester Christmas Decorations

They typically decorate the gate streets and Gloucester cross with Christmas Lights and make it a pleasant place to walk through after dark. I always enjoy seeing the lights after a meal or drink out in the evening or after a bout of late night shopping on a Thursday in the run up to the big day.

Christmas at Gloucester Cathedral

Gloucester Cathedral Christmas Organ

Each Christmas, Gloucester cathedral becomes a festive attraction for a variety of reasons. Inside the cathedral are some fantastic decorations in the main part and throughout the cloisters. You can see beautifully decorated trees at the altar were splendid and is beautifully decorated. The cloisters were my favourite section to visit.

The cloisters had some rather special lighting and a variety of themed decorations. They also host carol services and other events during December. You can book tickets and find more details on the Cathedrals website.

Festive Markets & Events in Gloucestershire

Orchard Street Christmas Markets

Christmas Market

In the run up to Christmas, Orchard Street Market hosts various Christmas markets. Here you can find many options for unique gifts and crafts. There are also lots of food stalls from producers throughout the South West of England. There is also a chance to enjoy some drinks and street food while at the market.

Ice Rink At The Docks

Ice Rink

During the run up to Christmas, there is an ice rink in Gloucester Docks. This in between the Waterways Museum and Gloucester Quays Shopping Centre. It runs from late November until December.

Ice Rink Xmas

The best time to visit the ice rink is during the evening after dark when the lights come on. There are also places for refreshments and a drink nearby. You can find out more on their Facebook.

Christmas Drinks & Meals Out

Many of the city’s restaurants have a set Christmas menu. These are ideal for a social gathering and work night out. Many also open Christmas day for a traditional lunch. Some of the best options in Gloucestershire are listed on The Fork Website.

New Inn Xmas

We found the New Inn an excellent place to visit for drinks during the festive period. They have nice decorations, a vibrant atmosphere and things going on.

Fagins were nice for a festive meal out with the family. They had all the traditional dishes, including a tasty Christmas pudding.

Where to Do Some Festive Gift Shopping?

The city centre and Gloucester Quays are the two key places to do shopping in the fun up to the big day. Late night festive shopping takes place on Thursdays in December, which is also a great opportunity to see the Christmas lights.

There are also great options for some shopping in Cheltenham, Bristol and Birmingham Bullring. There are cities nearby that have fantastic Christmas markets and other events that are within easy reach of Gloucestershire by bus or train. One of my favourites during the festive season, Birmingham city centre hosts the Frankfurt Christmas Market.

Christmas Food Shopping

Outside of the main supermarkets, there are many fantastic local food shops and markets to purchase your Christmas supplies. Stroud Farmers Market runs each Saturday and is a great place to pick up some food treats.

Over Farm Market, just outside of Gloucester, is a fantastic place for festive food, including meats and vegetables. There are also options for independent butchers to arrange your turkey. A popular one is Nick Browns in Longlevens.